I’m kicking myself that I didn’t get a photo of all 5 Revs joining in with the ‘Kirking of The Council’ on Sunday. This tradition spans 100’s of years and allows the newly elected council and employees to be encouraged in their roles as public servants and in seeking the common good.

Fr Boyd, Revs S Black, S Montgomerie, J Whitecross & myself had the privilege of leading worship, sharing & praying with North Ayrshire Council (NAC) in Irvine: Old Parish Church’s sanctuary.

Provost Ian Clarkson had told me that, as well as giving encouragement, it’s a chance to give the council a ‘wee kick up the backside’. Strangely, my spell checker kept changing ‘Kirking’ to ‘Kicking’. So, did I give oor beloved cooncilors & NAC a ‘right guid kicking’?

Not at all! Recent seismic tremors of financial and political changes have left our councils decimated in their ability to meet the real needs of our communities. I pointed us to Psalm 46, ‘Be Still’ amidst earth quake, and ‘know that God is God and us humans aren’t’. What a relief to stop ‘playing God’ and feel the need to be in total control! What hope and strength in a God Who loves us and wants to bless others through us!

I pointed us to Jesus’ beatitudes and His journey, which meets us in our poverty and leads us through mourning painful loss to raw realism and into: a meekness, receptive to God’s new world; a hunger for right relationships; a readiness to channel God’s mercy to others; a growing insight into our core identity as God’s Children that allows us clarity and confidence to become ‘Peace Makers’.

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.” (MSG)

But brace yourself for the next step in Jesus’ journey, Persecution! People don’t always appreciate such counter-cultural change. But be blessed and encouraged when people give you a kicking for standing up for what’s right and godly, you’re in good company!

I commend NAC for its striving to “Deliver better outcomes in partnership with our communities, reducing poverty and building a better future for our young people in North Ayrshire.”

On behalf of God, We Rev’s affirmed such commitment to the vulnerable of our shire. We encouraged greater team work to do it and, committed North Ayrshire churches to praying for NAC Council. We encouraged the seeking of God’s Wisdom, Guidance & Help to serve God and People of the Shire. It starts with a simple prayer, “God Help Us!” and can lead to multiplied blessings.