Faith is one of those ephemeral things that you canâ€™t see or touch, yet you know is real through personal experience. As St. Michael and All Angels, Helensburgh, eagerly awaits the arrival of our new rector, Dominic Ind, and his wife Anna, we trust God for the future of our church.
The gospel reading for the 29th July is the familiar account of the Feeding of the Five Thousand as recorded in John chapter 6. A vast crowd has followed Jesus to a remote hillside, hanging on his words and wondering at the miracles of healing he was performing. Time goes on and there is a realisation the crowd needs food, yet it is too late to buy anything like sufficient food. All that is available is a boyâ€™s lunch box of two fish and five small loaves. To the astonishment of the assembled crowd and the twelve disciples, Jesus is able to multiply the food abundantly, so much so that twelve baskets were left over. We see the lesson of the abundance of Godâ€™s provision if we exercise our faith and trust God. The reading continues with another miracle, as Jesus comes to the disciples across the sea, as they struggle with a sudden storm. Jesus calms their fears and takes them instantly to their destination. Again, we see the need to trust God when the turbulence and challenges of life seem to overwhelm us.
We look forward with excitement to the Service of Institution on Saturday 4th August, which we want to be a real community event. We know a number of special guests will be present, representing local civic life, HMNB Clyde and our neighbouring churches. Clergy from around the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway will be showing their support for Dom as he is instituted as rector by Bishop Gregor Duncan, and the guest preacher will be the Rt. Rev. David Chillingworth, who was Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church from 2009 until his retirement last year. Our worship will be centred around the celebration of the Eucharist, and we want as many people as possible from our church family, as well as those from other churches and the surrounding community to join in this joyful occasion. There will be â€˜finger buffetâ€™ style refreshments in the upper hall afterwards. If you are able to contribute to the catering, please see Maureen Kyle.
Please do come to this important event which starts a new era in the life of St Michaelsâ€™ church, and bring your friends. We have no idea what the future holds for our church as the adventure begins under the guidance of a new rector. Yet we move forward in confidence and faith because we know Jesus was able to meet the needs of the crowd and took care of the disciples on the stormy sea. Faith may seem vague and invisible, but it is based on solid truth as evidenced in the Bible and in the experience of millions of Christians down through the centuries.
If you are a longstanding resident of Helensburgh, a newcomer or a visitor, why not come along and receive a welcome at the Service of Institution, 1100 on Saturday 4th August, or at any of our regular services on Sundays and Tuesdays?