Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Cairnbulg & Inverallochy - I could never live here!

My Pastor & friend, Roger Blackmore has just celebrated 40 years in ministry as a pastor. He has been posting a few blogs about the various churches he lead over the years. Yesterday he posted about my home village where he arrived in 1976 - Cairnbulg & Inverallochy.

He was 26, but to me at the time a 13 year old kid he was ancient. Our relationship was sealed when he brought me home from a camp because I was ill. A pastor who was willing to listen to me talk about the first love of my life, Aberdeen F C, for 3 hours had to be cool.

I posted here about how he mentored me.

But one story that sticks out in my mind was when Roger met my Uncle Billy.

So many of the men in our tiny village were fishermen. They were away all week and then landed their catch on a Saturday morning. This involved getting up very early and travelling to nearby Peterhead by mini bus. Landing the fish at market then sailing back to Fraserburgh on the boat. Lots of us kids used to go along for the sail.

One of the traditions seemed to be that Pastor had to do this. A sort of unspoken initiation ceremony into the fishing community. (Secretly I think most of the men just wanted to see this guy throw up over the side.)

On picking up Roger, my uncle, not a church goer decided to wind him up a little. So he offered Roger a cigarette. Of course Roger declined politely. To which Billy fell about laughing and suggested that Rog would not have lasted long as pastor if he had taken it.

Then Uncle Billy said something which has stayed with me for over 30 years. (With our Doric dialect I'm not sure if Rog knew exactly what Billy was saying.)

"You see Roger as Pastor of the church you have got to realise that first they will idolise you, then later they will criticise you and in the end they will scandalise you."

It made me so sad then even as a young kid that I knew he was right and now all these years later we in the church keep on repeating the cycle.

Roger became my Pastor when I was 13 and taught me, mentored me, inspired me, laughed with me and cried with me over the next 6 years till I left for Bible College.

Rog says that when he drove into the village for the first time he said he could never live here. I am so thankful he decided to listen to God and stay.

He is now in Long Island, I am in Milton Keynes. Both of us Pastoring, both in great churches. But just sometimes I wish we were both building Jesus Kingdom in the villages which were the centre of our world for so long.


Roger Blackmore said...

Sometimes I wish that too!

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