Letters, News and Intimations

From the Minister

I hope that you had some time to relax over the Summer period. It is good to get time to catch up with friends and relatives or to spend those lazy days of Summer together. There are some who love to lie back in the sun and say nothing……others who need to be kept busy on tours and finding out about the area.

I mid June 2017, I went off to Krakow and had a wonderful time there. I was told that a visit there was not complete without a visit to Auschwitz….that dreadful camp and Birkenau where 960,000 thousand Jews were murdered. Even the locals encouraged such a visit since they wanted the world to know about it and make sure such a thing never happened again. It was the strangest experience because although there were hundreds of people visiting there was little noise. As the guide took us round there were few who spoke.

We simply heard and tried to comprehend the horror of what went on there. It was a gruelling visit but I am glad I did it. During those three hours my friend and I hardly spoke as we tried to take in all that went on. There were Jewish people there with their Rabbi who sang the service for the dead. It became clear that every Jew is advised that they must make a pilgrimage to this place. I would say that everyone should since it showed the horrors of war but also what we human beings did to each other. It was a moving experience as we looked through rooms and realised what went on. Yet there are still some who say it never happened. Yet my abiding memory is a strange silence. And no birds flying over this vast area or seen at all. It was as if even nature was silenced in the aftermath of the horrors of this place. Sometimes silence is the only response.

A wonderful Jewish phrase is “I believe in God even when he is silent”. We have to believe that even in silence God is there walking the very corridors of our souls, tiptoeing in and out of our lives. When things are bad (and we all have our share of bad things) and all the legions of hell seem to be marching on us….listen for that still small voice. The first book of Kings reminds us how God spoke to Elijah…not in the wind or the earthquake or the fire but “After the fire there was the soft whisper of a voice” I Kings 19:12.

We see Him at work in our lives and Church…silently moving. Because God seems silent does not mean He is not there. In the next month, The Kirk Session will be meeting in conference to seek the way of God for this Church and parish for the next year. In the silence of our hearts there have been whispers of hope for this Church, mutterings of what might happen in years to come. We believe that in the silence of our souls God speaks and this who are attentive will hear Him.

This congregation is a listening one…..let’s listen to each other…to those whose whom we seem wiser that ourselves…and even where there seems to be silence The Master speaks in the corridors of our souls.

Every blessing and good wish!

 The Revd Dr Angus Kerr

General Intimations

Any used postage stamps? These are a valuable source of income for the world wide work of the Church. Please put your stamps with paper edges cut around the stamp left untouched into the box provided in the vestibule of the church.

Donations for Whitburn Foodbank can be placed in the box within the church hall.