I’ve got to be honest: Scotland swept me off my feet. I’d been only once before, years ago. But it was a brief trip, limited mostly to a basketball gym in Glasgow, and it did not leave much of a mark.
That was not the case this time. I had two weeks full weeks there, and in that time I fell totally and completely in love—in love with the countryside, in love with Dunkeld, the charming little village where I stayed, and in love with the people who welcomed me into their pulpit and, briefly, into their lives — Ian, Christine, Fiona, David, Sonja, Michael, Robert..…just to name a few.
Now I can’t wait to go back. And maybe next time it won’t be just me, but rather a group of us from WWPC!
This was a pulpit exchange, but this was not just any pulpit. I had the great honor and privilege of preaching in the Cathedral of Dunkeld, a holy site whose origins trace all the way back to the ninth century.
So you might think that the cathedral itself would serve as the primary symbol of my time there. And certainly its soaring arches, beautiful stained glass and idyllic setting will occupy a special place in my mind’s eye and in my heart for years to come.
But as I look back, perhaps a better symbol of this exchange would be the bridge that leads into Dunkeld, spanning the River Tay.
Because this trip felt like a bridge between cultures, a link that will help to establish an ongoing connection between our congregation and theirs, our community and theirs.
This was an exceptionally rich experience, and I am deeply grateful, both for Session’s approval of the idea and for the generous support of the congregation, which made the exchange possible.
Of course this includes not just your support for my going, but your support for Fraser’s coming. And so I also greatly appreciate the warm welcome you all extended to him and Susan.
Every day I was in Scotland I was keenly aware of how special my time there was, and how privileged I was to be there. So I tried to share the experience with you in as close to real time as possible.
But if you missed those emails, or if you’d like to read them again, or revisit the photos that I included with them, here they are, all in one place, one last look back: