Letter from the Manse – September 14

Dear Friends

This letter is very difficult to put together, because this is my last letter from Clincarthill’s manse. It is with a very heavy heart that Mary and I leave you as we have been very happy in Clincarthill and we are leaving friends and that‘s never easy. I had included a letter explaining my reasons for moving which was inserted into an order of service in July, and I have asked that an amended version of that letter be reprinted in this issue of the Informer. As is the norm, the jungle drums have been beating and I have heard four different theories why I am moving on, and all of them are wrong. The only reason I am moving is because I  have had a sense that the work I came here to do has been done for some time now, and I sense God calling me on. There is a full explanation in the letter printed under the heading Mike’s Explanation on the website.

This December will mark six years since I arrived at Mount Florida fresh out of training full of nerves and trepidation, and what a journey we have had! In the process of leading you into union, and then going through the refurbishment process, I have discovered what I believe may be my ministry, and that’s helping congregations through transition. As you know, I am going to Thornliebank and they too are a congregation about to go through a similar transition to ourselves.

I sincerely apologise to those who have been disappointed and even angry by my moving on and I hope you come to understand that I don’t particularly want to leave, but I feel that in the interest of Clincarthill, and myself, that I have to. I would have loved to be able to stay and even retire from Clincarthill, but that’s not God’s plan and I must be obedient to Him. May I thank you all for your love and support, especially through the time of our union and refurbishment, and may I especially thank Sheila for her guidance and counsel. She has been a delight  to work with and I would ask that you support her in the coming months. There are so many more people I would like to thank personally for their support but I would run the risk of missing someone, but you know who you are.

God calls us to serve Him in many different ways and in different places. Let us remember that God’s Kingdom is always wider than where we are right now. God’s Kingdom is larger than our own narrow boundaries, and pray that God will show us where, and when to serve Him.

You have bright and exciting future ahead of you, so please know that God is with you.

With blessings and best wishes

Mike Gargrave