If 2014 was officially dubbed the year of homecoming for Scotland, it certainly was the year of homecoming for our family. We spent the previous eight years in Germany, in the city of Freiburg, right at the foot of the Black Forests, where I worked as a minister. I originally come from a small village near the town of Heidelberg, known best as the cradle of romanticism and for its famous university. I studied theology in Heidelberg and West-Berlin and have fond memories of my time as a post-graduate student of theology at the University of Aberdeen.
I grew up in a church that goes back to the reformation, a later union of reformed and Lutheran churches and am well familiar with the Roman-Catholic church of which my father was a member. In 1985 I spent a year working and living at the Taizé-Community and travelled to visit Christians in Hungary and East-Germany during the time of the cold war. From 1993 to 1997, both my husband and I worked with the Board of World Mission as ministers with the Church of Christ in Thailand in three rural charges in the North of Thailand. We came back to Edinburgh and settled in Corstorphine where our children went to the Foxes Primary School.
I left my last congregation, the Christuskirche Freiburg, to follow my husband, Kenneth, who is at present working as a priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church. After a few months as the locum of Wardie Parish Church, I became its minister in December 2015.
The magnificent sounds of a church organ might seem like the natural accompaniment to congregational singing. Many of us then will be surprised to learn that 19th century churchgoers were scandalised at the prospect of introducing organ music into Scottish Presbyterian services.