The Church of Scotland has launched a recruitment campaign for new ministers with a video championing their work in communities featuring Stornoway minister Rev Tommy MacNeil.
The Kirk’s ‘Tomorrow’s Calling’ campaign is reaching out to people capable of replacing the large number of parish ministers due to retire over the next 10 years. The specially commissioned video will be shared on social media from Sunday 17th May where it is intended to inspire a new generation of leaders in the church.
The ‘Tomorrow’s Calling’ video captures the extraordinary commitment of parish ministers serving their communities in Scotland and beyond. The video challenges outdated stereotypes by featuring a selection of the Kirk’s 800 ministers, like 26 year old Rev Michael Mair, who serves at St David’s Broomhouse in Edinburgh. He says: “Being a minister is a phenomenal role to play in the community. You get to journey with people through the highs and lows of life. There’s nothing else like it.”
Rev Tommy MacNeil has pioneered community outreach at Martins Memorial in Stornoway. “I would have done anything to be honest, other than be a minister, but over the course of a couple of years God made it very clear that’s what he wanted from me. I knew it would be demanding. You’re on call 24/7. Although it’s challenging, the more you give to people the more you see the beauty and diversity of life. You never lose from that.”
Rev Stella Campbell at Skene Church in Aberdeenshire is seen displaying her gift for connecting with people at a local care home. She says: “If you feel a sense of calling in your heart you can’t run away from it. Every day there are moments you can look back and smile on, and see something happening that’s a sign of God at work.”
Their job has been described as one of the best in the world, but it’s rarely been publicised at career fairs or on the recruitment pages. The ‘Tomorrow’s Calling’ campaign will let women and men who feel called to serve the church know the many life and professional skills they bring with them are valued, whatever age they are. It will guide them through the process of becoming the next generation of parish ministers in the Kirk’s 1400 congregations.
‘Tomorrow’s Calling’ is being launched in front of 3000 Church members at the Heart and Soul festival in Princes St Gardens this Sunday May 17th. Ministers featured in the film will be joined on stage by the incoming Moderator, Rev Dr Angus Morrison.
“I’m very excited about ‘Tomorrow’s Calling,’” he says. “It’s a bold step which is vital for the future of our national Church. We need leaders who will champion our work.Our 400,000 members are the backbone of their communities, providing millionsof hours of voluntary service in social clubs for young and old, helping run foodbanks and innovative projects such as supporting those sufferingdementia. Our parish ministers bringimagination, creativity and the love of Christ to those who need it.”
For the first time, the Church is using a social media campaign to promote parish ministry.