Monday, February 27, 2006

Word from John Wagner

I just got a great letter from our own "missionary to Scotland" - John Wagner. John has now been ordained in the Free Church of Scotland. He sent me a DVD of his ordination service at the Inverness Free North Church last September, as well as the February 2006 issue of the official Free Church denominational magazine The Monthly Record which has a brief article (and picture!) on page 10 covering the event. I've put these in the church library so that all can view them.

The DVD begins with a brief message from Reverend John Ross on facing the challenges of Christian ministry (Greyfriars Free Church, Inverness); then a singing of Psalm 22; the history of the call as read by Reverend Angus Macrae (Clerk of Presbytery of Inverness, Lochaber and Ross and minister of Dingwall Free Church); reading and affirmation of the Free Church of Scotland formula of subscription (Reverend John Ross), affirimation by members and adherents of the presbytery; address to the Reverend John Wagner by Reverend John Mackay (Glenurqhart and Fort Augustus); address to the congregation by Reverend David Meredith (Smithton Free Church, Inverness); and the official ordination ceremonies conclude with a singing of Psalm 122.

There is then a welcome by the Reverend Ronald MacKay (minister of Inverness Free North); a welcome and gift presentation by Gavin Sutherland (Elder, Invernss Free North and Chairman of Madras Street Committee); a response by myself; speeches by Reverend Ruairidh MacRae (Paisley Free Church, Paisley), Reverend John MacPherson (Elder Memorial Free Church, Leith) and Reverend David Robertson (St Peters Free Church, Dundee ). The speeches were all delivered in good humour and the closing prayer is by Reverend Ronald MacKay.

John says: "I found this evening incredibly moving and I am very grateful that it was recorded on DVD. The video quality is rather poor but the audio is fine and hopefully you'll be able to play it without any problems from DVD 'region codes' which restrict playback to country of origin. It works fine on my new Dell laptop purchased last summer in the USA but I'm not sure about American DVD players. The singing in the church was amazing that evening . . . ."

John, we are proud of you, and praying for you.


John Wagner said...


Thanks for posting my letter on your blog and for taking the DVD of my ordination to the FPC library.

Although most of the Free Church 'worthies' who spoke at the ceremony will be unknown to First Pres folks, I think Reverend David Meredith will be familiar, having preached at your recent Missions Conference. I checked out his sermon 'God's Dare' (Malachi 3:10) on the FPC website...vintage Meredith!

My sincere thanks to you and all the folks at First Pres for their prayers for me here in Scotland. The ministry at Inverness Free North and Madras Street is both challenging and exhilarating work and I am much encouraged by the recent blessings we see in both congregations. God is so good!

Please tell anyone considering the August mission to Inverness that we're keen for them to come, and looking forward to showing them some real Highland hospitality (if not the real 'Nessie' of Loch Ness)!

Ligon, again my sincere thanks, and every blessing to all at First Presbyterian Church.

In Christ,

John Wagner

Anonymous said...

This may seem inappropriate, but I am one of the people who used to go to Madras Street before I moved to Glasgow last year.
John Wagner is the USA’s loss but the Highlands’ gain! If only the rest of our minsters could be more like him. If you are still in touch with him, please let him know that Kerris misses his sermons terribly.
Viva Wagner! (Och aye the noo )
Kerris Horne
A scot