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Assembly Agrees Instruction for 'Radical' Plan

Wednesday May 23 2018

The General Assembly this evening returned to discussion of how to draw up the ‘radical’ alternative to the strategic plan that was rejected on Monday.

After nearly an hour and a half’s debate on motions from six commissioners, the following instruction to the Council of Assembly was agreed:

Instruct the Council to work collaboratively with other Councils, Committees and Presbyteries to bring proposals to the General Assembly of 2019 for structural change, consulting with the Rev Dr Doug Gay about the ideas contained in the recent Chalmers lectures and with other appropriate persons with expertise in the reform of institutions and structures, to enable a Church structure that is lean and fit for purpose to lead reform.

Instruct the Council, in collaboration with other Councils, Committees and Departments as appropriate, to bring forward proposals to the General Assembly of 2019 that will allow more funds for mission work, including the freeing of funds held only for property matters and a reformed Ministry and Mission allocation process.

Instruct Presbyteries meantime to challenge themselves in their Presbytery Plans to be robust, imaginative and courageous in reducing the number of charges, creating ministry hubs, and enabling new pioneer and new church planting opportunities, supported by a Ministries Council that enables new reformed pathways into ministry.

Instruct Kirk Sessions meantime to meet in conference, to reflect on the state of decline of the national Church and in particular how that affects the Church locally and determine what their vision and mission is for the next three years in collaboration with Presbytery Planning teams.

Instruct the Council in consultation with the Mission and Discipleship Council to facilitate and promote a national dialogue between elders younger than 40 and actively seek their views and reflect these in the radical action plan.

Instruct the Council to devise a method of reporting in which the Annual Report and Accounts can be presented in a way which makes clear to all members of the Church the manner in which the unincorporated councils and committees make savings and reduce spending in order to balance the budget.

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