Hello, from your new Minister!
I’m delighted to be in Clackmannan with my husband Albert as we settle in at the manse. Most of the unpacking is done, so that leaves me with time to respond to the request to tell you a wee bit about myself.
I grew up in Ballingry and attended Beath Senior High School before starting work with the Bank of Scotland. After getting married, Albert and I spent several years in both Kirkcaldy and Guardbridge with our children, Jacqueline and Alasdair, and we all moved to Comrie (just a few miles along the road!) in 1991. Albert and I then moved to Kinloch Rannoch in 2013 to enable me to complete my training for ministry.
I was seventeen when I decided to commit my life to God after realising what an amazing thing God had done for me through Jesus dying and rising to life again. That decision set me off on an interesting ‘journey of faith’ as I experienced the ups and downs that are part of life for us all in one way or another. There have been a fair few forthright chats with God about the tough stuff, but there has also been lots of fun, laughter and joy.
Rev Rae Clark
Rev Rae Clark
Looking back, I can see that God was prompting me towards ministry from quite a young age – but I was much older before I was ready and willing to say ‘yes’! So, after being at home with our children when they were young, I spent time studying and then I worked with a Local Authority and a Housing Association, offering housing support to those who were affected by homelessness, addiction, and physical or mental health issues. It was while working in that setting I finally said yes to God about ministry. At that point, I headed into a long and challenging process of being assessed and doing the training that led to me being Parish Minister for Channelkirk and Lauder in the Scottish Borders for the past five years.
It is really important to me that you know I am here to serve the whole Parish, not just the people who manage to come along to Church on a Sunday. It is such a privilege for me to be here, and I’m praying that we get to know each other well as we share life in this community in the coming years.
(Rev Rae Clark)
Vote of Thanks to Our retiring Interim Moderator, Rev Jim McNeil by Jim Millar, Session Clerk
Jim, I have to say that if I was to confer on you a degree it would have to be an MA. Because I think you are the Master of Anecdotes. Anecdotes must be a minister thing. I looked back at the vote of thanks I did for Alan Downie and there were couple of occasions in which I highlighted his use of anecdotes.
Jim you came to this congregation at a time when it was low in spirit. But with your help and that of Ray Gaston you have turned this congregation round into one which has re-found its worship and witness. You explained from the very start as our Interim Moderator that it could no longer be seen as a holding position as it had been in the past. You explained that the average time for filling a vacancy is approximately 3 years. You put in place everything we should be doing to make it possible and ensure that we were well equipped and prepared for however long the process of finding a minister took.
You started up Worship Leader Training for those interested in taking part in services. Little did we know, especially those attending the training, that we would end up having to take the full service ourselves. As I have said on many occasions, and it is a thought shared by other members of the Worship Group, if we had known then what we know now I doubt if you would have had any attendees finish the course.
Jim I would also like to thank you for the manner in which you carried out your duties as Moderator of the Kirk Session and Congregational Board. You used all your skills of diplomacy, steadfastness, your personal anecdotes and dare I say humour to help these meetings reach an amicable decision on all matters. You did the same in the Nominating Committee helping to encourage the members of the group to keep positive in our search for a minister. You passed on your belief that the right person for Clackmannan is out there and as a witness to that we have had an induction service tonight.
Thank you for all the time you have given to Clackmannan Parish Church and the example you have set.
Jim, your tribute is short but I hope that I have conveyed to you the deep heartfelt thanks that Clackmannan Church owes you for a job well done. Should you require a reference for a future post as Interim Moderator we would be very glad to offer you a glowing reference.
Jim, as a more tangible recognition of the work you did for us as our Interim Moderator please accept this gift on behalf of Clackmannan Parish Church. May God Bless you and your family.