Meet your new Moderator
ACHARACLE Parish Church welcomed members of Lochaber Presbytery and the local community on Tuesday for a service of communion to mark the end of the presbytery year and the installation of the new Moderator, Ella Gill.
The service was conducted by the retiring Moderator, Reverend Edgar Ogston, and Rev Fiona Ogg.
Mrs Gill is the first female Moderator in Lochaber who is an elder rather than a minister.
In her address to the congregation, Mrs Gill picked up on the suggestion of the Moderator of the General Assembly, the Rt Rev Dr Russell Barr, that local presbyteries should adopt the theme of the General Assembly for their forthcoming year – ‘People of the Way’ – the description of the followers of Jesus before they were known as Christians.
Mrs Gill likened the loss of church membership and the well-publicised reduction in ministers to that of pruning a rose bush. Something which had been full of flowers might look as if it had been killed with severe pruning. However, just as after pruning a rose bush, new growth is stimulated and shoots appear all over the stems of the plant. So, with the church, new growth is appearing, not just where the stem has been cut, but all over.
These new shoots are the lunch clubs, coffee mornings, support for neighbours and strangers – ordinary folk following and putting Jesus’ teachings into practice.
The service was followed by refreshments in the community centre.
Ella Gill, the incoming Moderator, and Rev Edgar Ogston, who is vacating the post.