Social Media

Following the terrible events in Manchester Arena the previous evening, the Moderator opened the day with prayer and silent reflection for all those affected, and during the presentation of the Church and Society Council Report, an additional deliverance was agreed concluding with a further call to prayer. The Convener of the Church & Society Council suggested that the two ways of making contact with others are through a clenched fist or an open hand and that the latter was the way of choice for us as Christ’s people.

Pamela Gordon spoke up on the need for respectful dialogue on all sides, indicating that the suggestion of naming and shaming made the previous day was not an appropriate response for the Church, and highlighted the way that Musalahah sought reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis through bringing them together to learn with each other.

The new Deliverance on Manchester was supported with contributions from delegates from the Church of England and the URC in England, and from Churches Together in England. Rev Iain Greenshields asked us to reflect on how our Muslim friends will be feeling at this time and encouraged us to extend the hand of friendship to them.

A somewhat subdued Assembly approved the Speak Out initiative for congregations to be involved in the public square with little further discussion, along with the sections on Surveillance. To the section on the plight of EU nationals under Brexit was added further support for UK nationals currently living and working in the EU.

Under the topic of Refugees and Asylum Seekers there were notable contributions from Rev Nathan McConnell, Rev Hector Morrison, and Rev Jane Howitt, telling of the involvement of their families and their congregations in providing support to those seeking refuge in or facing deportation from our land.

The Assembly broke slightly early for lunch, and afterwards, the Guild report was well received by the Assembly. Celebrating 130 years since its foundation, we heard much about the excellent work being done by and through the service and fund-raising of members. A Joint Report with the National Youth Assembly spoke of good intergenerational work being done and gave a clear challenge to the wider Church, including reflecting on the missing generations between Youth and Senior members.

The Iona Community Board made a call for support for refurbishment work at Iona Abbey, asking for support from congregations. Further comments revealed that substantial work will soon be required on the Macleod Centre, which will stretch the Community’s resources, so they are seeking support from the University of the Highlands and Islands, the National Trust for Scotland and others.

Rev Peter Macdonald finishes his Leadership of the Community and is seeking a return to Parish Ministry; the new Leader will be Dr Michael Marten.

During the day, private conversations in various places continued as folk discussed the best strategy and approach to the Theological Forum’s report and Deliverance to be taken on Thursday, and prayers for this part of the Assembly, in particular, are sought from all.