Church Goes Online To Recruit Young
Young people have been challenged to become ministers in the Church of Scotland's first social media Easter recruitment drive.
The Rt Rev Lorna Hood is the first moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland to issue an Easter message on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
Mrs Hood said more young people should answer the call to ministry.
In the three-minute video, she talks of her own experience as a trainee minister in Canada where she was a pastor and preacher.
She said: "Like so many churches, we in the Church of Scotland are seeking to recruit new ministers and bring people forward to the ministry.
"We have to be imaginative. We have to think outside the box for how we are going to do that.''
Mrs Hood cited the post-Second World War recruitment drive, which introduced some of the leading ministers of the next generation to the Church, as possible inspiration.
"We need new ministers and we need younger ministers,'' she added. "I was 24 when I was ordained and 26 when I went into my first charge, but I wasn't unique. "There were so many of us at that time.
"So this Easter time I challenge you to hear again the words of Jesus risen from the tomb, the Jesus who said: 'Go, make disciples of all nations.' "Hear these words, and ask if it's a call for you.''
The Church of Scotland has around 820 ministers and like other churches is anticipating an increase in the number of vacancies which will need to be filled in coming years.
The Kirk's youngest minister, 25-year-old Rev Michael Mair, took charge of his first parish at St Davids Broomhouse in Edinburgh following his ordination in January.
Mr Mair said: "It's been an incredible few months since starting. "It's an amazing privilege to walk with people through all the highs and lows that life can throw at us.
"I would encourage more young people to think about ministry because I believe that God can use us, old, young, straight from school or midway through life, when we make ourselves available to him.
"There is no greater sense of purpose than knowing you are exactly where you are meant to be, helping people gain a clearer understanding of who God is and what he's like.''