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Moderator Warns of Hard Work to Come

Friday May 25 2019

The Moderator of the General Assembly, the Rt Rev Colin Sinclair, has told Commissioners to the General Assembly to ‘work tirelessly’ to make the reforms agreed this week a reality.

Addressing the final session of the Assembly, he said that the changes had been approved, “after decades of talking about the need for change but repeatedly pulling away… maybe in God’s mercy because of both the prompting of God’s spirit and on a much more basic level because maybe many people believed that this was perhaps the last chance, and maybe people realised that the pain of not changing would be greater than the pain of changing.”

But he cautioned that ‘deciding the change is not the same as making the change’, and warned that the changes will be painful, that people would feel ‘the loss of cherished ways of doing things, for a world that now has to be consigned to the past’.

“We need Commissioners of the General Assembly, as we go back to the parishes to be advocates and change makers. We need to be willing to make the sacrifices ourselves, to set an example.”

And he warned that all the changes agreed will not bring about the revival of the church without people responding to Jesus’ call, which has been the Assembly’s theme, to ‘follow me’. “Work tirelessly because he has called us to be co-workers with him. Today we are tired, but next week strengthen your knees, lift up your heads and go forward.”

The Lord High Commissioner, the Duke of Buccleuch, praised the Assembly for its ‘spirit of engagement, of shared purpose, of respect (and) of fresh thinking’ and Mr Sinclair’s ‘firm, fair and humorous’ handling of it.

And he closed with words of encouragement: “Pursuing new ways means getting down to brass tacks in the days and months ahead. And if we say that the devil is in the detail, then surely we can say that God is there too, and my thoughts, prayers and belief is that you will find it so.”


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