A cheerful giver!
It is over two years since the start of my involvement with Meadowside St Paul’s and St Andrew’s. During that time I have made many friends in both congregations, got to know people in other denominations and become acquainted with parts of Dundee which were previously just lines on the map.
There have been some challenges as well as triumphs, laughter as well as tears, celebrations of new lives through baptism and of lives ended in funeral services. Some previously unknown hymns have become familiar and various well established traditions have been upheld. Although our social lives have been seriously curtailed by the restrictions of the pandemic, we have remained in touch with one another, offering support in emotional, spiritual and practical ways.
I will particularly treasure the memories of those times when members of both congregations came together, for this seemed to me to be an important aspect of the ministry I was called to offer. These included the Links ceilidh, discussion evenings in the Sleeperz Hotel and the St Andrew’s Day celebrations in 2019. The Guilds deserve a special mention at this point, for they invited each other to a number of events without any prompting from me; I hope that Guild members feel they have benefitted from coming together in this way.
So do I need to say that I have enjoyed my time in these two city centre churches? I hope it will be obvious: from this blog and from my participation in congregational life. The last thing I needed was thanks, in that this part-time ministry was something I really wanted to do.
But my last Sunday service at St Andrew’s before Anita’s induction concluded with a word of thanks from the Session Clerk and the gift of a basket of flowers. Equally, I’ve been left in no doubt of the appreciation of people in Meadowside St Paul’s but, as I’m a member there now, I would not be looking for a gift in kind, for I’ve just been doing my bit, using the gifts with which God has blessed me, as indeed we all aim to do.
Let me conclude with part of a prayer I used on Sunday (15th November):
We give thanks that you have called Anita to be our minister
Give her all that she may need to serve you well
and make us quick to offer our help and support
As scripture says, you love a cheerful giver!
And so, dear God, accept our offerings today - in envelopes, cash and electronic transfer
May these gifts, together with the other gifts we have at our disposal,
build up the Church in this city and your Kingdom on earth
We include in our prayers the folk who have no money to speak of
As Christmas, the so-called season of giving, approaches
prompt us to be generous to those beyond our own family circle
whether through this city’s foodbanks, Christian Aid or some other charity
so that we might be known by our love
just as we have come to know you by your love
in the birth, death and everlasting life of your Son Jesus Christ
in whose name we pray; Amen
“Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2nd Corinthians chapter 9, verse 7)