The phrase “Dundee United” usually refers to Dundee United Football Club, as opposed to Dundee Football Club. (I know next to nothing about football, except that you mix them up at your peril, as members of your congregation will support one or the other but certainly not both. If you’d like to know more, ask Google.)
Last Sunday – 29th September – saw a different sort of “Dundee United”: our two congregations united for worship, with members who had come from all corners of the city, and beyond. It was particularly uplifting to welcome all of our children and young people into one place, as well as to see people mixing and talking even before the service began.
The Kirk Sessions had agreed in May that we would begin to worship together, at 11.00 am (the old time common to both congregations) on the fifth Sunday of the month, alternating between the two churches.
As the small amount of work required in the manse had been completed, and a date fixed for the first of the congregational viewings, it was an ideal day on which to speak about how the choice and purchase of this house had come about, what the Church of Scotland requirements and regulations are and, last but not least, the faith that lies behind the buying of a property for an individual or family not yet known to the members of the two congregations.
The lectionary passage from Jeremiah (chapter 32), detailing his purchase of a field at Anathoth, while in prison, was perfect for this purpose. Like the prophet of old, we acted in faith, and we continue to pray for the new minister.
Meanwhile we are not idle. As always, a beautiful arrangement of flowers decorated the chancel, this Sunday given in memory of the late husband of one of the St Andrew’s members.
As always, the Seekers (young people) are playing an active part in congregational life. They met on the Saturday in the middle of September to plan and execute their harvest display, with encouragement and advice from the “flower ladies”.
It was still there for the Meadowside St Paul’s folk to admire, though without the Harvest gifts.
Harvest Thanksgiving Sunday was on the 22nd and both congregations had delivered gifts such as a posy of flowers or basket of fruit to members unable to come to Church.
Back to Dundee United. Here are some of the comments after the service on the 29th:
“That was great! We should do this more often!”
“We should just have one church!”
“I liked that – it was informative.”
“Lovely to see so many people!”