© St Ninians Episcopal Church, Glasgow which is a charity registered under no.SC010966
Rector writes On 25th January we celebrated the feast of the Conversion of St Paul. As I reminded the Thursday congregation in my sermon, conversion is about an on-going, life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ, about walking with God day by day and converting the way we live in the light of that. It seems to me that this is at the heart of what we mean by “discipleship”. At our congregational meeting of a few months ago we were rightly concerned about how we might attract new members and many good ideas were proffered. However, one member reminded us that the ultimate responsibility rested upon our shoulders as disciples having been called to be so through our baptism, reinforced by the sacrament of Confirmation. Of course, it is easy to use buzz-words but it is much more difficult to make them come alive. As another member at that meeting reminded us, for some folk it is not easy to articulate their faith. I have great sympathy with that view. Some of us are shy by nature. Some of us feel we don’t have the “technical” knowledge and might embarrass ourselves by saying the “wrong” thing. On the other hand, if St Paul had kept his head down it is not too fanciful to suppose that Christianity as we know it would not have spread in the almost miraculous way it did. It was the sheer life-changing power of his conversion experience that gave him the words to say at the right time and in the right place. The principle remains the same for us – admittedly in not so dramatic fashion as St Paul. Why would we think anybody would appear at the front door of the church unless we have been instrumental in some way in inviting them to come and see? To be able to do so means we have to be able to articulate what being at St Ninian’s means for us. If we are not sure ourselves how can we influence others? That brings us right back to the notion of on-going conversion. We need to work on ourselves so that we have the confidence and rich faith to influence others. It is important that we plug into the many spiritual aids at our disposal which keep us sharp. For example, you will read in this edition information about the forthcoming Lent course. These courses are designed to stretch your thinking about matters of personal devotion and wider discipleship. This is part of the process 4 of encouraging discipleship. On a more personal level, you will also read an insert about training with Rev Lesley-Anne Craddock and that might be the very thing to give you the boost required to transform your life. I leave you with the Collect for the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul which expresses all we need to say – Almighty God, who by the preaching of your blessed apostle Paul caused the light of the gospel to shine among the nations: grant that we, who celebrate his wonderful conversion, may follow him in bearing witness to your truth. Amen. The Rector
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