Letter from our Locum, Joy Codona

As I write my first article as your new Locum I want to first of all say thank you for the welcome, the support and encouragement you have given me since I took up post in March.

As this is the first article I have written for the Church Newsletter perhaps I should tell you a bit about myself.  I have been married for over forty years to my husband Alfie, I have three children, Joy, Diane and Alexander and a granddaughter Amy who is 11 years old. 

I started off my working career as a Trainee Nursery Nurse.  After I was married and my two daughters were born, I went to Coatbridge College to study for Highers and then to the University of Strathclyde where I studied for a Social Science Degree and then a Post Graduate Diploma in Careers Guidance.  In 1980 I joined Strathclyde Regional Council as a Careers Adviser beginning a career, with many changes of job role, which was to last almost 30 years.  I also became an Elder at Airdrie Clarkston Parish Church and through time, leader of the pastoral group there. 

As time went on I felt that God was calling me to a different role in his Church and so I began to train for Readership in 2008.  In 2009 I was offered voluntary severance from my management post and after much prayerful consideration I decided to accept the package offered and leave this work.  I then started as a volunteer with Airdrie Citizen's Advice Bureau where I was offered a part time job speaking to unemployed adults and students about money management and benefits.  I continued to study for Readership and completed the course in October 2011.

After I was 'Set Apart' as a Reader or 'Minister of Word', which is my other title, I responded to requests for Pulpit Supply and then in January 2013 I started to work as Pastoral Locum at Blairhill Dundyvan Church and was with them until the end of February 2015 when Blairhill Dundyvan was linked with the Middle Church.

Since I began as Locum at Old Monkland the time seems to have gone very fast.  I am afraid I am not very good at remembering names but I am good at recognising faces and it is lovely to see those of you who come to Church week by week.  When I have visited folk they have also made me feel welcome and on my visit plan I am currently working through a list of people who have been ill, or bereaved, are housebound.  I have also been busy with Parish Funerals, have taken 2 services in local Care Homes and spent half a day at Kirkshaws Primary School, going round the school, introducing myself and speaking to pupils about the Church and the activities available for young people.

During my time with you I look forward to leading worship and getting to know you better, and as we travel through the coming months I pray that working together we will be able to demonstrate our faith and God's love, by caring for and supporting each other, and by faithfully and effectively carrying out the work that God set before us, so that we are able to make a positive contribution to His Kingdom and the lives of others.

God bless you all