The Church of Scotland’s Presbytery of Lothian has chosen the Minister at Newton Parish Church, Danderhall, as its Moderator for the coming year.
Rev Andrew Don, 62, who lives in Penicuik, takes over leadership of the Presbytery, which brings together ministers and elders from the church’s congregations across Mid and East Lothian, at a service in East Linton on 27 September.
“It is an honour and privilege to be invited to Moderate the Presbytery of Lothian for the coming year,” said Andrew.
“One of the strengths of the Presbyterian system is that the Moderator changes every year, each bring his or her unique style and personality to the role and, in doing so, adds to the richness and diversity of our Church.”
Andrew is an Ordained Local Minister, an unpaid minister who for nearly ten years until his retirement in 2016 combined ministry in the Tyne Valley Parish of Borthwick, Cranstoun and Fala, with working in the head office of a bank in Edinburgh. He was a locum minister at Penicuik St Mungo’s before moving to serve at Newton in 2013.
“I learned my trade in a number of bank branches within the central belt, Glasgow and Edinburgh, before moving into ‘Head Office’.
“During the early 1990’s, I sensed God’s calling to further service in his Church. I was already an elder in the Kirk and had led services at a local community centre. Rev John Fraser of Penicuik North Kirk was very encouraging and, over a number of years of practical assessment and study at Aberdeen University, I gained the necessary experience and qualifications to allow me to be ordained in Fala Church in October 2006.
Matthew says: “Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” Matthew 11: 28-29
Through this period, I really did learn the ‘unforced rhythms of grace’. If the day job was busier than normal, I found the course work light; and when the course work demanded more attention, the day job seemed quieter. To me it looked like God was arranging my diary, but the simple truth is that if God is calling you to do something for Him, He also provided the time and opportunities to make it happen.
“I am what some of my colleagues in the ministry refer to as a tentmaker. Like Paul the Apostle, who made tents for a living and shared the Gospel of Jesus, I was able to combine going to work every day with serving God in my community.”
Andrew recently celebrated his 35th Wedding Anniversary with wife Fiona.
As Moderator of the Presbytery, his duties will include leading services of ordination and induction of ministers into new parishes and chairing meetings of the Presbytery.