fellowship and a ring

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After last Sunday’s service, a group of folk from Refuge went out to the local, Boyd Roderick, for lunch to say 'cheerio' to Steven Paterson. This week, Steven has moved to America in order to marry his fiancée, Rochelle (they are getting married on the 23rd of December). We were sorry to say goodbye to Steven and he will be missed. In particular, the Wednesday night Community Group will miss his friendship and humour. Amongst the things cited by Steven that he will miss in the States are: Irn Bru, haggis, proper football, and the natural beauty of Scotland. But it's the people that he’ll really miss—his family, his friends—to say nothing of Oscar, the dog. He will, of course, miss Refuge, too!

We prayed for Steven at the end of our service; and before doing so we read these words:

Just as a body, though one, has many parts,
but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.
For we were all baptised by one Spirit so as to form one body
—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—
and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
— 1 Corinthians 12:12–13

Even though Steven is moving to the States and won't be around in Glasgow any longer we have reason to be encouraged—we are still part of the one body. Furthermore, Steven has generously extended an invitation for any of us to ‘drop by and see them’ in the States!

 
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An adventure

Before he left Scotland, Steven wrote:

“I’m going on an adventure!” were the words exclaimed by Bilbo Baggins [in JRR Tolkein’s The Hobbit] as he set out on a journey to a faraway land. Part of me feels like him—albeit a good bit taller and with a lot more luggage. My last adventure led me to Wales and back again. It was during that time, and the intervening period, that God has steered me towards church planting. Somewhere along the way I have also picked up a fiancée, Rochelle, who hails from Louisiana. On the 23rd of December, she’s becoming my wife; and like Bilbo, I, too, shall find myself bearing a ring (although, in my case, one that will prevent me from disappearing)!
Whilst I am naturally delighted to be gaining new family by marrying Rochelle, I will miss Refuge too. In many ways Refuge is like extended family to me. Refuge feels like family and whilst that may seem clichéd, it doesn’t make it any less true. As a church family, we’ve seen grace displayed, we’ve witnessed love, we’ve mourned with those who mourn and we’ve rejoiced with the joyful. That is family.

I came to Refuge two-and-a-half years ago to learn about, and witness, a new church plant—but in sharing through worship, prayer, communion and Bible read-through (amongst other things) I’ve learned more about church than I'd anticipated (despite having grown up in church from the earliest age). Moreover, I have increased in love for God and for His people that meet in Pollokshaws. I’ll miss seeing everyone on a Sunday and in community groups—and just generally meeting up with people throughout the week.

A special thanks to my community group for putting up with me and also to Peter who has been an excellent pastor, mentor and friend.
 

Church Planting

Part of the time Steven shared with Peter had been learning about church—and what that looks like—which will be significant for the days and months ahead in America. Whilst Steven is initially moving to Louisiana, he and Rochelle are intending to move out of State at some point; with the long-term aim of planting a church (possibly somewhere in New England). There is also a possibility that he might be doing a church planting internship next year in New York. For now, Steven is very excited to be moving to Gramercy, Louisiana to get married, and he's 'super excited' to see Rochelle—it was six months before they were reunited!

 

Pray:

  • Please pray that Steven would adapt quickly to a different culture and married life—two big changes in close proximity!
  • Please pray for God’s blessing on their marriage and on their (outdoor) wedding day.
  • Please pray for guidance as to a more definite location where they can live, work and invest their time with a view to sharing the gospel.
 
Steven & Rochelle

Steven & Rochelle