Lothian Presbytery has appointed Reverend Ruth Halley BEd BD(Hons) as Interim Moderator for the upcoming vacancy. Ruth has written an open letter to the congregations of Aberlady and Gullane churches and this may be viewed below
Message from Rev Ruth Halley, Interim Moderator.
Aberlady and Gullane churches will soon be moving into vacancy and so I thought it timely to write to you and to address the question:
Who are you?
There are many answers any one of us could give to that. One of the ways we might answer is to give our name. Names are important to us and especially important to us in the church. In the Lord’s Prayer we say “hallowed be thy name” – which simply means may God’s name be holy.
My name is Reverend Ruth Halley and my husband’s name is Kenny Inglis. Here we are pictured recently in Stirling. I am a Minister and Kenny is an elder.
In the upcoming vacancy I have been appointed as your Interim Moderator and Locum Minister and Kenny will be helping with sound for worship at the churches and online.
Nowadays we often talk of our first name and our second name. In the church we think of that first name as our Christian name. Sometimes it is a name which comes from the Bible but it doesn’t have to be. The Bible contains many stories about names. In the Old Testament God tells Moses, “I know you by name”. Later, when Jesus is baptized in the river Jordan a voice from heaven says: “You are my own dear Son”. For Jesus, the answer to the question ‘who are you?’ is: God’s own Son. In the church, we pray all the time in the name of Jesus.
Whenever a child or an adult is to be baptized today the minister sprinkles water on the person’s head. Starting with the person’s name the minister then says, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”. If we have not been baptized yet, then that’s okay because God loves us just as we are. Yet, baptism is a very special event – a holy mystery – and we believe that what God does in baptism is something truly wonderful. In baptism Jesus takes a person to himself in a special way. The baptized person becomes part of the church and has a Christian name. This is really what a Christian name is all about. It reminds us of who we are. We are part of God’s family the church, loved just as we are by God who knows each one of us by name.
Kenny and I look forward to getting to know you by name too over the coming months and to all the good that we shall share despite these challenging times. In the meantime, know that God has not forgotten you. God knows you by name and loves you just as you are.
Love and blessings,
Rev Ruth Halley (Interim Moderator)
For enquiries related to baptisms, weddings, funerals or pastoral emergencies where a Minister is requested I can be reached by email at RHalley@churchofscotland.org.uk or by telephone on 07530 307413.