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Home  >  News  >  Assembly Condemns Ukraine Invasion

News

Assembly Condemns Ukraine Invasion

Tuesday May 24


The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland this afternoon condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and called for an immediate ceasefire and ‘just and peaceful solution which respects human rights, democracy and the rule of law’.

The Faith Impact Forum’s deliverance also urged prayer for the people of Ukraine, for wisdom for the leaders of the nations ‘and all who work for justice and truth’, for the generation of the Church in its support of the local partners working with people affected by the war, and to strengthen people working in response to human need in Ukraine and everywhere else there is war and violence. It encouraged members of the Church to take in Ukrainian refugees and condemned Russophobia and discrimination against Russian citizens in Scotland.

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Continuing the Faith Impact debate, the Assembly passed a motion from the Rev Professor Susan Hardman Moore recognising the ‘terrible harm caused to all those who suffered from accusation and prosecutions under Scotland’s historic witchcraft laws’ and apologising for the role of the Church of Scotland the General Assembly in such persecution.

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A section condemning conversion therapy, and calling for it to be banned, was passed after some debate. An attempt to persuade the Assembly to accept a different definition of ‘conversion therapy’ which would not have included such practices for people struggling with gender identity was defeated.

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The Rev Rosie Frew, convener of the Faith Nurture Forum, spoke mostly on progress towards fulfilling the Presbytery Mission Plan Act, agreed last year, under which Presbyteries have until the end of this year to agree how to deploy the ministers and Mission Development Staff posts they were allocated.

She said that after last year there was a lot of support and affirmation for the plan, but admitted that ‘it has not been an easy 12 months’: “We’ve often talked about the perfect storm of pandemic, Presbytery restructuring and Presbytery Mission Planning. There has been great uncertainty, there has been hurt, there are still some very big and painful decisions to be made. And we have made mistakes.”

She added: “I have used the metaphor of the butterfly throughout my time as Convener. We’re currently living in an in-between world – in between an old system and a new system. It’s like being in a chrysalis, a dark and difficult place of transformation before the beauty of the butterfly emerges.”

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Responding to the dispute over the allocation of ministries applied to Gordon Presbytery (see Saturday), the Forum made a proposal, which was accepted, to appoint a committee of three people to mediate with the Presbytery, Forum and Assembly Trustees, to verify the Presbytery’s weighting and allocation and assist and advise the Presbytery developing its Mission Plan. The Assembly rejected a counter-proposal to set up a special commission to review the entire process of weighting and allocation.

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The Rev Seoras Orr urged the creation of new video resource telling the stories of churches who are thriving in the area of making new disciples, in an effort to provide real life role models of how congregations in different parish contexts can grow.

Mr Orr said: “Fundamentally, we are facing this decline because we are not good at making new disciples. All these plans and visions we’re creating will mean nothing shortly unless we rediscover this fundamental part of our church.”

However, the Assembly rejected a motion for recordings of all hymns in the CH4 hymnbook after Mrs Frew said the Forum didn’t have the capacity.


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