How’s that for a headline? Just as you were having to deal with the departure of your minister, Glasgow Presbytery lands you with a slightly-used Presbytery Clerk as your Interim Moderator – could it really be a recycled version of the one you had way back in 1983, after the departure of Rev John Stevenson and before the arrival of Rev Eric McLachlan? And then you discover that your Locum Minister looks suspiciously like a recycled version of the Probationer who worked with John even further back, in 1977-78!
Seriously, though, Sheila and I are really glad to have been recycled into the life of Cardonald Church, and looking forward to working with you all over the months ahead. We’ve even been pleased to notice some “recycled teenagers” from our previous links with the church alongside others who have come on board while we’ve been away.
Just to fill you in a wee bit about us, I retired from the parish of St Enoch’s Hogganfield in the east end a year ago and have been working as Joint Presbytery Clerk since then; that finishes at the end of September. Sheila had to retire for health reasons a few years ago from the Parish of Cupar St John’s and Dairsie in Fife (the Dairsie part is where another former Cardonald minister, Dr Frank Rae, served as minister after leaving here). Her health has improved quite a bit now, which is why she is able to take on this role of Locum.
That’s quite enough about us. The key thing to remember in this time of so-called “vacancy” is that the life of the church goes on, and this time without a full-time minister is one in which it is specially important that we all continue to work together, knowing that God’s lively spirit remains powerfully at work in us, around us, and through us.
We have already had one sharp reminder that there are also difficult times for us to face, in the sense of shared loss felt over the sudden death of former BB Captain Ian MacDonald. Yet just as we pray for his family and our own 44th BB Company in that loss, we see God at work – not just in the celebration of his life and the praise of such a full church at his funeral, but in the strength given his family, in the care generously given by the local church in Seahouses and in the life of the Company going forward.
Over the next few weeks, you will start to hear intimations in church about the various steps towards seeking a new minister. We all have a part to play in that, and one of the first things will be in forming a Nominating Committee of thirteen people, which we hope to elect in October. Maybe you could play a part in making that Committee reflect the range of people who are Cardonald Church, or you could encourage someone you know to get involved in it.
Most important, keep praying for this and the ongoing work of our church.
But there are plenty of other ways in which we will continue the variety of work the church does. Could this be the time for you to take on a new part in that? The Kirk Session will also be reflecting on where we are in that life, and where we want to be going together – if you have thoughts on that, why not talk to your elder about it?
We are not stuck in a siding waiting for something to happen so we can get on our way again. We are moving on with our Lord in our journey, and Sheila and I look forward to sharing that with you going ahead.
Yours in Christ,
Graham K Blount (Interim Moderator)