One of the joys of being a Moderator is in presiding at inductions. It has been my privilege, as Wessex Synod Moderator to celebrate the beginning of many new ministries, and I am now experiencing this on a wider level as a Moderator of the United Reformed Church (URC) General Assembly.
In the last few weeks, I have ordained one minister and inducted two in Wessex, and, from the comfort of my own study, inducted the Revd Jamie Kissack to serve as Yorkshire Synod Moderator. By the time you read this, the two inductions that I’m looking forward to – another minister in Wessex, and that of the Revd Samantha White to be Principal of Westminster College – may have already happened. Most are happening in the strange combination of “live” and ”virtual” that we are currently experiencing.
I don’t think that I am a control freak (though my husband may disagree), but the challenge of hoping that these services run smoothly when, as a worship leader, you can’t see all of what is going on “on screen” is certainly an interesting one. It involves trust in both the people controlling the computers, but also a degree of faith in the technology itself. It’s not always easy.
Trying to ensure that new beginnings are memorable for the right reasons is important. For those starting in new ministries, inductions mark the transition, and give the opportunity to reaffirm faith and commit to a new role. But they are more than a commitment one way. They involve the congregation making promises too. Promising prayer, support and encouragement.
In this way, we covenant together to work in God’s mission, to bring about the growth in God’s kingdom. It’s just a small reflection on the way in which God makes a covenant with God’s people, but it’s an important one. Jamie and Sam have been entrusted with challenging roles by the United Reformed Church. So, whether you were at their inductions or not, please join me in continuing to pray for, support and encourage them in their new ministries.
You might just have a think about other inductions where you have made those promises too. Your minister might just appreciate not only your prayers, but your encouragement. Maybe you could just write them a note to remind them of it.
Clare Downing, September 2020