Rev David T. Young
Sunday 5 December 2021
I have an announcement to make, and there’s no easy way for me to make it.
As you know, I am currently a Commissioned reservist Chaplain in the Royal Navy – something I felt strongly called to. I have now been offered a full-time Commission with the Royal Air Force, and I have accepted this offer.
I first felt a calling to full time Ministry of Word and Sacrament when I was just 16 years of age and, very quickly, I began to sense that vocationally I was being drawn to Military Chaplaincy. Speak to any of my contemporaries from university and they will confirm the many conversations we had about this. Indeed, right up until about mid-way through my probationary period back in 2006, Military Chaplaincy was exactly where I thought God wanted me to serve.
Of course, often in Ministry – as in all our individual faith journeys – we discover that God’s timing doesn’t always align with our own and so my vocational journey over the last 14 years has led me to ministries in Gourock, at Strathclyde University, and then here at Helensburgh with Rhu & Shandon. Throughout it all, the sense that God was calling me to Military Chaplaincy has never diminished – indeed, it has been affirmed time after time since I was Commissioned into the Royal Navy some 2 years ago.
For the last few months, I have been engaged in deep prayer and, after many discussions with colleagues in the Church of Scotland and in the Armed Forces, I have discerned that God’s timing for me is now, and that every ministry I’ve had the privilege of engaging in has been about preparing me for this next chapter.
Therefore, I am announcing today that I will demit office as Parish Minister at Helensburgh with Rhu & Shandon on 28 February 2022 to allow me to take up a full-time appointment as Chaplain in the Royal Air Force.¬ Allowing for accrued holidays this will mean my final service will be on Sunday 30 January 2022.
I know that my news will not come as a surprise to many of you, and that to others it may be a bit of a shock. Please know that this is not easy for me, it is very much a bittersweet time – preparing to leave people and a place I have come to love is difficult and extremely emotional. That said, one thing I have learned, from a very early age, is that when God calls, we cannot escape it!
Change is never easy in whatever form it comes, but we are never called to stand still on this amazing journey with Christ, and we must all go forward in faith trusting that God is bigger than any of us and has plans beyond our imagining.
As I prepare for my 7th and final Christmas with you my fervent prayer is that we might all know the blessings and peace of the child born in the manger. As I hold each of you in my prayers in the days, weeks and months ahead I ask please that you keep me in yours.
With every blessing,
David T. Young
Helensburgh with Rhu & Shandon
The Rev David Young with fellow ministers, The Rev Tina Kemp and the Rev Norma Moore. Top picture is of Mr Young and the churches he served in Helensburgh and Rhu.