Category: Church of Scotland (Page 1 of 3)
You can download the Orders here
The Moderator of the General Assembly this week wrote to all Ministers of the Church of Scotland, following a statement he and other church leaders had made on the situation at Calais.
Here is the text of the email.
Join us this Sunday at Stephen’s as we watch and discuss the service of reconciliation which took place at St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh, on the Sunday following the Scottish independence referendum.
The ‘service reflecting shared values and common purpose’ was the idea of the Moderator of the General Assembly, the Rt Rev John Chalmers, who also preached the sermon at the service.
During his sermon, the Moderator said,
Post referendum there are those who are elated or at least relieved, and there are those who are desperately disappointed, “gutted” – is the description that I have frequently heard. Feelings like these will take time to heal and I want no one to think that I think that there is a quick fix or an easy “dusting down”. For some, this referendum has been about national identity; for us all it has been about self-identity and that is about as close to the soul as it gets. So recovery and healing is a soul searching matter and for me, that is a deeply spiritual matter – so no quick fix. Instead, it will take a force of magnanimity and graciousness to restore equilibrium to both nation and individuals.
On Sunday night at St Stephen’s. we will be watching highlights of the service, and having some discussion about whether there is a need for reconciliation after the referendum, and where country goes from here.
More about the St Giles’ service here.
The discussion at St Stephen’s will follow a short evening communion service, to which anyone is welcome.
The service begins at 7pm, and the film and discussion starts at 7.30pm. People are welcome to come to either or both events.
The Moderator will be hosting a nationwide discussion on 5 November about the aftermath of the referendum, ‘Scotland’s Future Now’. The venue in Inverness will be Crown Church. More details to follow.
On Wednesday 3 September, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland will host a ‘respectful dialogue’ on the Scottish Independence Referendum.
The event in Glasgow will be live streamed on the internet, and shown at local venues across the country.
The Inverness event will be at Crown Church, Kingsmills Road, starting at 7pm. Car parking will be available in the adjoining Crown School playground. Everyone is welcome to join us.
The Rev Peter W Nimmo, minister of Old High St Stephen’s and a member of the Church and Society Council of the General Assembly, will chair the Inverness event.
Our thanks to the Rev Peter Donald for the use of Crown Church.
Let us know you are coming at our Facebook events page!
The Church of Scotland is officially neutral on the referendum.
Read the press release for local media.
Below is the event leaflet.
You can also download a copy of it.
A RESPECTFUL DIALOGUE A Debate on the Independence Referendum, chaired by Rev Jan Mathieson, Cawdor and Croy Churches. Blair Jenkins, Yes Scotland, will be debating with Mike Robb, Labour Party. All welcome. Thursday June 26, Inverness, 7.30pm.
The ‘respectful dialogue’ term was used for an event held during the recent General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. The dialogue was chaired by the Moderator of the General Assembly, the Rt Rev John Chalmers. Previously, he had written in an article for the Sunday times:
‘In Scotland, as we stand on the threshold of the most important decision that the Scottish people have faced in peacetime history, we do not need a highly emotive and deeply personalised public rammy…. We need a Respectful Dialogue about Scotland’s future whether it is as an independent nation or as part of the United Kingdom. I am confident that the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland can model the way in which this dialogue should be conducted and I am equally confident that if the Better Together and the Yes campaigners conduct themselves in the same way, then post-referendum healing and recovery will be much more manageable’.
The Moderator has also spoken of the need for respectful dialogue in a recent Scotsman article.
Although this even is not organised by the churches, I hope many Christian people will want to support it.
The minister writes-
The General Assembly today voted 369 to 189 to accept a proposal from its Legal Questions Committee on a possible way forward in the ‘gay ministers’ debate.
Last year’s assembly had accepted a proposal from former Moderator the Very Rev Albert Bogle which, while affirming a traditional view of sexual relationships as the norm in the church, sought to allow Kirk Sessions to ‘depart’ from tradition if they were willing to induct a minister in a civil partnership.
A report was accepted from the Theological Forum which spoke of the possibility of a ‘mixed economy’, in which a church might accept exceptions from normal practice in the case of issues which are not central to the Christian faith. They pointed to examples from the early church, the reformation and in recent years where congregations and individuals were given the freedom to deviate from the majority of the church. A fascinating debate, in which the Very Rev Professor Iain Torrance fielded complex theological questions with grace and thoughtfulness on behalf of his Panel, prepared the way for the Legal Questions debate after lunch.
Moderator John Chalmers led the assembly through three amendments and a countermotion, as well as the original’ ‘Overture’. The final vote, following prayer brought to an end hours of sometimes painful and passionate debate, from which the Overture survived unchanged.
The Overture now goes to presbyteries across the country to vote on over the next year. If a majority of presbyteries vote in favour, the legislation will come back to next Year’s assembly for final approval. Presbytery approval is no means guaranteed. However, the size of today’s majority, and the support the Overture has received from across the theological breadth of the church, may mean it has a good chance of receiving the presbytery approval, perhaps making it into law as early as next year.
Since the Overture deals only with civil partnerships, the Acting Principal Clerk, the Rev George Whyte, asked and received approval for the Theological Forum and the Legal Questions Committee to also consider whether the provisions of the Overture should also apply to ministers in same-sex marriages, which should become legal in Scotland in the course of the next 12 months.
Reports on today, as usual, are available from Life and Work and Douglas Aitken. There is also press release from the Church.
The big report tomorrow is from the Church and Society Council, of which I have been a member for the last year.
The minister writes-
The assembly began on Tuesday with prayers for the family of the Rev Tom Sinclair, Clerk of the Presbytery Lewis, who had tragically died in a road accident following the previous day’s sitting.
The Mission and Discipleship brought a report which included a survey from the Highlands of of non-churchgoers who consider themselves Christians, and the first major report on interfaith matters for many years. I was happy to speak in support of a successful motion from the floor instructing the council to provide materials supporting ministers running new members’ courses. We also heard of the work of the National Youth Assembly, and of the Guild.
On the World Mission report, we heard that the plight of the Christians of Pakistan continues to be a major concern. The Very Rev David Lunan spoke powerfully about people trafficking, which he said was modern-day day slavery, encompassing hundreds of women in Scotland victims, not of prostitution, but multiple rape. And there was a moving moment as the Assembly remembered, with prayer, Jane Haining from Dunscore, who defied an instruction to leave the Jewish children she cared for children in Hungary and died in Auswitch with them 70 years ago.
Finally, there was a special, session, billed as a ‘respectful dialogue’ on the questions raised by the independence referendum. Douglas Alexander MP and the Rev Dr Doug Gay gave the opening speeches for a session which was thoughtful and lived up to its billing. We were reminded that there is no them and us, only us. For anyone who believes that religion brings only conflict and division, this example of the church at its best would have been an eye-opener! It was certainly the best debate on the subject I’ve ever heard.
Hopefully there will continue to be respectful dialogue today as we take up the issue of gay clergy.
Douglas Aitken’s excellent reports can be read or listened to here.
The Life and Work reports on the Assembly are here.