From the Minister
How vitally important it is for any parish minister to make “Faith” mean something. To help enable all sorts and conditions of people cope with the highs and lows of the human predicament is a constant challenge. What I had to say, Sunday by Sunday in the early eighties, from the pulpit of my first charge in Blairgowrie at the age of twenty-six, is very different to what I offer week by week in the pulpit within St Stephen’s & West thirty seven years later! One hopes that, like a ship carrying a variety of barnacles, those with whom I have interacted over many years have moulded and refined my thinking.
It is crucial, given experiences gleaned in the vast university of life, that one’s faith is re-examined and restated to meet the demands of the present hour. Freedom of thought, clarity, precision and comprehension ought to be the sterling hallmarks of our belief and practice in the Church today. Professionally and personally I recommend the type of Christianity which admits to a large measure of agnosticism, eliminates magic, dispenses with imposed authority and abolishes from our conception of God, any form of horror and cruelty which degrades the human family. Above and beyond everything else, the Gospel is a summons to Love, to react in every form of crisis with broad compassion and the utmost understanding.
It has been observed that there are 100,000 million stars per galaxy and in the visible universe, 100,000 million galaxies. In the Old Testament, it is recorded that a Creator, “maketh the Bear, Orion and the Pleiades who doeth great things past finding out, yea marvellous things without number.” Given that sense of immensity, how can we possibly understand all the activities under the sun or even begin to fathom the mystery of the tides?
To be sure, it is the “Lord of all being, throned afar” who evokes my intrigue, ignites my sense of wonder and draws forth from deep within me, awesome adoration. We sing of that transcendent faith in one of our hymns: “God of Eternity, Lord of the Ages, Father and Spirit and Saviour of men! Thine is the glory of time’s numbered pages: Thine is the power to revive us again.”
Warmly as ever,
Keith F. Hall