On Saturday, 25th August 2018, Rev. Duncan Murchison was ordained and inducted as assistant minister to Portree and Bracadale Free Church.
This was a hugely significant occasion and a real landmark in the history of the congregation, and we give thanks to God for his marvellous provision. Almost two hundred gathered to observe and celebrate this noteworthy day, drawing people from the local community as well as family and friends from across Scotland.
The service was held in the Parish Church, where Rev. Marcos Florit, Moderator of the Skye and Wester Ross Presbytery, preached from Numbers chapter 2. His sermon was an appropriate reminder of the mission of the church and its purpose to glorify God as a united body. He spoke of God’s very real presence with his people, and his perfect authority and sovereignty which we should lovingly and obediently submit to.
Duncan was addressed by Rev. Gordon Matheson who spoke on the theme of loyalty, emphasising the importance of loyalty to the congregation, loyalty to his colleague(s) and chiefly, loyalty to Christ. His words gave very practical advice and encouragement which will surely serve Duncan well as he begins his ministry in Portree and Bracadale. Rev. David Miller then addressed the congregation, focusing on our responsibility to our ministers and our individual service. His address was encouraging yet challenging, a reminder that God equips all of us for service, and we are each unique in our personhood, circumstances and gifting.
The service was concluded with presentations to both Lydia and Duncan, where Rev. Donnie G. MacDonald presented a book and a Bible to Duncan, and Ann Gillies presented an impressive bouquet of flowers to Lydia.
Following the service, a reception was held at Portree Primary School. In addition to greetings from those who were unable to attend, messages from Stirling Free Church and Partick Free Church were read out by Rev. D. G. MacDonald, who then went on to speak about Portree and Bracadale’s needs as a congregation, pointing out how Duncan’s arrival would help meet its need for help, its need for change and above all, the community’s need for Christ.
Duncan then thanked everyone, and his words of thanks were followed by a speech from his long-term friend, David Smith, who spoke excellently, with humour and sincerity. The day came to an end with emotive singing of Psalm 23.
We praise God for bringing Duncan and Lydia to us and pray that Duncan’s ministry will be deeply blessed, and have a real impact on the congregation and the wider community.
[Article by Fiona MacDonald - Image: Duncan & Lydia Murchison]