A Life in a Year as Moderator of PresbyteryPublished 22 Jun 2022
Being chosen as Moderator of the Presbytery of Glasgow has to be the honour and privilege of anyone’s life in the Church. When you are an Elder and not a Minister, that is an even rarer privilege, given only to two Elders, this century. To be the Elder Moderator of the largest Presbytery in the world, when there is also an Elder Moderator of the General Assembly, is a unique blessing, particularly when your counterpart is Lord Wallace of Tankerness (Jim Wallace), the former Deputy First Minister of Scotland and an inspirational keynote speaker at the enormously successful “Recharging the .Eldership Conference” which the Presbytery hosted in March, attended by over 160 Elders from all over Scotland.
Surely, with Elder Moderators of our Church’s two largest courts, the Holy Spirit might just have been telling us something about the importance of the Eldership to the Church as we go forward into a future where the number of ministers is decreasing, with the result that more and more will fall, in the future, on the shoulders of Elders and members of congregations?
Encouraged by Jim Wallace, that Conference – a highlight in a year of highlights for me - affirmed the Eldership of the Church. Our unique Moderators’ double act does. I hope and believe, show that the Church appreciates and values its Eldership.
A year which began with the service of thanksgiving for graduate candidates, on the threshold of their ministry in our Church and continued through ordinations and inductions, beginning new ministries, with enormous potential for the work of the Kingdom, from Eaglesham to Torrance and many points in between. A year which ended with the celebration of the retirement of a well-loved Minister and an assurance to his congregation that he had left them well-equipped to step into a future without his daily presence.
A year ranging from COP 26 and the reality of climate change, to the many concerns about Presbytery Planning; from the installation of an Archbishop, to the introduction of a Transition Minister; from dedications of rooms, to visits to the Presbytery projects of the LHM and Church House, to witness the dedication of those working there and who think of what they do as routine – but which is, very definitely, not routine but God’s love in action; to sharing in civic occasions and worship in the Cathedral and in congregations throughout the Presbytery and as man from north of the Clyde, discovering parts of the deepest south side I never knew existed.
A year to be impressed by the work of the people of God in our Presbytery. A year to give thanks for the transition to something approaching what used to be “normal” church life - which began to flourish from Spring onwards - from pandemic lockdown to a glorious reawakening of congregations and spirits.
A year, as I say, in which I have been uniquely privileged and deeply honoured to be the Moderator of the Presbytery of Glasgow and richly blessed, beyond measure, by the experience.
Robert G Hynd