As the first tree in the street begins to change colour, I wake to dew covered grass, with mushrooms which have appeared overnight, and worm casts defacing the manicured lawn. I know that autumn is on its way. Soon the apple tree will release its ripe fruit, the root crops will be ready for pulling and rural churches will gather in thanksgiving for the harvest.
Similarly, the National Team have been involved in several services of thanksgiving in the past few weeks which marks a changing of seasons. In this edition of connect you will read of changing ministerial roles at East Mains Baptist church and a celebration of the fruitful years they have experienced as they have grown as a congregation and developed the village centre.
We have celebrated with Glenrothes Baptist church this month the excitement of a new building, opening with increased capacity and greater flexibility. The Rev Archie Macmillan, a former pastor, dedicated both the building and the people afresh to the work of mission, commenting that it was a delight to see years of prayerful sowing of seed come to fruition in this generation.
This has also been a time of inductions, with almost every weekend a new minister beginning a new season of ministry. Several of our churches are in the early stages of building development, seeking planning permission or obtaining architects feasibility studies, in a season of long term preparation of their infrastructure.
It has also been a privilege to visit several of our new church plants this month, to hear the stories of hope and of challenge that face them. These early phases of planting seed and waiting to see if it will germinate are testing, for those who have personally invested so much with the hope that their service will produce much fruit.
When Paul wrote 1 Cor 3:6, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow”, he was addressing jealousy issues in the church; but it also acts as a reminder to us that, apart from Christ, we can do nothing. This month has been a month of great rejoicing for us, as a Baptist family, as we have celebrated God’s goodness. It has not been without its challenges, but there have been a great many reasons for hope: reasons to encourage one another and embolden faith.
As we approach Assembly, we are looking to gather these stories of what God has been doing amongst us. We are encouraging everyone who comes to Assembly to bring a ‘message of hope’, a story of where they have seen God at work, in their lives and in the life of the local church. In advance of Assembly, we are collecting 1 minute ‘videos of hope’, filmed on your phone, that can be uploaded to our site and which will be shown throughout Assembly.
In this season of harvest, may you know God’s presence and power wonderfully at work in your life. And,
“May the God of all hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13