These are words found in the song sung at Rainbows (little sisters of Brownies and even littler sisters of Guides):
Look at the world around
Learn everything you can
Laugh as you go along
Love this world of ours
They came to mind when I was having another look at the recent congregational survey – because nearly everyone put a high value on friendship/church family, attending Sunday worship, and pastoral support.
As for the qualities they would like to see in their minister, well, the same themes came through, with most people highly valuing a good listener, someone who shows empathy, is supportive and caring, someone with a sense of humour you can have a laugh with.
At this time of year in particular all of this is needed if we are to take the opportunities which Christmas offers to engage with people outside the Church. We began in November with the Christmas Fairs, in between which was the Kirking of the Trades Service in St Andrew’s (attended by members of the city’s Trades who are not all regular churchgoers) and concluding the month with our St Andrew’s Day celebrations in both churches.
Unlike last year, when we had a combined service in Meadowside St Paul’s in the early evening of Christmas Eve, this year there will be a service in each of the churches: 6.30 pm in Meadowside St Paul’s and 11.30 pm in St Andrew’s.
The earlier service will be very much a Family Service and I hope to see lots of children and young people and a great conglomeration of all ages wearing Christmas jerseys, tinsel, flashing earrings etc.
The Watchnight service will be no less of a celebration but will perhaps have a different feel to it, particularly as the lights go down towards midnight in preparation for the lighting of the Christmas candle. It is a while since either congregation hosted a late service and we are doing it because it became obvious that some of our faithful members had missed it.
But our hope is that both services will be attended by people who are not usually in church on a Sunday, and that their experience will show them why those who are regulars value the friendship/church family, worship, and pastoral support which are freely offered to all.
Are you a good listener, someone who shows empathy, is supportive and caring, someone with a sense of humour we could have a laugh with? If so, please get in touch. If not, then perhaps that’s because you could offer us a different profile which God knows is exactly the right one for these two friendly and hard-working congregations – so we look forward to hearing from you too …