There's no surprise in finding that I'm at church on Sunday! From earliest childhood this was what we did as a family - and now that I'm a priest it continues to be my way of life.
The "surprise" in today's photograph is that I'm back in a Presbyterian Church for the second consecutive Sunday! Last week I preached in Windsor at the service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Today I was one of the invited guests who gathered to celebrate the amalgamation of Ulsterville and Windsor into one church. The former church has closed and the minister, Ivan, has retired. The present minister of Windsor, Paul, will take the new congregation into the future. The Methodist Church and ourselves, the Anglicans at Saint Nicholas', were invited to join the Presbytery as the union was made formal.
I can imagine that the thought of all this change might be unsettling - but the preacher addressed that question and took from Revelation 21 the promise that God makes all things new. David spoke of a New Horizon and a New Home; going on to encourage the people to reach out into the city in mission.
"By the grace of God, we covenant with you in your life and service as Christ's people in this place. We recognize you as one congregation in this communion. We promise you our oversight and support. We share with you in the life and mission of The Presbyterian Church in Ireland and of the whole church of Jesus Christ."
who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit
upon your Church in the burning fire of your love:
Grant that your people may be fervent
in the fellowship of the gospel;
that, always abiding in you
they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer
(Collect of the Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity)