2018 has been a year when I’ve been reminded of the privileges that go with being a minister. This year Julia, the boys and I had the once in a lifetime experience of spending 8 weeks in Kingsway, Etobicoke, Toronto. While in Canada we not only got to experience church in a vastly different setting to Moneydig, but we visited some of the most famous tourist attractions in the world such as Niagara Falls and the CN Tower in Toronto.

The Morrow Family

My fondest memories of Canada are of the people we met and the friends we made. As for the places we visited, while it was great to see the likes of Toronto and Niagara my favourite places where out of the city and away from the busyness. Small towns such as the Mennonite town of St Jacobs or Gravenhurst on the shores of Lake Muskoka. Being away this summer reinforced in me that sense of God’s call to Moneydig, that this is where I belong. I wasn’t prepared for how much I would miss this place and the people I have come to love.

As well as reminding me of privileges, 2018 has also been a hard year for us as a congregation. We’ve had a lot of illness and hardships among our families. Moneydig is unlike any other place I have lived because of the sense of community and togetherness. This has been important to our congregation. It has meant people have rallied around, providing meals, lifts and childcare whenever they have been needed. There is a real sense when one of us hurts we all hurt, and so we all rally round and provide support. This isn’t just a sense of community, it is church. It is part of what it means to be God’s people, brothers and sisters in Christ, it is why the Apostle Paul was able to write in 2 Corinthians 1:4,

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

As we approach Christmas and 2019 please continue to pray for those who are unwell.

2018 has again been marked by the generosity of you as a congregation. The support shown to Andrew Rosborough and Christine Wilson as they ‘Braved the Shave’ for Macmillan Cancer Research was incredible. The response to the moderator’s appeal for Indonesia and your ongoing support of the Free Will Offering, Repair Fund and United Appeal is humbling.

It is good that we give in this way, but it is not something I take for granted and I am acutely aware that as I commend you for what has already been given, I am also asking your support for the World Development Appeal.

2018 has also been a year when Moneydig became famous. In January and February, we ran the Essentials course, produced by PCI. This course was designed to help us think about what it means to be a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. The material featured video interviews of people from a range of church settings talking about their journey of faith, and among those being interviewed was our own Gillian Wilson and Julia Morrow.

In the previous summer we as a congregation also featured at the Special Assembly, again connected to discipleship.
The theme of discipleship continues to be an important theme for us here in Moneydig.

In this coming year we hope to create new opportunities for people to explore what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ… watch this space for more details.
Essentials was a success because of how it was supported.  Each year you have overwhelmed me with your support for these events, thank you. This year we are going to try something a little different. Roz Stirling, who used to work in the old Youth and Children’s office at church house, runs a ministry called Cleopas. Cleopas is intended to help people spend time with God. Roz is going to come along for the four Wednesday’s in February. I am hoping that although this will be different to the Alpha and Christianity Explored courses that people will still find it useful and challenging.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who works so hard throughout the year in Moneydig. There are too many people to mention, but they range from committee and elders, musicians, leaders, cleaners, people on sound and PowerPoint, or parking cars and there are still others I have not mentioned. Some working in the forefront, others unseen in the background – all valued.
Finally, a personal thank you to everyone who has shown kindness to Julia, Robin, Jacob and I over the last year. It is not unusual to find ‘presents’ at the manse door, or to discover that someone has done something for us. We really are well looked after and feel loved. All of us in the Manse wish each of you every blessing this Christmas and it is our prayer that each of us know and understand the importance of Mary’s child being named Jesus,

‘…and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,

Stuart Morrow