KISS me quick!
So as General Assembly 2018 continued, the short (her own self-description) Moderator, facing a barrage of questions at Report times that were often long and were struggling to come up with a question mark at the end of their sentences, told the Assembly simply to look at her and think KISS – keep it short…Susan! Who am I to pass judgement on the performance of any Moderator, so simply let me say I thought Susan Brown was first class in her handling of Assembly, she did so with humour and grace, and her morning reflections were very much appreciated. Go in peace Mod and enjoy the year ahead, you’ll be a great ambassador for the Kirk!
The Church and Society Council said the rich were getting richer and the poor getting poorer and that we needed a theology of sufficiency, building a Church with Kingdom values. Spot on, Richard Frazer! He said that too often we are looking at ancient trees when we should focus on the new seeds emerging. I like that! Occasionally a few folk get this radical call wrong, thinking it is based on a picture of decline – nothing could be further from the truth – the radical call is due to the persistent neglect of decline that means that action is needed now, and that action should indeed focus on the new seeds emerging – we want to create a reformed framework that enables these new seeds to grow unhindered by the shadow of the ancient trees! We will have more good things to celebrate in the future if we follow the path of reform to enable growth.
Church and Society always covers a whole range of interesting and challenging topics, too many for any one congregation to follow each one, but if we all took an interest and did something then we would be a Church in active reform of the society and world about us. Speak out, be radical, and build on Kingdom values! The Assembly particularly noted the deteriorating situation in Gaza, to pray for the people there, and for the Christian community as they seek to be a light in the midst of despair.
Now to the ridiculous…the General Trustees told us about the vast portfolio of buildings and land that we own throughout Scotland…my my, Jesus would be proud of us! His last command…go, and make a wonderful portfolio of assets! Congregations cling to them too!
At the end of business on Wednesday, the Business Committee kindly put my final four sections of deliverance to the Assembly regarding radical change…a rather weary Assembly since it was late in the afternoon and we all had the whiff of fish and chips! But credit to the Commissioners they stayed with it and put through all sections. There was a little stuttering vote for the last section about getting every Kirk Session to sit down and face the music, but the vote got through – thank goodness – because what use would have been the aim of radical change without the instruction to Kirk Sessions to play their part??? Whatever else some may think of me and my passion for reform (see blog – diary of a nobody) I am not glad for me but glad for the Church, that we truly have an opportunity to grasp something new out of the old – an opportunity – it is up to us all to grasp it!
I am willing to put my money where my mouth is and help in forming any new radical plan, as I’m sure other reformers out there are also willing?
Decline does not define us, it is not our narrative, so said the Mission and Discipleship Council – and neither it should – just don’t think if you ignore the broken bits all will be well because if the ship goes down the Council goes with it! Let’s create the plan that allows the many good things to flourish even more! With God, all things are possible – we are singing from the same hymn sheet!
Not sure what the wrangle was about between the Council of Assembly and the Pension Trustees, but the Assembly sent the Council packing!
One Commissioner said he didn’t like the word radical – get over it! As I tweeted today, RADICAL means thoroughgoing change from accepted traditions. In the Church let’s not be scared of this word, let’s recapture it in a loving and peaceful way. Jesus was and is radical. Embrace the word in a new and imaginative way!
Here endeth GA2018 (KJV) Was it good to be there? You would expect me to say yes since my reform suggestions went through, so yes it was good to be there! But in some ways that was the easy step, now the Assembly has given the radical instruction we need to put it into practice, and for that we will need even more help from God!
Mon the reformers!