Well, it’s actually happened, we have arrived in Glossop and we can’t tell you just how excited and privileged we feel to be going on this journey with you all. Sara, Kevin, Noah and I are already in love with Glossop! Although I don’t officially take on the leadership of Glossop Elim Christian Centre until the 7th September, when Joy asked me if I would write something for the web site I couldn’t resist!
We as a family had quite the roller-coaster in the last few weeks in Barking before moving up. In particular Noah, our youngest, was taken ill with pneumonia. It’s always a sobering moment when you see your child with an oxygen mask on and lying in a hospital bed. I remember as I sat with Noah in the hospital I sensed Jesus ask me this question “To whom does Noah’s life belong?”. I was reminded that while I love Noah as only a father can, ultimately his life belongs to God. When I came to this realization I found this deep inner peace. I didn’t become apathetic or disconnected from his pain, in fact, I was able to engage more fully with what was going on around me, I was able to serve my family better because my decisions, my words and my actions came from a place of deep peace and trust in God, rather than being ruled by fear and panic.
As I sit and write these words in our new front room, having moved my family to a new town, to begin a new adventure and as we look towards a new season with you all, I am reminded that all of our lives ultimately belong to God, this brings me real peace. I also find deep reassurance in the fact that this church, while we love her and care deeply about Elim Christian Centre Glossop, does not belong to any of us, ultimately this church belongs to Jesus. I don’t know about you but that gives me a deep confidence for the future of His church here in Glossop. Our job then, is to trust Him, to listen to Him, to learn from Him and to follow where he leads, what an amazing invitation!
I want to thank you all for the amazing welcome we have received so far. We really feel like you have opened your arms to us and we are deeply grateful for this. To Alan and Joy I would like to say a huge thank you for all your sacrifice and commitment to this family. Particularly for the way you have led the church through the season of uncertainty since Alistair’s retirement, you have given yourselves wholeheartedly at real personal cost. I see how much you love this church and I love that about you both! To Mick and Jill also I would just love to say thank you so much for your welcome!
I also want to say a huge thank you to Alistair Cole. Alistair and I met up in Costa recently, somehow he managed to get a free coffee out of me – not many people achieve such a feat! We enjoyed an open and honest conversation where I believe there was a meeting of hearts. I found him to be a man who loves Jesus and who cares deeply about this church. I want to honour him for 25 years of ministry here in Glossop, I thank God for his life and for the many years he, Lesley and the family have poured into this church.
Finally let me say this, I’ve loved getting to know you all so far and can’t wait to get to know you all better. Please let’s arrange to meet for a coffee, tea, beverage whatever your flavour, I’d love to get to know you more and see how I can serve you as best as I can in the years to come.