Rev David Kriel was inducted into his new ministry role with Trinity North Uniting Church on Sunday 4 March at St Stephen’s School Duncraig.
Rev Greg Ross led the reflection. He handed out a piece of plasticine to members of the congregation, inviting them to shape it, meditatively, how they please. He then gave examples of people responding to God’s call to do something different, people who were brave enough to step out of their comfort zones and into the unknown, while holding the hand of God.
He shared the story of Florence Nightingale, “who lived out her lifelong calling or mission to change her society so that it truly reflected the prayer of Jesus – may your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven,” Greg said.
“Moses,” Greg continued, “that historical figure who had his life completely transformed from being an adopted royal Egyptian prince who committed murder in a fit of supposedly justified rage to being the fearless leader upon which the nation of Israel was built, is one such figure from the foundation stories of our Judeao Christian faith who demonstrated that your life could be transformed, and that making change and being a leader of people was incredibly frustrating and exhausting.”
He also shared examples from the recent Australasian Messy Church Gathering, Nyungar spirituality and St Paul.
“Throughout all of human history, in every culture, in every land, we have examples of people and communities who have also been completely transformed by very similar encounters with the Divine,” he said.
At the end of his reflection, Greg invited the congregation to scrunch up the model they had made with their plasticine to make something new, asking: “I wonder if you will ask yourself the question: am i ready to put myself and our church in God’s hands, to be remade and reshaped?”
Rev David Kriel responded to his induction with an activity.
He invited the young members of the congregation to throw or kick a pile of colourful balls into the gathering. He then asked people to take a ball and give it to a person in the wider community, as a symbol of sharing the love of God.
“The message was actually very simple,” David said. “It was to demonstrate how we need to find new and exciting ways to live the Gospel, spread the good news and make the kingdom of God real. Thus, throw the Gospel out into your community in any possible creative and colourful way. And it can be done in fun and chaotic manners.
“The kids didn’t need any encourage to have fun with the balls, they were right into it. The same with the Gospel – we’re not supposed to be told how to do it – just do it.”