For a few weeks now, I’ve been quietly working in my new position as minister of Graceview Presbyterian Church. It’s been a lovely beginning – one in which I have been warmly welcomed and encouraged by the people of this church.
On Sunday September 10th, at 3 p.m., we made it all official as the Presbytery came to lead us in a service of induction. One of my colleagues recently referred to her induction as “getting married to the people” of the church she is serving. I thought – what a great way of looking at it!
Ministry is a covenant. It’s an agreement between an individual (the minister) and a group (the congregation) to live, grow and and journey in faith together. At it’s best, the covenant of ministry is our commitment to love each other through thick and think, good times and bad, celebrations and sorrows – which is why marriage is a good metaphor.
My favourite singer/songwriter, Andrew Peterson, writes this about marriage:
‘I do’ are the two most famous last words
The beginning of the end
But to lose your life for another I’ve heard
Is a good place to begin
‘Cause the only way to find your life
Is to lay your own life down
And I believe it’s an easy price
For the life that we have found
And we’re dancing in the minefields
We’re sailing in the storm
This is harder than we dreamed
But I believe that’s what the promise is for
So when I lose my way, find me
When I loose love’s chains, bind me
At the end of all my faith, till the end of all my days
When I forget my name, remind me
-Dancing in the Minefields, Andrew Peterson
Often living in relationship is harder than you’d dream, but that’s what the promise is for: to keep you in the relationship when it might be easier to run away.
At Sunday’s service, both myself and the people of Graceview made promises. We promised to encourage each other, to work together, to remember that God was the one who brought us together, and to honour God in all that we do. These are great promises for and it’s been a wonderful beginning. May God continue to bless us as we continue to journey in faith!