Bishop David McClay has again brought a message of encouragement and challenge to those who exercise a teaching ministry in the Diocese of Down and Dromore.
The bishop was preaching at his installation in Down Cathedral, which followed a similar service in Dromore Cathedral last Sunday 9 February. He was installed in his episcopal (teaching) seat by the Dean of Down, The Very Revd Henry Hull.
Bishop David took the Old Testament reading in Isaiah 49: 8–16 as his text and issued a passionate call to “make God’s word known everywhere and to all”.
He said that the preacher or teacher of God’s word had a charge to reach those who already are the children of God but also those out in the world, especially in a society where people with a meaningful connection to church are in the minority.
Isaiah 49: 9–12 paints a picture of those on the fringes of society coming home. ‘That’s what the teachers of God’s word do,” said Bishop David. “They invite people home to God. They go and make disciples; they lead people to Christ and teach them how to live their lives for God.”
“Are we placing ourselves to reach the people beyond the walls of the church?” he asked.
The bishop spoke of the joy of seeing people’s lives and communities transformed as the Holy Spirit works through the proclamation of God’s word. He said that no one was beyond God’s reach, and there was no church where the gospel was not the power of God.
Bishop David encouraged everyone to pray that the things Gods longs to do in the lives of the people in our parishes and in our communities would also become our desires and longings.
The service was followed by a reception in the Narthex when the Bishop had opportunity to meet the many clergy and parishioners who had come from throughout Down Diocese.