I've been following along with the Cortex for a few years now and so much of what I've heard from them has helped me in various areas of work and life. Whether it was trying to juggle two jobs, a family and church ministry as a volunteer or getting my head around how to track my time once I started in ministry full time, there has been something they've covered that has helped with this.
What I've struggled to try and implement has been keeping a yearly theme. Part of this is because I think, fundamentally, in projects rather than… movements. Work to get a thing done and then it's done. Another aspect of this is that so much of life over the last few years has been kind of transitory. Each year, we have been unsure of where we would be living and working in the following year.
Now, though, we are finally getting closer to knowing where we want to settle. We have a real, deep desire to stay in Scotland. To settle, the get stuck in to a community where we can develop near-distance friendships rather than a growing collection of long-distance friendships.
There is also much work to be done here. With increased secularisation in the culture and in the established church, Scotland is looking to have only 5% of its population in a church on any given Sunday. That's a very sad story for a country that has given the world so much in terms of gospel witness.
With that, the theme for the year 2022 is The Year of Establishment. So much of previous years has been about the new or the unknown. 2022, is about being able to know and to be known.
We have been living as lightly as a family of six can since we arrived. The longer we are here, the more intensely we feel the need to have a home base. Since 2018, we have been walking a line between here and back there in the States. With our hopes and plans of acquiring a family visa in 2022, we are working to establish ourselves as a fully UK-based family.
I've worked in and with multiple churches since 2018, knowing that we would eventually be moving on. Even now, I've begun to work toward joining a church permanently so that we can commit for the long haul.
Our kids are getting older, both girls will be in secondary school next year. Having a stable and established home will make exam time a lot simpler to manage.
Most of all, though, God has had us on a journey without a particular destination in our minds. Now, we at least have a country in mind. We've got family here now. I've been able to build some really good connections with churches as a result of my training course. There are people here that I desperately hope to not have to say goodbye to.
And this is a landscape that has utterly captivated me. We have only just begun to scratch the surface of all there is to see here. We haven't even been to the Highlands and already there is enough to overwhelm.
Establishment is so often used as a byword or an expletive. It's a term of derision. But after years of feeling blown about by the winds, the thought of digging in feels like the right thought.