Minister's Page

Hello

For almost as long as I can remember, certainly since my earlyteens, I’ve had a sense that God was calling me to something. However I think I must be a bit dense because I didn’t work it out and start training for ministry until my late thirties. However, when I finally embarked on the path God had called me to I felt that all of my experience to that point had been preparing me for that step so I guess the time was right. Having trained as a minister I then went to work in the central offices of the Church of Scotland in 121 George St Edinburgh. (As my husband is also a minister we thought that two parish ministers in one household was probably one too many!) I worked in Congregational Development for four years and then moved into ministerial formation and from 2005 to 2015 I organised training for candidates for our various ministries.

While this work was fulfilling and satisfying – Iconsidered the students to be my parish – I always had the sense that I would one day be in a parish of my own. Nevertheless, I was somewhat surprised when it actually happened (showing that I am, in fact, a bit dense!). Truthfully, I think I was more surprised than anyone else, but finding myself minister of Campsie Parish Church I feel like a round peg in a round hole!

My church interests are liturgy, the theology of sexuality and pastoral supervision and I am currently studying part time for a Doctorate in Pastoral Supervision. Other interests are reading, writing, painting and sewing. My ministry priorities are worship and liturgy, education and discipleship, and engagement with the parish and community … oh, and people! I am passionate about people finding fulfilment in their Christian lives and discovering gifts and talents they didn’t know they had.

Click here to read more of my biography

Pastoral Letter - October 2021

Dear friends,


As I write this, we have a sense of life returning to a semblance of normality, with decreased necessity for social distancing, and most normal activities reopening. In the church building we can now sing, and seating has returned to normal although there is still the option of distancing if it makes people feel more comfortable, and of course we still have to wear masks. Above all we want people to feel safe.

It has been a difficult 18 months. Keeping in contact with everyone has been challenging and in days gone by would have been well-nigh impossible. However, some things have been maintained throughout this time, and through the wonders of technology we have been able to continue to worship. This is particularly important, I think, as it’s easy to forget that God is our source of hope and stability, and not our circumstances. As the apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:11 – 12, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Paul could say this because his source of contentment was his life in God.

In all the challenges of the last 18 months, as a congregation we have continued to remember those less well off than ourselves. The community larder was well supported by our congregation last summer and made an enormous difference to people suffering through job loss during the pandemic. The Christmas meals initiative was a great success. We continued to give regularly to the Lodging House Mission. Our most recent collection, as well as groceries and toiletries, included £240 which will go a long way to helping LHM provide for those most in need. Thank you for all that you do to regularly support this excellent cause.

As I mentioned on Sunday 3rd, the Church of Scotland has designated September and October as National Giving Months and has encouraged congregations to have a National Giving Day as a thanksgiving to God for his love, mercy, and presence with us throughout our lives, but especially during the last 18 months, and as we move into the future. The Kirk Session of Campsie Parish Church has designated 31st October as our National Giving Day. This is the last day on which any gifts can be received however I will also be present in the church office to receive gifts on Tuesday 26th, Wednesday 27th, Thursday 28th, and Friday 29th from 1 PM to 3 PM, or an envelope clearly marked National Giving Day can be left in the church mailbox. The money raised will be used in two ways: half will go to Campsie Parish Church for, among other things, necessary upgrades to our live streaming equipment, and half will go to a local charity. I would like you to suggest which local charity should benefit from this and, rather than giving a small amount to lots of charities, the charity which receives the most nominations will be given half of the money raised through our National Giving Day.

It has been a pleasure to welcome many of you back to worship in the sanctuary in recent times and I hope to see more of you as the days progress and normality grows.

As always, my prayers are with you all for your health and safety.
Your friend and minister

Jane

Click here to read my Previous Sermons

words

Welcome to my page, and my “blog”. Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about communication. I think that’s probably for three reasons; firstly, I had the misfortune to be on one side of misunderstanding. Secondly, being a minister is at heart about communication. Thirdly, I was thinking about this page and the opportunity to communicate with a wider audience than the congregation on a Sunday morning.

The misunderstanding was frustrating but easily cleared up once we had realised the mistake, yet so often misunderstandings go unresolved because we don’t realise that they have occurred in the first place. Our communication, even carefully thought through, can still pass our audience by, miss the target. Our words are easily misunderstood as they pass in a moment with no record of what was actually said, or tone of voice, which can easily change the meaning of something. To quote “I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I'm not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant”. Communication, which ought to be the easiest of skills since we begin to learn to talk almost as soon as we draw breath is actually one of the most difficult.

In the Church we are very good at talking, and we are also very good at misunderstanding. Conflict often begins with misunderstanding, especially when the issue under discussion is rarely the real problem and so often communication confuses rather than enlightens. It’s not surprising that the apostle James call the tongue “a world of evil” and comment, “Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check”. Our words have the capacity to hurt or to heal, to cool or to inflame, and because communication is difficult, healing words sometimes hurt and cooling words sometimes inflame, undermining our best intentions. To quote James again, “All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by humanity, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison”. As a minister I believe I have a primary responsibility to watch MY tongue, but also to enable others to guard theirs; an awesome responsibility, which is no doubt why James begins the chapter with, “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly”.

The third context in which I was thinking about communication is this page. I am endlessly curious about life the universe and everything and I am always asking questions – of myself and others - and so the opportunity to consider issues of significance is an exciting one, especially where I might get a reaction, provoke a response and start a conversation. The idea to have a “blog” on this page, therefore, seemed obvious. Yet somehow I couldn’t quite get words on paper. It was something to do with, “where do you start?” and the tyranny of the blank sheet of paper. Like starting a conversation at a party when you don’t know anybody. So here is my opening gambit on what I hope will be a conversation. Please consider and reflect, respond and provoke. May we have many an interesting conversation together.


Previous Sermons Header

Sunday Date Title
8th April Weighing up the Evidence
25th March What does Atonement mean?
18th March "What on earth are you doing, for heaven’s sake"
11th March "The Power of Love"
18th February "Wrestling with the Devil"
11th February "Light in the Darkness"
4th February "Do they not know? Have hey not heard"
28th January "The Words of the Prophet are written on the Subway Wall"
21st January "Come and follow…."
14th January "Come and see…."

⇩ 2017 ⇩

⇩ 2017 ⇩

10th December "A voice crying in the wilderness."
3rd December "The signs of the times."
26th November "The sheep and the goats."
19th November "Go in Love...."
12th November "Choose this day whom you will serve"
5th November "Who are the Saints?"
22nd October "In Who's Image?"
8th October "Thou Shalt Not..."!
1st October An honest ‘no’ is better than a reluctant ‘yes’!
17th September The numbers speak for themselves
10th September Where Everybody knows your Name!
3rd September Rock and Stumbling Block
20th August Peace at any price
13th August When Jesus is not in the boat
6th August An Everyday Miracle
30th July Metaphors and Similes
23rd July Faithful Improvisation
25th June He ain't heavy - he's my brother
11th June Who is God?
4th June Divided by a Common Language
21st May To the Unknown God
14th May Living Stones
7th May A Picture paints a thousand words
30th April From Grief to Gladness
23rd April What's it worth?
9th April Refelections on the Cross
2nd April Jesus the True Vine
19th March Brief Encounter
12th March As Stars in the Sky
5th February You are the salt of the earth
29th January An alternative truth
22nd January Will you come and follow me…?
15th January What are you seeking?
8th January When you walk through the waters...
1st January He came from heaven to earth

⇩ 2016 ⇩

⇩ 2016 ⇩

11th December Upside down Kingdom
27th November What are we waiting for?
20th November Risky business
23rd October The Heart of the Matter
16th October Are your ears itching?
25th September I will dwell in the House of the Lord
4th September Family Values
28th August Be careful what you wish for !
21st August Oh What a Lovely View
31st July Forgive one another
24th July Lord, teach us to pray!
10th July Love God and do what you like
3rd July Letting Go!
29th May Be Audacious
22nd May God is Love
8th May Famous Last Words
1st May Do you want to be well?
17th April The Shepherd’s Voice
3rd April I may be wrong, but I doubt it!
20th March When the Cheering Stops
13th March Wasting time with God
6th March Who's Prodigal
28th February Behold I make all things new

Biography Continued .........

While this work was fulfilling and satisfying – I considered the students to be my parish – I always had the sense that I would one day be in a parish of my own. Nevertheless, I was somewhat surprised when it actually happened (showing that I am, in fact, a bit dense!). Truthfully, I think I was more surprised than anyone else, but finding myself minister of Campsie Parish Church I feel like a round peg in a round hole!

My church interests are liturgy, the theology of sexuality and pastoral supervision and I am currently studying part time for a Doctorate in Pastoral Supervision. Other interests are reading, writing, painting and sewing. My ministry priorities are worship and liturgy, education and discipleship, and engagement with the parish and community … oh, and people! I am passionate about people finding fulfilment in their Christian lives and discovering gifts and talents they didn’t know they had.

I am married to David who is part of the Interim Ministry team for the Church of Scotland, meaning he is placed in different contexts for up to eighteen months at a time, and he now lives in my manse (as opposed to me living in his) although he struggles with being a minister’s wife! We have three children who are old enough to be away from home and we are encouraging them in making that adjustment. We have a beautiful yellow Labrador called Noah who is definitely one of the family and keeps us all entertained, like a naughty toddler, as well as ensuring that we get regular exercise.


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