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Home  >  News  >  Call for Committee Members

News

Call for Committee Members

Thursday May 26 2022

Archbishop John Sentamu addresses the Assembly


Members of the Church of Scotland have been urged to put themselves forward to serve on the church’s national committees.

The convener of the Nominations Committee, the Rev Julie Rennick, told the General Assembly this morning that the number of nominations this year did not fill the vacancies, and that eight of the standing committees would therefore be short of the recommended numbers.

She said: “This is a challenging time for sure, but it is also a time to grasp opportunities.

“The church is grateful to those who are prepared to add to already busy schedules to serve the wider church.

“We need you, everyone who is listening to me today. If you have served, tell others how it broadened your view, share the highs and lows…and if you haven’t taken that step yet, please consider it… it’s not just a privilege, it’s often enjoyable too.”

There were calls for it to be made easier for young and working people to serve. The Very Rev Dr Martin Fair said a 30-year-old in his congregation would have been an ideal Assembly Trustee, but is a primary school teacher so it wasn’t possible. “Can we be surprised when the vast majority of committees meet during the day?” he said. “I’m not suggesting this is going to be an easy fix but one wonders whether there couldn’t be some kind of mixed economy where there are some evening meetings or some Saturday meetings.”

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After worship, the Assembly was addressed by the chair of Christian Aid, former Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu. He challenged the Church of Scotland not to resist change, and to continue its work in challenging poverty.

He said: “The harvest is ripe and you as a national church have the greatest delight to make Jesus Christ visible and known in many different places, tackling poverty, and always rejoicing that He who called you is faithful and he will do it. Believe it, practise it, live it and you will be surprised at what He can do.”

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The Assembly agreed that next year’s gathering will again be a ‘hybrid’ event, meeting in Edinburgh but with some Commissioners participating online. It voted against a countermotion from the Rev Fergus Cook, which would have made next year’s Assembly in-person only while a ‘critical review’ of this year’s arrangements was carried out. Mr Cook said that he was not against the hybrid model but that there had been problems this year and ‘seek to ensure proper evaluation is carried out before we undertake to repeat the experience.

However, the Assembly heard from several online Commissioners who said they would not have been able to take part in person, and the Assembly Business Committee convener, the Rev Donald McCorkindale, assured them that there would be a ‘critical evaluation’ of this year in any case.

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The Rev Peter Johnston lamented the small number of youth representatives to this year’s event, and urged the Church to involve young people more in its decision-making processes. He said: “Most of this is going to come down to us in the new presbyteries, to put a focus on how we integrate young people into our decision making.”


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