Inspiring Welcome Sabbath Service in Glasgow Church

Inspiring Welcome Sabbath Service in Glasgow Church

GlasgowBlandine Damtse

Glasgow Church was full to capacity on the 15th of June, 2024, as the congregation organised a special Sabbath service to welcome all those who had joined the church in the last three years. The keynote speaker of the day, Pastor Jimmy Botha, the Scottish Mission President, delivered an inspirational message entitled “Gratefully Received, Abundantly Shared.”

The day commenced with a baby dedication ceremony. Pr Botha highlighted the importance of loving God with all one’s heart, soul, and mind, and loving one’s neighbour as oneself, as well as instilling these values in our children.

Following the baby dedication, Mercy Adega's children's story, based on 1 John 4:7-8, centred on the theme of loving one another. Inspired by the story of the little maid who helped heal Captain Naaman, Mercy encouraged the children with the message that despite challenges, sharing God's love can bring healing and spread awareness of His love. She urged the children to serve others through their actions and words, whether at home, school, or during play, as a reflection of God's love.

Songs in English, French, and Spanish were sung during the morning service, painting a glimpse of heavenly worship where people from every nation and tribe will worship together around the throne of God. The French group, "Unis en Christ" (“United in Christ" in English), comprised of 15 singers from various countries, conveyed the message of faith in Jesus and togetherness. They demonstrated that the substance of worship is universal as they shared their joy of being a family in Christ.

In the sermon that followed, Pr Botha intertwined personal life experiences with biblical teachings to reveal the pathway to eternal life through loving God and our neighbours, as highlighted in Luke 10:27. He emphasised the joy found in fostering a more loving world. Reflecting on the Good Samaritan's story, Pastor Botha urged the congregation not to pass by those in need but to embody faith by extending help. He encouraged them to set a positive example by showing grace and generosity to those around them.

Another memorable moment of the day was the fellowship lunch held in a beautifully decorated room. The rich and diverse buffet served during the afternoon became a unifying element for everyone present, representing the church's 20+ national ethnic groups. Under the guidance of church member Enock Bamusi, attendees took turns introducing themselves during lunch. The atmosphere was filled with joy and laughter, creating a warm and welcoming environment for all.

Event organiser Sipho Ncube noted significant membership changes over the past three years, emphasising that the event aimed to facilitate meaningful connections and unity among church attendees. Those present expressed their appreciation for the sense of unity, the thoughtful decorations, the inspiring preaching, and the delicious food, highlighting the importance of such gatherings in strengthening bonds and enriching the spiritual life of the community.

Reflecting on the event, Pastor Claudiu Popescu commented on the challenges faced by Glasgow Church, which are typical of many in large university cities. Here, members and visitors frequently come and go, and increased church attendance can sometimes make people feel unnoticed. However, Glasgow church has proactively addressed this issue through strategic planning. They have committed to intentionally noticing, welcoming, and integrating students, visitors, and irregular members, dedicating a Sabbath specifically for this purpose. Pastor Popescu emphasised the importance of fostering genuine friendships and relationships across cultural and language barriers, believing this to be crucial for cultivating healthy, mission-minded communities.