Ministers are never together very long before the conversation invariably turns to funerals. There is no doubt that this time of year brings an increase in the number of funeral services ministers are asked to conduct. A combination of the cold weather and winter viruses. One of the privileges of being a "parish" minister, involved in a "territorial" ministry such as the Church of Scotland values is that anyone in the surrounding area can expect to have the ordinances of religion fulfilled by their local parish church. That includes weddings and funerals.
But the fact that I'm spending more time with bereaved families at this time of year does not diminish other aspects of ministry or call into question the essence of parish ministry. It is simply one of the many facets to which we are called, requiring to be embraced along with all the rest, in all its seasonal variations.
Believing that God gets alongside people in every season, in joy and sorrow sets the agenda for us to do so too.
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