Posted by: Chris Hoskins | May 27, 2009

General Assembly – Tuesday proceedings

Tuesday was a manic day at the assembly!
It started earlier than most days, with a video about the emerging church being played at 9:15am by the ministries council. It was looking at 2 projects the council has involvement in: the Harbor Front project in Glasgow and the ARK project in Stirling (I think!?). It was encouraging to hear of the innovative work happening in both the projects, I would recommend looking into them!

There was quite a funny moment during the the morning worship when one of the youth reps leaned over to me and tried to engage me in a discussion about how hot the Proctor was, I’m not here to judge, but I’m just not that keen on women twice my age!

With the first report of the day being from the Chaplains to Her Majesty’s armed forces, the Bible reading during the morning worship was read by a Chaplain. Rev John Duncan, currently stationed in Afghanistan, also on the voice link was Rev David Anderson. I really enjoyed that moment because David Anderson was my Sunday school teacher and John Duncan was my Dad’s best man (at least if its the John Duncan I think it is!).

I’ve really enjoyed the moderators addresses over the course of the week. Today was no different! Here are some of the points I wrote down from his address:
do we proclaim the gospel unashamedly? Or do we hide behind being Scottish and Presbyterian and say we don’t want to force it upon others?
Do those closest to us know we have taken a stand for Jesus?
Do we take glory in Jesus like Paul did?
We should never be ashamed of a gospel that will change people!

One of the big reports of the day was a joint report called ‘Forgiveness & Proportionality’; for of such is the kingdom of God – creating a Church where all may safely live.
Basically the report is all about discussing what the theological concept of forgiveness is and how it informs the policy/practice of the Church of Scotland in relation to sex offenders being involved in the life of a congregation. It’s definitely worth a read, its available here.

At lunchtime, the Mission and Discipleship council took all of its staff, members and the youth reps out for lunch. We had a great time, was nice to spend that lunchtime together. It was also Doug Nicols last such gathering with those who were there. I’m really glad for him that he’s found a Parish to move to, although he’ll be greatly missed in 121.

In the afternoon there were 2 reports of interest. The Mission and Discipleship report, that went quite well for the most part. After that there was the National Youth Assembly report. THe report was delivered by Iain Mclarty, moderator of the National Youth Assembly. There were some questions about the report, including one commisioner asking if how the Church was doing with its internet use ie: its website. When it was asked I was really excited thinking about how it was a chance to push them into perhaps incorporating things like twitter, RSS and podcasts. Or even developing a policy of allowing CofS national stuff to be online outwith the main website. This didn’t happen. I can’t remember who answered, but they said they were pleased that the youth page had been updated……..and that was it. (BTW: I couldn’t answer because only the moderator of the youth assembly or one of the youth assembly appointed reps could answer. I felt it was a wasted opportunity. But I’m not going to go on about it, thats my moaning done now on that point!

Tuesday night was a busy social night for the youth reps. First, we were hosted at the scottish storytelling centre by the moderator. It was a really nice time with the group and the mod. He spent some time wandering around talking to us all, what really struck me about him was how down to earth he is, he’s such a normal, nice guy. At the end, as part of a vote of thanks, Iain McLarty informed the moderator that, as a group, we would like to offer him the opportunity to have his portrait painted by Colin, one of the Youth Reps, he seemed quite chuffed at the idea!

After that reception we were invited to Holyrood palace for the beating of the retreat and then a reception in the palace hosted by the Lord High Commissioner, His Grace George Reid. The beating of the retreat was fantastic, standing in the grounds of the palace with a great pipe band playing, accompanied by some Scottish country dancers. Inside the palace, there are a lot of people at this reception every year who just want to be seen, but there are also a lot of great people there. Many Youth reps, including myself, had the chance to chat to some of the ex-moderators. As a group, we all love Marjory McLean (the acting principle clerk) and Rt Rev Alan MacDonald, and a large number of us got to chat to them both. Some youth reps had the chance to speak to the lord high commissioner as well. After the palace, we all went to the Hard Rock Cafe for some dinner. That was a lovely time to spend some time chatting with folks as well. Once we were done there, we headed back to the hotel where we enjoyed our last night together just sitting in the bar chatting and laughing, then moving on to one of our rooms once the bar closed!

All in all a good day, a busy day, but a fun, sociable day.

Peace Out



  1. Thanks for that report Chris – good to hear some of the other things that go on other than the ones that dominate the headlines. 🙂

  2. Sorry to say that I couldn’t agree more with your disappointment about the answers to the questions to the youth reps. I though Iain did well giving just enough information to leave space for questions.

    There were some real gift questions, just begging for a good and full answer where the NYA reps could have spoken about their own Assembly and the deliverences they were bringing to the General Assembly’s attention. But not one of them did. I’m not sure if that was because they were nervous or what it was but they looked unprepared.

    A bit of thought about how the Youth Assembly Reps prepare for their moment in the General Assembly would be more than helpful.

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