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V&A - Q&A

“Have you been yet?”


This is the question people in Dundee are asking one another at the moment. They are referring of course to the V&A.


“Have you been yet?”


And some of the answers received:


· “I’ve been twice – there’s so much to see!”

· “I think I’ll wait till there are no queues …” (But there are only queues because people from within the city boundary and beyond are coming)

· “I’m going with my son and daughter when they’re back home from London.”

· “It’s brilliant!”

· “I can’t believe Dundee has got such a fabulous building!”


I haven’t heard any negative responses yet but, let’s be honest, they are out there too. There’s the Councillor from Lochee who declined the invitation to the opening because he represents some of the poorest folk in our city. It was his thoughts, and others in similar vein, alongside the above enthusiasm, that gave rise to this prayer which I used in both churches on the Sunday of the opening weekend.


Lord God, source of all activity and creativity

Here we are in a city poised on the brink of a new venture

This is home

For some – the place where they have been born and brought up

For others – where they settled once married or moved to for employment

For some, the V&A opening marks the start of a Dundee

that will be synonymous with culture of the highest quality and value

For others, the statistics around teenage pregnancy and drug-related deaths

take shape in actual people, whose stories are heart-breaking

Here in our city centre church, we see both sides

for discount stores and designer boutiques are but metres apart

Bright new hotels looking for well-heeled clients

Shabby old buildings, shuttered, long since vacated

And everything in between

Some heads are down, looking at phones as they walk

while other heads are just down

Seagulls watch with beady eyes for thrown-away pies and burgers

- the scraps from the careless rich who don’t know how lucky they are

Bringing to mind, Lord, your Son’s encounter with the Canaanite woman

who appealed to him to cure her sick daughter

When he questioned her faith - for she was not Jewish

she was quick to point out that even the dogs got the crumbs

from the wealthy man’s table

She got the result she desired – healing for her child

Heavenly Father

Thank you for her example

We pray that we too might be able to look beyond the problem

right in front of us

so that the way is clear to see a solution

We pray that we might have no fear of standing up as advocates

for there are so many who are weaker than us and need our help

Above all, enrich our faith to be a faith which acknowledges no boundaries

- a faith which is at the same time humble

Help us, dear God, to keep extending your Kingdom here in our city

Let’s go public with the good news of your everlasting love

through Jesus Christ, who lived and died and rose again

for all our sakes

Amen

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