A ruby in a mountain of rocks

As I sit on the train heading to another session of the General Assembly I am reading through the vast mountain of reports and phrases such as, looking for a needle in a haystack and looking for a ruby in a mountain of rocks spring to mind. The Blue Book, as it is known, runs to almost 900 pages. There is then also the book of supplemental reports. All of these have to be read and carefully considered. Much of it is legal jargon, much of it is quite frankly a little depressing, but then as you read through suddenly some words jump out of the page at you. A reflection by a committee here, a concept by a committee there and you think to yourself, yes, that is right, this is what we should be focussing on, this is exciting, this is really what it is about. Here at last there is something I can take back to the Session and say, read this, it will inspire you, challenge you. There are good news stories of churches that have found a way to do youth ministry that is actually working. There are ideas of how to support congregations who are struggling due to long term vacancies. There are challenges for churches, such as Kinnoull, as to how we can use our influence and strength to be a blessing in our communities. Rubies among the rocks.
As a result of these rubies you realise that in spite of media reports and the glee of the secularists that just love doom and gloom stories about the decline of the church, there is actually life in the old dog yet! There are countless men and women quietly going about their business, growing in their faith, discipling others and sharing the love of God with those around them. It does rather cause me to ask the question however, how do we make these stories, these challenges, these ideas more accessible to others within the church? When all of us are so short of time is there someone in our congregation that loves to read and has the skills to discern these jewels so that they can be more widely shared? It is a communication problem which needs to be addressed so that all the church can benefit from these meetings and these discussions. We are supposed to be the people of the good news, maybe we should start our services just by saying, here is the news and sharing a story of something happening which shows the glory of God.

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