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Eleven years ago today...

... a 46 year-old me preached for the first time at the Gathering Place.

It was a beautiful spring day, and I vividly recall the colourful azaleas and rhododendrons blooming on the Botanic Gardens.

I remember the all age slot, where I spoke about Susan Boyle's recent appearance on Britain's Got Talent, before preaching on two of favourite gospel men, Peter and Thomas.  I've preached on them a lot since!

After the service we squeezed into the moderator's little red car and headed off to the, then, Church Secretary's home for lunch and 'grill the candidate' time.  Later, another couple took me to the Botanics and gave me tea before dropping me back to the airport.

The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

Today is an equally beautiful day, and my permitted walk took me close to the Botanics, though they were still closed as I was too early. Even so, there are azaleas and rhododendrons on full bloom, blue skies and birdsong.

Today I will reflect on Peter, in a service that borrows a title from that first one.  Being on Zoom is very different - and thankfully no-one (as far as I know) us sussing out my suitability! No lunch with church folk today, no probing questions, no flight to another place.  But lots of memories to cherish, very few regrets, and lots of glimpses of the grace and love of God.

Happy whatever it is to us all - God is good and the Gatherers are great: surely that is sufficient unto the day.


  • This fills me with hope Catriona - I'm coming late to this and needed to see this today...

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