Monday, August 20, 2007

Ten Years in South Uist

It's Ten Years since Rev Iain MacAskill came to South Uist as an evangelist for the Free Church of Scotland. We've just celebrated this at two services in the Lochboisdale Mission Church:

  • yesterday, the Tenth Anniversary service, where Iain spoke on 'Ebeneser' from 1S7 and we all enjoyed lunch together after Donald MacDonald OBE had spoken of his support for the work in South Uist;

  • tonight, a meeting with May Nicholson from the Preshal Trust in Glasgow. May is the author of Miracles to Mayhem, her own story of becoming a disciple of Christ after living life as a notorious alcoholic in her community.

Both Donald and May spoke of the need for faith to lead to works. This has been a feature of the Free Church work here from the beginning. Through setting up the Caladh Trust, creating community through the cafe and drop-in, through supporting those struggling with addiction and their families, through furniture recycling for low income families and assisting people in getting out of debt, the emphasis that Iain brought to the work here has always had a very practical component. This, I suppose is why we were excited about coming here ourselves in 2004. Organised social ministries have not been one of the strong points of Reformed churches, at least in recent history. In celebrating Ten Years of the Free Church work here in South Uist, our relatively new congregation can reflect on being a New Community seeking to proclaim the Gospel of new life in Jesus Christ and the Coming of His Kingdom, trying to live together lives of worship and witness through the power of the Holy Spirit, and trying to support and minister to the outcast, the stranger, the suffering, the orphan and the widow. Over the last Ten Years, many have come to faith here who have moved on, some now serving in ministry elsewhere in Scotland and the world. Over the last two days new people have come to the church for the first time. We are renewing our vision to be: A Church at the Heart of the Community, With the Community in its Heart. Glory to God. Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done On Earth.