Three new ministers vow to serve in pioneering new ways
Published on 8 September 2022 4 minutes read
Two former charity workers and a graphic designer are being ordained as Church of Scotland ministers today.
Ruth Kennedy has been called as a Minister of Word and Sacrament and will take on a "ground-breaking" new pioneer role in Dunblane near Stirling.
The 45-year-old is tasked with sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with people under 40.
Douglas Hamilton is being ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament and will serve the Parish of Traprain in East Lothian.
It includes the villages of Athelstaneford, East Linton, Stenton, Tyninghame, Whitekirk and Whittingehame and the 48-year-old said he is excited about the prospect of reaching beyond the church walls to people who live and work across the area.
Derek Munn has been called to Ordained Local Ministry (OLM) and will serve Queensferry Parish Church linked with Dalmeny.
The 61-year-old said he is "thrilled" and very much looking forward to going out into the wider community and sharing the love of God with individuals and families who do not ordinarily attend traditional Sunday services.
Mrs Kennedy is being ordained at Dunblane Cathedral at 7pm and the service will be streamed online.
A charity sector manager with 20-years-experience, she said it is a "real joy" to be starting her new role which will cover the Dunblane Cathedral and St Blane's Parish Church's parish boundaries.
She said: "I have a favourite song based on 2 Corinthians 5:7 ‘We walk by faith and not by sight.' which aptly sums up my feelings.
"For me, faith is exciting, adventurous and involves a bit of the unknown which is much like the pioneer ministry I am venturing into.
"I hope to nurture a team from across Dunblane who are enthused by Jesus to listen, love and serve the under-40s with different and fresh expressions of Church.
"The work of this ministry is with those not connected with a Church, who might be curious about faith and have contemporary rhythms of life which leave Sunday mornings packed with other commitments.
"Sometimes that can be work, family activities, arts or sport and hopefully, I can partner with God in what He is doing to bring more of Jesus in creative, innovative and contextually relevant ways."
Born into a family of Church of Scotland ministers spanning five generations, Mrs Kennedy, who was raised in Dalkeith, Midlothian, is married to Stuart with whom she has three teenage sons.
She is the sports chaplain for Scottish Cycling Cross Country Mountain Bike race series.
Mr Hamilton is being ordained and inducted at Prestonkirk, East Linton at 7pm.
Before training for the ministry, he was Director of The RS Macdonald Charitable Trust, which awards around £2.5 million to charities in Scotland every year.
Mr Hamilton is a former Head of Scotland for Save the Children and used to work for Barnardo's Scotland as a research and policy officer.
"My ordination and induction marks the start of a new phase for me and the Parish of Traprain which has a history of Christian witness and worship that dates back to the 7th century," he said.
"One of the things that drew me to the church was the emphasis on connecting with and serving the wider communities across the parish.
"There are so many good local initiatives in this area and my hope is that we will build on the strong links we already have in order to show God's love and bring about positive change for the people who live and work here.
"A lot of my previous professional and voluntary experience has been about addressing some of the challenges faced by children and young people, and I am particularly looking forward to working with schools and community organisations in whatever way I can best support them.
"I am also excited about exploring new ways to engage children, young people and families in the life of the church."
Edge of society
Mr Hamilton, who is a member of the CrossReach board, said the parish church has gone through a lot of changes in recent years but there is a recognition locally that further change is needed to ensure that it remains relevant.
"In order to do that it is vital that we take time to listen to the needs and concerns of people of all ages, particularly those who are most vulnerable and marginalised," he added.
"Jesus had a major concern for those who were at the edge of society and the church is called to do the same."
Mr Hamilton is married to Suzanne and the couple have two teenage children.
Mr Munn is being ordained and introduced as an OLM at Queensferry Parish Church at 7pm and the service will be streamed online.
He said: "It's been a four-year journey from when I completely unexpectedly heard God calling me to ministry and what a journey it's been.
"It's a real example of what can be achieved when, like Peter you step out of the boat and put your trust in Jesus.
"I've met some amazing inspirational and supportive people along the way and I am looking forward to working in a pastoral role within the local community, particularly with older and vulnerable people."
Thinking out of the box
Mr Munn, who is married to Fiona with whom he has a grown-up son, said the Church has a key role to play in supporting people affected by the cost of living crisis.
"As we move into a very uncertain winter, I know the church can play a huge part in being there for people, both practically and spiritually," he added.
"I have been really impressed with the ‘can do' attitude of the congregations at Queensferry and Dalmeny and I am excited to be involved in various fresh expressions of church initiatives."
Mr Munn is a graphic designer by trade and said having a creative mind has helped shape his preaching style as "thinking out of the box can sometimes help get across some tricky concepts".