This time of year tends to bring with it a bitter-sweet array of goodbyes across the Church of Scotland, as congregations bid a fond farewell to ministry students who have been with them throughout the academic year. For us in Gladsmuir and Longniddry, May sees the departure of Alastair Bruce after seven months with our congregations.
Alastair’s time with us has been a complete joy from beginning to end. He has brought so many gifts and abilities, so much intelligence and energy, plus a real willingness to invest himself in the life and worship of the church. And more than all this, he’s just the kindest and most gracious person any church could ever hope to have as its minister.
My only sadness is that Alastair came to us “only” as a student (as if he did!). Had he left his foray into East Lothian a further year, we might have had Alastair as a probationer for a full 15 months, and how good that would have been. As it is, this summer that pleasure will fall to St John’s Kings Park Parish Church in Dalkeith – fortunate people indeed. I know that everyone here will join me in sending Alastair our heartfelt thanks and very best wishes for the final placement before his ordination.
And, of course, we look forward not only to hearing of Alastair’s continuing success in the months to come, but also to learning of the Bruce family’s happy new addition in the autumn. There is just so much to be excited about for Ali and Nicola.
God bless the Bruce family in their many adventures ahead!