Not the Usual
The induction of the Rev. Anita Kerr to the linked Dundee city centre charge of Meadowside St Paul’s and St Andrew’s: Friday 27th November 2020.
Present in the sanctuary of St Andrew’s were members of Anita’s family, of both congregations and of Presbytery, as you would expect - just the usual.
But what wasn’t the usual was that the total number attending was a little under 50, the maximum allowed owing to Covid-19 restrictions.
What wasn’t usual was the seating of people at 2 metres’ distance from those not in their families or social bubble; the low number of Presbyters and the absence of ministers from other denominations, thereby diminishing the colourful variety of clerical wear typically seen on such occasions; no-one in the gallery except for the organist; no singing; no right hand of fellowship, hugging or kissing; no welcome social following the service, when the tables are typically laden with wonderful savouries and delicious home-baking, and the air is thick with many lively conversations going on at once.
But there was lovely music played by Ruth on the organ, with some hymn words in particular setting the scene:
Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and worship his holy name.
Let us build a house where love can dwell and all can safely live.
Jubilate, everybody, serve the Lord in all your ways.
I’ll live in you if you’ll live in me, I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.
Praise and thanksgiving, an acknowledgement of God above us, beside us, within us, guiding and inspiring us. A God of joy, who fills us with joy. As we read in the book of Job (chapter 8, verse 21; Bildad speaking to Job): “God will fill your mouth with laughter and shouts of joy will be on your lips”.
We might not have been able to sing our hearts out, but our hearts are full of hope as we embark on a new stage of our journey together.
The formalities were duly observed during the service: the procession, the promises, the paperwork.
Now let the work begin! And how appropriate that Anita should conduct her first service as our minister on the first day of the Christian year.
May God bless us all during this season of Advent.
“We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose.” (Romans chapter 8, verse 28)