AVE ATQUE VALE…

AVE ATQUE VALE….
That’s what the Romans used to say when people departed and arrived. Hail and farewell.
So farewells first. And we do indeed wish Very Revd Dr Finlay Macdonald fare well as he departs
from the role of Interim Moderator. He brought to us a very apposite set of skills and experience
as a former Principal Clerk to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and as a former
Moderator of the General Assembly.

Through the most difficult circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic, he kept our eyes focussed on the prime task of an Interim Moderator – to prepare ourselves to get to the point where we are able to search for and appoint a new Minister, and thus to conclude the vacancy.

In the course of his year with us, he successfully moved us forward to the next stage of that
process. His personality, his humanity, and his friendship have been warmly welcomed. As well
as being an Interim Moderator, I have also served with 3 IM’s in recent years. They have all been
first rate. None more so than Finlay. And I have thoroughly enjoyed a common basis for our
theology, a common love of music, and a common sense of what church is, and what challenges
we all face.

We started with Latin, let’s switch to French because that language offers a word of farewell
completely suited to Christians. So adieu, Finlay. To God’s gracious care and protection we
commend you and Elma, and wish you a happy return to retirement.

And we say Hail to Revd Pamela Strachan, appointed by Presbytery to pick up the work of Interim Moderator. As is often said, this lady needs no introduction . This time it’s true.

Pamela has been close to these congregations in many roles through the years, and has earned
the affection and confidence of all she has encountered. The tasks have not lessened in the
transition, but we look forwarded to being guided by her through the path of leadership to a
concluded vacancy. She will do well, and she will be supported by all her friends and colleagues
in the Kirk Sessions and congregations.

So welcome Pamela. And God go with you.

These changes have just been confirmed by Presbytery, and so this announcement is made as an
indicator of the next steps ahead.
J R Smith