Meet Michelle, Our Probationary Minister
Hello to all, I am Michelle McAdoo, a probationary minister at Alva Parish Church for full-time Ministry or Word and Sacrament for the Church of Scotland.
I live in Alloa with my husband Roger who works as a Principle Teacher of Learning Support at Alloa Academy. We have 3 children: Lewis (20 years), Peter (17 years) and Orla (8 years). Our eldest Lewis lives in Dundee where he studies Civil Engineering and Peter is now School Captain at Alloa Academy and aiming for Business at Strathclyde University next year.
When our boys were younger we were members of Stirling North Parish Church, not long after I had become a Christian and loved being part of worship - loads of activities and fellowship. We joined a local church, St Mungo’s in Alloa, just before Orla was born and we remained serving there as elders until I commenced my journey to ministry.
We returned to being members at Stirling North Parish Church where we could be supported as I studied and completed placements.
I graduated at Edinburgh Castle at the end of this summer with my Bachelor of Divinity degree from New College and it was an amazing way to mark the end of my studies. I have lots of great memories of my time studying with the highlights being the study trips to learn about Luther in Wittenberg, Germany and a trip to Rome. I am hopeful of a postponed trip to Jerusalem in February. I accessed a wide range of courses at New College with a diverse group of students which was challenging and really helped my learning. I was lucky to have started alongside another 6 candidates for ministry and we were able to pray with each other, share resources and keep each other going when times were tough. When studying switched to our living room Roger had to juggle work, childcare, chores and so much more and support from Roger and the boys has been so appreciated.
I have also been grateful for the support from supervisors on placements. My first placement in Callander with the patient Rev Jeff McCormick was just what I needed as a total newbie to preaching – I was terrified but I was given positive affirmation and lots of teaching every week. The congregation was full of ‘natural encouragers’ and it was great for the whole family to be welcomed too.
I wanted experience of rural ministry and had the opportunity of ‘work experience’ minister at Lochinver Parish Church where I was the first woman to be allowed to preach, lead prayer and bible study. It was a very special summer for the whole family enjoying ‘manse life’ – the beautiful beaches of Assynt are a great memory.
I then chose to postpone placement to explore ‘fresh expressions’ of church and do pulpit supply visiting a diverse range of congregations before Covid restrictions started. During last summer I was on a short placement with the missional Rev Robert Calvert at The Steeple which was mostly online. Learning how to do lots of new technical skills was challenging but also lots of fun, although Roger as the cameraman would tell you different after the many outtakes.
Our eldest Lewis is a member at the Steeple and continues to be with them after worshipping online when he had to return home to us, so we still have lots of contacts with folks there.
I spent my last placement with the joy filled Rev David Cameron at South Queensferry with Dalmeny and a fresh expression of church called Sanctuary which was online. I joined the church when worship was live recorded in church with just the tech crew and finished just as worship was re-opening for them. It has been such a challenging time to learn new skills of ministry in such changing circumstances but there have also been lots of opportunities to learn new ways of reaching out to people.
We spent this summer in the Highlands again on ‘work experience’ with the Kyle of Sutherland churches and the highlight was re-opening Croik church for worship again. We have been richly blessed by all our experiences in my ‘training’ churches and are very much enjoying becoming part of the Alva Parish church family too.
We welcome your ongoing prayers for us all as a family during my probationery period serving the parish of Alva.
Michelle McAdoo and family – Roger, Lewis, Peter and Orla