Sunday 2 January 2011

New Ahead

David Arthur from Wakefield took the service today, on the theme of the new, and had liaised with me about the music. To demonstrate the new sound system he suggested Vivaldi's Four Seasons Winter. Now there are various parts to that, but it was fairly obvious he meant the opening three minutes. So having already demonstrated its clarity and some volume, he announced at the pulpit that he'd selected this piece and with me to show the power now available. I knew that the wave pattern was small for an introductory period, and then the violins and orchestras bang in. And so they did, and probably gave folks quite a jump. It needed turning down, and yet the gain was only at a quarter and the sliders about three quarters. I took in the Beatles Day in the Life and from that swapped the jacks around if afterwards. People remarked about the clarity as well as the sheer power.

So that's new for the new year, and soon we will follow up what is already begun, which is to find a minister. Although anyone can apply, and that would mean in some cases a lay leader, there is a demand for a minister: professionally trained and all that (although there are no exclusive roles). The problem is finding candidates. Despite small and struggling congregations in many cases, there is more demand for and ability to pay ministers than candidates available. There is no test of belief, just a sympathy required with an enquiring approach to religion. The minister would be a key person in developing the congregation, and representing it into the community including people of different faiths and with the denomination. In the Hull church a minister would as much assist others to worship as to deliver the worship themselves. On principle Unitarians don't discriminate when it comes to gender or sexual orientation.

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