General Assembly

People often like to complain that nothing ever happens quickly in the church (by which I mean within one congregation). I was one of them and have days where I still am. I’ve grown to accept it this year but it can still at times be infuriating when your idea has to go before various committee and boards, by which time the situation/ time/ momentum has changed and can leave your idea irrelevant. My advice is, generally, you need to be thinking 8/12 months in advance for big projects, 6 months for slightly smaller things. I digress. 

I’ve learnt this week that it all comes from the top down. I watched about two hours of the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly debate on monday night and it was quite possibly the most boring and frustrating, yet interesting thing I’ve ever watched. Paint dries faster than anything is decided but I was still glued to my computer. 

It was fascinating to see just how it all works, as they discussed the wording of an adendum to a motion which they hadn’t even decided to pass yet about an overture which they would eventually never hear. Mightily confusing and very much a court. It took them an hour to decide on the wording of part 2/3 of this motion! 

And this particular motion was about setting up a Special Commission to prepare a study on Ordination and Induction to the Ministry of the Church of Scotland, in light of the outcome of Saturday’s debate and a report presented in 2007 about human sexuality and same-sex relationships. This is an issue the Church of Scotland has been discussing for something like 17 years and now they’ve decided to discuss it for another two years. And you thought it took time for decisions to be made locally!!

The funniest bit is that even after five days and continually being told by the moderator no one seems to know how to work the microphones. Church of Scotland just isn’t ready for the 21st century!


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