From the Manse July 2020

The Spring has ended, and with it the masses of cherry tree blossom, which laid confetti like in the street and gardens, has shrivelled and given way to fruiting buds. The trees in the street, local gardens and path-side cherry and apples, were more resplendent than I can remember ever having seen - helped perhaps by the lack of rain.

Sitting at our picnic table in the garden, we very soon fell into the habit of afternoon tea, in such beautiful surroundings - yes, with the accompanying cake or sweet treat. And afternoon tea continues to be a point in the day where we pause together, to check in, encourage, and refocus. What has anchored you in recent weeks?

The current Summer 2020 edition of the Boys' Brigade Gazette arrived this morning. Always inspirational, you can see the energy and enthusiasm gleaming out of the stories within. The outside cover clearly tells the anchor for all their work is Jesus, in the discovering and living out Christian faith together, in a challenging, choice filled culture. The words writ large: Life to the full: trusting, discovering, grow, faith, caring, learn, inspiring...The adventure begins here...

The vision of the Boys Brigade is that "children and young people experience life to the full." Knowing Jesus for themselves is the basis of this from the passage of John's Gospel 10:10. It is acknowledged that perhaps we have sold ourselves short, in not emphasising that the basis of Boys Brigade Vision, Mission and Values is love - God's love for the world, open to us in Jesus. For over 136 years love has been expressed and reimagined in the activities, opportunities and roles offered.

How we imagine the future is vital for ourselves and church roles, activities, and opportunities. Although many have been shielding and we are all living with social distancing, our faith journey continues daily. Jesus offers us life in all its ful

ness, not only in the world around us, but also deep inside our lives.

Those places which hold onto hurt, our guilt and shame, hidden away from others, even those we love, are places Jesus can unlock for us. Jesus is the gate (John 10) - Jesus opens our way into healing, being set free from old behaviours and rejuvenated, so that we can encourage others by our own story.

I look forward to sharing with you after sabbatical, so that together we can continue the vision, mission, and values of our being church together.

God bless you in your journey with Jesus.

God bless you

Rev Suva