A group of us made the journey from Kirby Muxloe to Ferndown on Saturday, to support Bob and Ang as Bob was formally inducted as Pastor of United Church Ferndown.
During the service, we heard a little of the church's journey to appointing a new minister, neatly dovetailing with Bob's search for a new challenge and the next stage of his ministry - leaving little doubt that this was God's will for all concerned.
The reading was from Isiah Chapter 6:
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
The Rev Nigel Coles, Regional Minister, West of England Baptist Association (and a good friend of Bob's) gave a sermon, focusing on the phrase "Here am I. Send me!" - talking about how Bob had been obedient to God's call, and challenging us to do the same.
The church had put on a tea afterwards, during which I had the opportunity to catch up with old friends Brian & Beryl Thomas - Brian was my minister at Aylestone Baptist Church many years ago, and had retired to Ferndown some 15 years ago. It was lovely to see them again.
All too soon, it was time for us to board the coach, and begin the journey back to Kirby Muxloe, as Bob and Ang begin their new journey in Ferndown.