Despite COVID restrictions, we were able to appoint our first pastor, Adam Robertson.

Adam, his wife Iuliana and their daughter arrived towards the end of June ready to start work at the beginning of July.  We asked Adam to introduce himself.

So, Adam, what do you think about…

Adam began serving as Pastor at REC in July 2020, so we thought we’d ask him a few tricky questions….

Q. After living here for a while now, how do you like Yorkshire?

We really like Yorkshire. We had a lovely time back in March (just before the lockdown) in the Dales visiting
sheep, waterfalls and Wallace and Gromit. Since our move we have already spent lots of time at Roundhay Park and I’ve started drinking Yorkshire Tea. We are enjoying life ‘up north’!

Q. Tell us a bit about your family…

I ‘m married to the lovely Iuliana who is from Romania. We first met through serving together at a children’s
holiday club in south eastern Romania in 2010. I am originally from the south of England. Together we have a 4- year old daughter and another child on the way.

Q. What is your favourite film?

This is a difficult one because I don’t have one. The original Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Indiana Jones trilogies are definitely up there. I haven’t actually watched a film for a while. I have more recently enjoyed documentaries on sports, travel, and adventure. I particularly enjoyed BBC 2’s Race Across the World.

Q. Favourite song?

Again, too difficult to single one out. One of my earliest memories was sitting on the living room floor watching the VHS of Shiny Happy People by R.E.M. I’ve recently really enjoyed listening to songs by the band Colony House.

Q. How come you support Wycombe Wanderers?

Whisper it quietly but growing up I was a big Chelsea Football Club fan. It was around the age of 9 when I attended a ‘soccer school’ that I was given a free ticket to a Wycombe game. From that moment I adopted my local ‘lower league’ team. My friend and his dad generously took me along to the home games. This year for the first time in their history Wycombe ceased being among the small clubs having won promotion to the Championship (England’s 2nd biggest league). It was a true underdog story of character, hard work and perseverance.

Q. Lockdown is a funny time to start a new job – what are the challenges?

It is a strange time. Usually in these circumstances a new pastor would be visiting all the regular church activities and seeing what ‘normal’ looks like. These are not‘normal’times and therefore patience isrequired, but that’s the same for everybody: we are all having to adapt. With challenges come opportunities. Opportunities to get to know the church and the community. Opportunities to share the lifechanging message of Jesus. The diary is freer than it has ever been so do get in contact if you’re local: I’d love to meet you!

Q. What are your priorities for the church?

As a church we are very much being reminded now more than ever that the church is people and not a building. Modern technology has enabled us to continue to enjoy our Sunday services, prayer meetings and some other activities and we have much to be thankful to God for. We do long to get back to meeting together physically when the time is right. In the meantime (and always), we need to be a people of prayer who are fed by the life-giving word of God, encouraging one another in the faith and serving our community with the love and good news of Jesus Christ.

We interviewed him regarding the virus and God!

What does the Bible have to say about Covid-19, if anything?

The Covid-19 crisis reminds us (and the Bible tells us) that we live in a broken world. A world not how it was created to be. A world of pain, sickness, and death. This crisis reminds us of the frailty of our lives and the need to make our time on this planet count. I think it is forcing a lot of us to consider the big questions of life and what really matters. We are being shown something that we really should have known all along, but to which we are all naturally blind: there is no real security apart from the one who holds the whole world in His hands.

We like to think we are safe building our own empires, but if they are built on sand then they will all eventually crumble. We are all an hourglass and our time is running out. At times, the fear has been palpable around us; the headlines bleak; precious human lives reduced to mere statistics. And yet…

There is something inside all of us that knows deep down that this life isn’t all there is. ‘God has set eternity in the human heart’ (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We long for more, we long for our lives to matter because they do. We long for higher purpose because there is. We were made to enjoy God and live under his loving rule. Far from the stereotypes some have that Christianity is all about rules, God is a God of immense grace. In the richness of His grace He calls each of us to change our minds, to turn back to Him and give up the self-directed life that will always fail to fulfil and protect us. He calls each of us to freedom and eternal security in Jesus.

Our collective appreciation of the NHS and frontline workers shows that as a society one of the values we esteem is sacrifice: others risking their health for our own. We need to look no further than the pages of the Bible, God’s inspired word, to read of the greatest ever sacrifice: a sacrifice which is at the heart of the Christian gospel (good news). This was a sacrifice for which our debt of gratitude cannot be measured. The innocent saviour Jesus Christ was nailed to a cruel cross in our place, God’s one and only son living the life we could not live and dying the death we deserved. He did this to bring us to God. His resurrection proves that what he came to do has been accomplished, and that for all those who know and trust Jesus there is a way through the other side of this crisis. There is a way that has been opened beyond even death itself. The way, truth and life is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (John 14:6).