Thursday, 31 May 2012

It’s over - and it’s just beginning

It’s over – General Assembly commissioners have packed up their blue books, handed in their voting tags and are heading for Waverly station or the nearest bus stop - maybe they’re catching a ride home, but please tell me they carpooled!

It’s over – and it’s just beginning. This will be my first year as Convener and I am excited! I personally think that the work of the Church and Society Council is the core business of the Church.

We have a clear focus for social justice and come to all aspects of our work with one question: how does this affect the most vulnerable?

It is said that you should never pray in a room without windows. I think that holds true for everything we do; never losing sight of the “why” of our work keeps it focussed and relevant. 

The work we have to do is vital to the church, yes, but it is also vital to the country and further afield. The Church of Scotland has a lot to say, but words alone are not what will make a difference. For our voice to be authentic it has to be rooted in action and that action comes from local congregations.

The reports have been given and now the church needs to pick them up and embody them. How will we respond to the call for action in regards to domestic violence against women? To the appalling reality of human trafficking? To the tragedy of the situation in Gaza? What changes will we make on a personal and local level in response to the report on climate change and our relationship with food? What can we do to promote a more equitable economy?

These are the questions that will be answered in the next year by the 43 Presbyteries, 1000-plus congregations, and over half a million members. The report has been laid on the table. Now we begin. It’s over – commissioners are packing up their blue books, handing in their voting tags and heading home.

It’s over - and it’s just beginning.

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