Shoes Bro’s Side-kick and fond friend Father Boyd had me close to tears describing his sense of ‘being an insider’ at Fullarton ConneXions’ launch, part of ‘The Family’ as Fullarton Parish Church celebrated the official opening of our new buildings. Entering ConneXions he was warmly greeted by my mother and mother-in-law! Such is the fruit of 20 years’ friendship and collaboration, and an example of many mutually caring and connected relationships which converged on ‘ConneXions’, a growing Thoroughfare for Church and Community.

Rev Dr Angus Morrison, Moderator of The General Assembly of The Church of Scotland, encouraged us ‘in Christ’ to be the priestly bridge between people and God, helping neighbours experience and excel in God’s Grace and Love, to find in Christ The Corner Stone from and upon which we ‘living stones’ are being built into God’s Home.

We ‘fair gie’d it laldy’ (belted it out) as we sang and gave God all the glory and prayed for ConneXions to become more and more a people, place and practical demonstration of God’s caring presence in Irvine. The last verse of ‘Let Us Build A House’ puts it,

‘Let us build a house where all are named,
their songs and visions heard
and loved and treasured, taught and claimed
as words within the Word.
Built of tears and cries and laughter,
prayers of faith and songs of grace,
let this house proclaim from floor to rafter.
All are welcome, all are welcome,
all are welcome in this place.’

And so we press on to enable more and more in our neighbourhood to make meaningful ConneXions within and without; to promote caring relationships and the celebration of a full life; to help people take steps closer to a positive, life-changing realisation of Jesus Christ.

As the Scottish Parliamentary Elections fast approach, last Tuesday I chaired a ‘hustings’ (debate) between candidates for our constituency. With a good public turnout, it was a lively, passionate and respectful forum for varied views. ‘Giving Something Back’ organised the night and there was a united consensus among candidates and attendees that we are all at our ‘human best’ seeking the ‘common good’ and giving something back to our neighbourhood and community. At ConneXions’ Launch It was encouraging to have numerous community representatives identify with and support our purpose at ConneXions. Here Provost Joan Sturgeon cuts the cake and congratulates.

And Father Willie got the biggest laugh. He handed me 3 cards, 2 could have been for me, but weren’t (Celtic Design of ‘Jesus’ / ‘Great Things Take Time’), the one for me summed up yesterday beautifully – Ya Dancer!’