Meet Prebytery Moderator Issy Freudenthal

by | Aug 25, 2021 | People

From Here to Serve 41

An interview with Presbytery Moderator Issy Freudenthal

You might know Issy Freudenthal from one of these (past) roles; as a Presbytery elder, Barn church officer, church manager, administrator, guild convenor, young women’s group convenor, Presbytery Guild convenor, youth group leader, Blythswood finance administrator or Barn Church shoe boxcoordinator. We sat down for a cuppa -coffee, not tea- and found out a lot more.

Issy grew up in Shanghai. The ‘Shanghai’ area in Nairn that is. She has now been in Culloden over four decades. She is blessed with two grown up children,grandchildren and grand dogs. She grew in faith in a Sunday school of a Congregational church. Having always thought of herself as Christian, she consciously dedicated herself to God in her early thirties; ‘People saw the difference in me, the difference of God’s presence, of Abba the Father.‘

When she was asked to become an elder, she refused, multiple times; ‘I felt I wasn’t good enough’, but I did a six week elder’s course, and felt the same as the other folks and we all became elders together. That really helped me to take much more interest in church life. I loved being connected with people who look out for each other.’ plus years ago a church elder looked for supporters to help fund the building of the Blythswood Daniel Centre in Romania. Issy was able to go to the opening and is still friends with the family who gave her lunch on the Sunday and many more. After that experience she boldly asked for a job in Blythswood and worked there for fifteen years.

As to why, she shares ‘It was knowing that they always have someone on the ground, in the country they help, so they know, how to be effective, truthful and make an impact. Things really get directly to the right people.’ She says; ‘In Romania I took items off a lorry, including tables from an Inverness church. Next year we came back, and the children were sitting round them. All these small things make an impact.’

She started making up Christmas shoe boxes for the shoe box appeal in a freezing cold garage. She was able to move that to a warm Barn church, which allowed for many more volunteers. For years, for a fortnight straight from 9am to 9pm people would help with the shoe boxes. Various local churches now take part. Blythswood would welcome any help with this.

For 17 years she has been a Presbytery elder. Before that she was the guild convenor on Presbytery. When that came to an end she thought ‘I think I’ll miss Presbytery. But next thing I knew I was asked to be an additional elder. I love getting to know ministers and elders and how the kirk works.

Issy has a high standard of things being organized and says ‘Presbytery is well structured, I like that.’ When asked to be Presbytery moderator, two ministers said ‘you can do it.’ She had a list of reservations with many what ifs. ‘But I was told people are 110% behind me.’ She adds ‘It is an honour to be asked.’

When asked about her wishes for the future, she says ‘My hope for the church is to be more united and expand; more engaged with each other, grow together as God’s family. I would love for more people to come to know Jesus. People can make the world a bad place. But in Jesus we can trust. I can cast all my cares on Him. I know that when I do come to Him, I feel peace. Even when I might not be there for Him, He is always there for me.’