We are all part of the one body
South East Edinburgh is well known for the good relations that exist between its churches. This has come about because our shared ideal has been to consider ourselves part of the one body – the body of Christ on earth. As Paul says (1 Corinthians 12), when one part of the body suffers, we all suffer, just as when one part rejoices, we all rejoice.
Five years ago our unity bore fruit in the linkage of Liberton Kirk with neighbouring church of KLM. (No! We don’t mean the church of a Dutch airline company, we mean Kaimes Lockhart Memorial Church, serving the people of Gracemount, Southhouse, and Burdiehouse). The aim of the linkage was not to close down another church, but rather to revive it and build it up again. So, when Dave Rankin was appointed as the new KLM minister, 12 members of Liberton went along with him to help.
Since then, the revived KLM church has been making steady progress, and not without setbacks. One of these happened within weeks of Dave’s appointment, when the KLM building had to be demolished. The congregation continued with Sunday worship, meeting first in St Catherine’s Hall, and now in the Libertus Building, opposite the Leisure Centre, as well as meeting at the old KLM Manse for midweek fellowship. They also run a toddlers group in the Community Centre, homework clubs, after school clubs and holiday clubs, and their members are involved in a number of other community initiatives in the area.
Dave Rankin’s appointment was for five years, and he has done a good job. On an average Sunday morning you will find between two and three dozen people worshipping together at the Libertus building, and many of them also meet up during the week. Numbers are slowly growing, mainly in the area of families with young kids due to all the connections being made. The average age of the congregation is now lower than we have here at Liberton Kirk.
Bearing all this in mind, Dave’s announcement, last month, that he had been called to serve the congregation of Riverside church, in Perth, caused much sadness and concern. What would the future hold for the people of KLM?
The news, however, is good. We are being given the money to appoint a replacement, and we hope to start advertising soon. In the meantime the KLM leadership are going to be thinking and praying about their vision for the future, and particularly their vision for the plot of land in the heart of Gracemount where the old KLM building once stood. The vision that results will then give them a good idea of the sort of leader they will need to appoint.
So, how can we help? Here are some thoughts –
- We can keep praying – that God would make this transition time a time of real blessing
- We can support – why don’t you give up one of your Sunday mornings at Liberton, and join with the people worshipping at the Libertus building
- We can volunteer – The one area where KLM really needs our help just now is in looking after the children who have begun to come on a Sunday morning.
We say we are all part of the one body. Now’s the time to show it.