This year I was commissioned to attend the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in the Assembly Halls in Edinburgh. What a privilege that was! As it was my first Assembly, I didn’t really know what to expect, and to be quite honest, I wasn’t looking forward to the long hours and attending a meeting that lasted a whole week! But to my surprise it was very interesting and relevant, and I feel fortunate to have been a part of the decision making process for the future of the church.
I was accompanied by George Stott from the West Kirk and Jessie Kelly from Polbeth Harwood, who also both enjoyed the experience very much. It was a full week, starting with a training session for first time commissioners on the Friday evening, and including lots of different events alongside the actual meeting. On the Sunday morning I attended the Assembly Service at St Giles Cathedral, and stayed on for the communion service afterwards. Sunday afternoon I went to “Heart and Soul” in Princes Street Gardens, a lovely event with lots of displays and activities, attended by about 4000 people.
During lunch time every day there were fringe events which you could attend if you wanted to. It was like a treasure chest full of information… One evening I attended a lecture on John Knox and his influence on the Church, and on another I was invited to Holyrood House Palace for a Beating of the Drums ceremony and a reception afterwards. On the last day of the assembly all the new ministers were invited to lunch with the new moderator, Rev Dr Angus Morrison, after which we were presented to him at the Assembly. What a humble and inspirational person he is!
Throughout the week I met lots of interesting people, listened to people competently debating about important issues, and worshipped God alongside more than 700 others. I loved the singing, and found the worship enriching. Everything was based on the theme “Living Stones” (1Peter 2:1-10).
I left the assembly feeling that I have learnt so much about the workings of the Church and all the different people who worship in the Church of Scotland.
I also felt motivated for working in our own congregations and I am proud to be able to say that I am a minister in the Church of Scotland - a Church that takes her responsibility seriously as a beacon of hope and bringer of change in society.
My wish is that we will all realise that we have important responsibilities in the Church of God as his livings stones – we are all needed to keep this church standing for generations to come.
I regard myself as extremely fortunate to be a stone in the living Church of Christ.
I hope you do too!