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A Message from your Minister

WE NEED GOOD NEWS STORIES

“Let the whole world sing to the Lord!
Tell the good news every day about how he saves us.”
I Chronicles 16:23
  

Dear Friends,

As I sit down to write this message, I do so, like most of us, still trying to get my head round the terror attack that took place in Manchester. A dreadful, dreadful, event that has left the thoughts and prayers of us all very much with everyone caught up in this terrible situation. In the hearts of many there will long be unanswered questions and in the homes of those worst affected the desperate need for hope in the face of such tragedy.

In a world that’s vibrant with colour, richness and variety, yet, it seems, equally dim with suffering, poverty, and dare I say, acts of evil, I think, we all need to know that in the face of such contradictions there are good news stories to which we can cling for reassurance.

We have heard the Manchurians say, “Love overcomes hate” and “We stand together.” We have seen them display their beliefs through their generous outpouring of everything they have. Be this through the use of their cars to get the lost back to their own communities; the opening of their homes to strangers, or the willingness to work extra shifts to care for the injured, not forgetting the vigils that provide a place to gather wandering thoughts and silent prayers. In the midst of such a terrible situation, each of these acts of love - glowing like radiant shafts of light - pierce the darkness and terror.

This is surely a good news story, if ever there was one. It is a story that speaks of people rallying to the aid of others. A story that highlights how such sincere acts of love and compassion will help to save the wounded and the grieved. Save them from despair and the bigger danger of hopelessness.

Closer to home, we have our own good news stories to share. Stories that should make us sing to the Lord and tell how he saves us from despondency and hopelessness too.

We rejoice greatly in the good news that our neighbouring congregation of Denny Westpark has, after a vacancy of many years, called a new minister. Subject to confirmation by Falkirk Presbytery, the Reverend Dan Kipchumba Too (to be known as Kipchumba) will be Ordained and Inducted to the charge of Denny Westpark in July.

In our own congregation, we equally have a good news story to share, namely that of the newly established Toddlers Group. From a telephone conversation, made by a young mother in our midst who wondered if Dunipace Parish Church would make their halls available to the community in this particular way, to the response of those who gave financially and in other ways to make it a reality, Dunipace now has a thriving toddlers group meeting in our halls and we, as a congregation, have a strong link with a missing age group in the life of the Church. This is a good news story.

The final good news story I share with you just now is that of Wellsfield Farm Park. I have lost count with regard to the number of people who have commented on “What a great attribute Wellsfield Farm Park is to the local community”. One woman shared with me the delight she feels every time she passes the park on the bus and sees the huge crowd, of children and adults, enjoying the facilities Wellsfield Farm Park offers. She proudly said, “It’s absolutely wonderful to see.” This is a good news story.

Therefore, dear friends, it seems to me, that whether it’s responding to acts of terror, or to the ministry, mission, and outreach needs of our own community, there are good news stories to be shared. Stories motivated by a desire for love to overcome hate. Stories founded on the premise that we stand together. Stories ultimately shaped by our faith which reminds us that God will save us through the willingness of people whose love and compassion, like that of our Lord, outshines the darkness of terror and whose hope for other individuals and communities makes them willing to do whatever they can to overcome that which could hold people back, trap them in despair, or leave them feeling life is hopeless.

With kindest regards
From your minister and friend,
 
Jean W Gallacher

Parish Minister
Dunipace Parish Church of Scotland



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