From the Manse

A message from Rev. Dan Harper, July/August 2017


It is a wonderful thing to be looked after by a health care system
that is free at the point of use. It is a wonderful thing to be able to do something we enjoy with old and new friends.

It is a horrible thing to lose somebody we love.

It is a horrible thing to feel lost and alone and hurt for any reason.
Whether we are in the mood for celebration or whether we are in the
mood for a good cry, if we want to dance with joy or if we want to
break things in anger, whatever we feel we can find biblical
precedent for it, and we can almost always find a Psalm to fit the

From the joy of Psalm 100 to the anger and frustration found in
Psalm 13 and everywhere in between the Psalms offer us a
vocabulary and the permission to take all our various feelings to

In the midst of life it is easy for us to think that we can only present
a positive front, it is easy to think the question “How are you?”
should always be answered with “Fine, how are you?”

In our relationship with God, and hopefully in our relationships within
the church, it is right and it is good to be able to answer that
question truthfully and fully. To deepen our relationship with God
and with each other it is important that we are honest and open
about the highs and lows of life.

I challenge you all, this summer and beyond, to honestly ask how
someone is and make the space and time for the answer. Not only
that, I challenge you to respond to the question with an honesty that
can forge and strengthen friendships.

I will start, if at the time of writing at the end of June, you were to
ask me how I am. the honest answer is as follows:

“I’m ok, my head still hurts a bit following my sinus surgery and I’m
a bit tired but I am improving day by day. Also I am currently
distracted from writing my piece for the magazine by the great joy of
hearing my family laughing and singing in the background.”

God bless