A congregation of well over two hundred gathered in Scalpay Free Church (Continuing) on the evening of Friday 1st March for the induction of Rev. Raymond Kemp to the Scalpay congregation. Rev. Iain Smith (Harris) preached a most appropriate sermon from Mark 16:15,16: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” He stressed that the first priority of ministers is to preach this gospel to the glory of God, knowing that there is inexhaustible power in the message to save sinners. Following the worship the Presbytery proceeded to the induction, with five ministers from other presbyteries being associated with the Presbytery.
Mr Smith then addressed to Mr Kemp the questions appointed by Act of Assembly. Satisfactory answers having been given, and Mr Kemp having signed the Formula, Mr Smith then engaged in prayer, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by authority of the Presbytery, inducted Mr Kemp to the charge of Scalpay. Mr Smith and other members of Presbytery then gave Mr Kemp the right hand of fellowship. Rev. Graeme Craig (Stornoway) addressed Mr Kemp from 2 Corinthians 5:20, reminding him that he is an ambassador for Christ and must keep close to his Master. Rev. Greg MacDonald (Cross) addressed the congregation from 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13, reminding them of the Lord’s purpose that His people grow in holiness, and the possibility that some of them may finish their course in this world under the new ministry.
Following the Benediction, a reception was held in the Scalpay Community Centre, where the new minister and his wife Heather greeted the congregation and the many visitors. After excellent refreshments prepared by the ladies of the congregation had been enjoyed, a number of greetings were read, and presentations made to Mr & Mrs Kemp, and to the former Interim Moderator Rev. Greg MacDonald, and to his wife Lorraine. Mr Kemp then invited three ministerial colleagues to speak briefly: Rev. David Blunt (North Uist & Grimsay), Rev. Murdo A.N. Macleod (Snizort) and Rev. Richard Ross (Portree). The evening concluded with worship led by the new minister.
The settlement ends a vacancy which began with the retirement of Rev. Kenneth Macdonald in April 2016. We pray that the Lord would visit this corner of His vineyard, which has known much of His favour over the years, with renewed blessing, and that there would be abundant spiritual fruit to His praise.