Social Media

Wednesday was Church and Society day, so Assembly dealt with the various issues of our time.  A major discussion took place on disinvestment of Pension and Investment Trust funds from the oil and gas industry, but after a strong debate and two counter-motions, the Assembly decided to retain its investments for the moment in the belief that this gives the Church a stronger voice and to continue holding discussions.

After lunch, there was a brief presentation to school representatives and a school Chaplain to award excellence in school/Church relations and RME work.

A significant motion was on the horror of the killing of demonstrators inside the Gaza fence by Israel Defence Force soldiers using live rounds on unarmed demonstrators, and strong words were passed without argument.

The day was well on when a short report on the Registration of Ministries Committee led to a full discussion on the feeling of many Chaplains that they were being relegated to second-class ministers.  Given that training is required to move from parish to chaplaincy, it was difficult to see the problem in training being provided for the reverse process.

A strong and inspiring report from the General Trustees reminded us of the need to make sure we had the right buildings in the right places for Mission.  This was a well thought out report illustrating a Department that was well on top of its remit looking for the right way ahead for the Church, seeking to engage with Presbyteries and local congregations, and asking about whether maintenance needed to be taken out of local and brought into regional or national supervision.

Finally, the Assembly returned to the remainder of the Strategic Plan debate.  The rest of Robert Allan’s motion was accepted by the Assembly and now forms the basis for the challenge to Council of Assembly, Presbytery and Kirk Session to take the problems of the Church seriously and plan for a new future.