INDUCTION OF REV ALAN LIVINGSTONE BA
Thursday 18th October 2018
This Induction Service could be described truthfully as one of the happiest occasions in the long history of our Church which dates from 1833. The congregation of nearly 150 gave unreserved witness to the joy being shared throughout this special ceremony which was evident before, during and beyond the actual induction of Rev Alan Livingstone as the minister of Dundee Congregational Church.
Those present included Dundee`s Lord Provost Ian Borthwick and representatives of many of the local churches. Warmly welcomed also were many of the Christian friends who had willingly taken services and helped us throughout our long interregnum. It was humbling to witness the wonderful support of members of Alan and his wife Chris`s family, along with a delightful contingent of his former parishioners whose well voiced appreciation of the occasion was tinged with considerable sadness that their loss was very much our gain. There was a distinguished gathering of Alan`s fellow clergy and professional friends which only emphasised the high regard which surrounded him from all aspects of his life both private and professional.
The Service was conducted with great charm and sincerity by Rev Gordon Campbell of Perth Congregational Church, with, poignantly, one of the Scripture Readings being read by Rev Jonathan Livingstone, Alan`s son who was only recently ordained into the Scottish Episcopal Church. The second reading was by Rev Robert Wightman who has been a tower of strength to our congregation throughout the past 20 months.
Mr. Lindsay Craig, Chairman of Kirk Session, in his Welcome Statement echoed the joy and appreciation of the appointment of Alan which had been such a unanimous choice from all levels of our own church family. This was followed by a heart-warming Acknowledgement by Alan himself which gave us an unforgettable example of the special personality of this dedicated gentleman - not forgetting his welcome sense of humour! A heartfelt and precious Address was then movingly given by Alan`s good friend Rev Robert Sloan. Following the hallowed Act of Induction by Rev Gordon Campbell, the Charge to the Minister and Church was served with distinction and warmth by Rev David Taylor, who has given so much of himself to help throughout our interregnum and is greatly appreciated by us all.
The rousing organ playing of our new organist Professor Norman Beedie seriously enhanced the atmosphere of the entire evening and many years have passed since such wonderfully powerful singing of favourite well known hymns rose to the rafters to grace this lovely old building in the manner it deserves. Following Presentations to Alan and Chris, Rev Gordon Campbell and Rev Robert Sloan the official programme was brought to an end with our organist`s superb voluntary:
Nun danket alle Gott by Sigfrid Karg-Elert
Praise needs to be given to the relatively small team who have worked so hard for quite some time to achieve the preparation and organisation of this tremendous occasion. All the hours involved were well worth the effort judging by the volume of appreciative comments which were indeed showered on those of us who were `at the sharp end` so to speak as plates were filled and tea and coffee poured. However all teams need leaders and our awe-inspiring Jessie and indefatigable Ann need special mention. The enormously convivial social part of the evening saw the Church Hall, the Collins Welcome Hall and most of the seating at pews, thronged with happy people all of whom had been quite literally singing off the same hymn sheet as they were all present to celebrate affectionately with Alan and Chris and wish them well for this new chapter ahead.
Elspeth M Collins
ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER
A few weeks ago the people and city of Dundee proudly and rightly rejoiced with anticipation as the V and A opened its doors to the public. Cultural, economic and community benefits were going to roll out across Tayside and east central Scotland, and this magnificent building and everything in it became a further reason for applauding the city for what it offers to residents and visitors alike.
Years of planning and hoping are now a reality. The public mood has been boosted and brightened by the delivery of this world-class facility.
Then came Michelin!
Complete closure of the factory in a couple of years. Redundancy for eight hundred plus workers directly. As a consequence the inevitable downturn and loss of jobs, wages and economic welfare far beyond the gates of Michelin. Staggeringly bad news.
Can we, as citizens, as Christians and as Congregationalists do anything?
There might be quite a few individual and specific ways of doing so. However, what I want to reflect upon with you all and not least to myself, is that we can and should be “ Encouragers“.
This is a big part of our business as Christians. Encouragement is one of the great needs of any society. People can be knocked down so easily by bad news and overwhelmed by isolated or repeated setbacks and difficulties. Among other things encouragement is what most of us need at some time or another.
As Christians, the Bible places before us both opportunity and responsibility “....not giving up
.... but encouraging one another“ (Hebrews Ch 10 v 25). Can we live up to this as folks whose hall mark of genuine faith is to encourage others?
As I write I am a day away from reading about The Steven Thomson Memorial Centipede. No not an insect but a cross-country race for teams of seven members each. For two miles each seven member team runs as a unit, holding a rope. At the two mile mark the rope is abandoned and for the remaining final mile each contestant races as an individual.
Here is the lesson about encouragement. Over the first two miles, running as a team, the strongest runner is at the front of the line, while the slowest member of the team is where? right behind – second on the rope. Why? So that the strongest runner is near enough to the slowest to be able to encourage him or her to keep going and to run well.
A strategy geared to encourage. A pretty good strategy.
But back to our reality. The race of life can feel more than we can handle at times. As we live and “run together“, let`s offer one another the encouragement to run strong, so that we might be able to say with St. Paul “ I have finished the race. And now the prize awaits me.“
(2 Timothy Ch 4 v 7)
Alan Livingstone 17.11.18