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Friday arrived with the prospect of home; however, the idea of putting the Mission & Discipleship report onto the last morning seems to have borne fruit with a full attendance.

For the second year in a row, the General Assembly was addressed by a guest from the Moslem community – this year Imam Sayed Razawi from the Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society gave a humanitarian address to the Assembly.

Following this, the Nomination Committee reported, with a particular emphasis on the need to develop an IT and communication strategy to improve participation in committees and Councils from beyond the central belt of Scotland.

The big report of the day was from the Mission & Discipleship Council.  There was encouragement to look beyond the statistics of decline to see signs of renewal and growth taking place in some congregations.  Substantial resources are being produced to help with discipleship – which leads to mission.  The Convener encouraged us to think about the care of our souls – discovering faith – and to take courage for the future.

Much of the Deliverance focused on what Kirk Sessions and congregations might do to promote learning, discipleship and faith-sharing, and this was a positive major report to bring on the last day of Assembly.

This was followed by the report of the National Youth Assembly which was warmly received and drew a number of positive comments from Commissioners. 

And so the 2018 General Assembly drew to a close, with the differences and difficulties on the topic of Same-Sex Marriage continuing to pull the Church apart into separate groups, new challenges on the subordinate standards being presented for future Assemblies, but the major focus being the call to a more radical approach to the future strategies of the Kirk, locally, regionally and nationally.

As the Church struggles with the need to revitalise its life, our prayer must be that that life is rooted in faith, in prayer, in reliance on God and His word in the Bible rather than the idea that the Church needs to be more in step with what society thinks and wants in order to grow.