|Montacute Baptist Church - scene of last Saturday's Induction|
However, I’ve had five Inductions myself and I remember every one with surprising clarity!
The strange, yet wonderful, thing about them is the opportunity to invite and greet people from different ‘phases’ of the past. It’s odd seeing friends from Pastorate No.2 sitting alongside friends from Pastorate No.4! (I wouldn’t want to push this comparison too far but maybe it feels a bit like attending one’s own funeral!)
I have to say on Saturday we were all very much alive! Just under a hundred of us gathered in this country chapel and the singing was inspirational! Stories were told, vows made and partnerships re-affirmed. It had all the ingredients of a good and blessed beginning.
Years ago I had to write a piece for College on the significance of Induction Services; so, I deconstructed the liturgy, analysed the vows and generally ‘pulled’ the service apart!
I’m sure it was a helpful experience and gave me a greater awareness of what was going on. I was particularly struck when interviewing one lady about the forthcoming Induction of her minister. As it was scheduled for early September (a popular Induction ‘season’!) she couldn’t attend, having already booked a holiday. ‘He’ll keep’ she said! And I suppose there was a lot of truth in that!
All I can say about Saturday’s Induction is that it just seemed so ‘right’. It was a time of natural and unforced ‘joy’. In short there was a sense that we were all standing on ‘holy ground’ and God was in this place.
So, my prayer for this new partnership between pastor and people is that something of the joy and hope-filled trust at the centre of Saturday’s service will characterise the days that lay ahead.
God bless you Pastor Heather and the good folk of Montacute Baptist Church.