This Sunday, with the Feast of Christ the King, the Church year is coming to an end. In the life of GSM, this Sunday also brings the ending of the rich, creative and fruitful ministry of the Revd Devin McLachlan, who has served GSM as Associate Vicar for seven years, providing a steady, wise and loving presence, which covered the departure of two incumbents. Coming from the American Episcopal Church, Devin has been a gift and blessing for many, not only at GSM, but also for our partners in the University, the City and interfaith Community. During the pandemic, he was instrumental in quickly developing an online presence reaching far beyond the church family, as well as creating opportunities for gathering, pastoral support and spiritual enrichment to keep people connected. On Sunday, we too have an opportunity to show our huge appreciation and say thank you for Devin’s ministry among us.
The following Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent, the beginning of the new church year. The seasons of the church year remind us that time is God’s gift to us. We can often feel frustrated by the quick passing of time and all that needs to be done in the hours available to us. When thinking about the gift of time, I find it helpful to draw on the two Greek words for time, chronos and kairos. Chronos describes the continuous passage of time, whereas kairos could be described as denoting an opportune time, a point of intersection, when God’s grace comes more fully into focus.
The season of Advent emphasises the importance of preparation, getting ready, longing for the coming of Christ, at the first Christmas, in our lives and world now, at the second coming. God takes the initiative, God is with us, God makes things new. It is for us, individually and as a Church, to be open to this, to notice and see. Therefore, among the busyness of the pre-Christmas season, at GSM, we are offering opportunities for prayer and reflection, with a suggestion for Advent reading, a silent prayer group at Monday lunchtimes, home groups, our Advent procession and other church services.
This Advent and Christmas season, many at GSM will sorely miss Devin. We are invited to entrust our sense of loss, our gratitude and deeper longings to God, as we pray, wait and watch for God’s action in us and among us.
With our gratitude and prayers for Devin and his family,
wishing you a blessed Advent.