Pastoral Letter – July/August 2015

Dear Friends,

This is the last time that I will be speaking to you through St Columba’s magazine. In Early August, Anna and I will be moving 240 miles north to Sutherland to start a new chapter in my ministry. For many of us, myself very much included, the past three years has been a very rewarding time, but it has fair flown by, and I will miss very much the congregation that has nurtured and matured me in my ministry.

In life, it is very tempting to spend much of our time either thinking with joy or regret about what is past or anticipating or worrying about what is to come. As Christians however our hope is very much rooted in the present. We are called to live in the here and now; to be fully present to one another in our worship together, in our social interactions and with everyone that we meet.

At the centre of our faith is the Eucharist. What we celebrate in the Eucharist is not simply the remembering of something in the past. What we are doing is making our Lord Jesus Christ fully present amongst us. The Eucharist is an Anamnesis, a Greek word that means remembrance but very much in the sense of making present, rather than simply remembering or reminiscing. As Archbishop Anastasios wrote:

The anamnesis is not a simple intellectual function; it is an action. As members of the Eucharistic community we recall again to consciousness the economy of God in Christ through the Holy Spirit, the incarnation, the crucifixion, the resurrection of Christ, his ascension, and Pentecost. We live them. We share in them. We do this not through our own human abilities but through the grace of God in the Holy Spirit.

As we each move on to our own challenges in the months and years to come, we can remember the time that we have spent together and the ways in which we have enriched each others lives, as we celebrated Christ present amongst us. We have all much to be grateful for.

My most heartfelt thanks and may God bless you all
James

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