It's 6.30 on Tuesday the May. I sitting in Heathrow Airport waiting for the age to open. I arrived two hours early and tried to sweet talk the my way onto an earlier flight but unfortunately I had no success. So I decided to try and bring the blog up to date.
Returning from Skye last week I found myself attending the Annual Strathclyde University Dinner. It was a grand affair. It took place in the Barony Halls in Glasgow. the Barony Halls of course were in fact the Barony Church. the Church of Scotland sold the building to the University for the grand sum of £100. All the pews have been removed architectural sensitive lighting has been installed and the building looks magnificent.
Strathclyde was University of the Year in the Times Educational Awards. It sounds as though they truly merit the honour. I found it inspirational listening to
the aims and objectives of the University. Their strap line a " Place of Useful Learning for All" must surely be worth pursuing. The evening concluded with an outstanding motivational address by Sir Harry Burns, The Chief Medical Officer for Public Health.
By the time Friday arrived I was packing up my goods and shackles from the Moderator's Flat and heading back to Bo'ness to finish the last few weeks of my Moderatorial from the prestigious Manse of St Andrew's Bo'ness.
Sunday arrived and I was on the road heading for Milngavie to preach at St Paul's Parish Church. this was an excellent service. The Church was packed to overflowing as members of the congregation came to give thanks to God for the outstanding leadership of Fergus Buchanan. Fergus has been their minister for the past 25 years and the congregation wanted to mark the event with a celebration.
There was something quite wonderful to observe the relationship between Fergus and his congregation. There was an ease of communication and a sense of unity that must at least partly be attributed to the long years of service and commitment that is so obvious been minister and people.
All this caused me to reflect on the great dividend that can be reaped when God's people dwell together in unity.
I'm also aware that there is a downside to long ministries. It is important that congregation and minister continually refresh themselves by being open to doing things in a different way. They also need to be willing to change tac and perhaps go down a different route. One thing is for certain nothing stays the same in life and the Church has to be willing to engage with the changes. Engaging with the changes need not mean that we endorse them but it does mean that we try to understand the reasoning behind such changes so that we can be ready to give a reason for the hope that lies within us.