A message from Rev Jock Stein our new Interim Moderator

The Church of Scotland is very busy at the moment. On April 28th Presbytery discussed their ‘Mission Plan’, an attempt to do more with less. You will know that Aberlady and Gullane have already started negotiations towards a union, which is likely to be one of the easier outcomes of the plan. It will also mean that we are allocated ‘half a minister’; it is never easy finding a minister, but in an age of portfolio working it may be easier to find a half-time minister than it once was.

One of the signs of any society out of kilter, is that some are grossly overworked (as currently in the NHS) and others lack meaningful work to do. And of course there may be personal issues of ‘overdrive’ and laziness. We heard of someone recently visiting Pluscarden Abbey, which is an old Benedictine monastery near Elgin dating from 1230. The Abbot greeted him warmly, and asked him how he was.

“I’m busy,” he replied.

“Oh, I’m so sorry!” said the Abbot.

It’s worth reflecting on the difference between business and busyness. Not always simple, as Jesus found when he tried to take his friends away for a wee retreat, and they got interrupted. Sometimes our only refuge is a place of stillness in our hearts, where the Lord quietens the storm – but if you have other opportunities this summer, may they bless and renew you.

Your Interim Moderator,

Jock Stein