It’s only the beginning of week two but already it feels like a tumultuous start to the semester, with Glasgow Uni in the UK and national news over COVID- outbreaks and freshers being locked down in halls.
Here in Trinity we have 11 candidates for Word & Sacrament from the Kirk studying alongside one ordinand for the URC and one newly ordained URC minister who are part of the Scottish College. Its our highest enrolment for a few years and I feel encouraged by it at a time when there is plenty to be discouraged by. So welcome Aaron, Adaeze, Chris and Julie – we’ll have some of you for longer than others, but we will enjoy you all while we have you.
We have also this week seen all three of our new Short Courses go live, after a power of work from Mark Johnston and Zanne Domoney-Lyttle to get the administrative processes working smoothly – not easy with a new and non-standard course. I will let Mark blog about these very soon, but this is another great source of encouragement for me. There will be other new courses coming in 2021, as we step up our efforts within Trinity to support the wider Church in these challenging and troubled times.
Today in College worship we marked Harvest thanksgiving with some challenging readings from Isaiah 5 and Matthew 21. Both contain powerful moments when God turns to those listening to the prophecy/parable and says – what do you think? Is this what I am looking for? Is this the harvest I wanted? It’s a question which can and should unsettle and provoke us politically, socially, ecclesiastically and personally.
In this week when the Kirk meets for a constrained and distanced GA online – we watch and pray and listen for the choices and decisions made, which will shape the next few years. More financial support for candidates is coming, which David Fergusson (when he was New College Principal) and myself as Trinity Principal had both argued for - so that is really welcome. There are other structural questions still on the table – for both Forums and Presbyteries and we pray for wisdom and vision in making those choices.
Worship and teaching remain distanced and online for now. It’s a way of loving one another and our neighbours – but it’s hard and not what any of us want. Pray for staff and students that there will be a harvest for Christ and the Church from this time of restriction and struggle.
Doug Gay – Principal of Trinity College