Meet your new Mod­er­a­tor

The Oban Times - - The Oban Times & West Highland Times -

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.

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