Posted by: Chris Hoskins | May 30, 2009

GA2009 – Wednesday proceedings

Wednesday was the last day of assembly, it was a sad day, in that it was my last day of assembly as a Youth rep. It was also an exciting day because I was looking forward to seeing Linda again and Archbishop Desmond Tutu was speaking.

Before I write about the moderators address, there is some background stuff you need to know. The youth reps, as a group, decided to set the moderator a challenge. We decided to ask him to choose 1 word out of 3 and incorporate it into some part of the proceedings. The 3 options were: ‘fishfingers’ ‘fiddlesticks’ and ‘rolypoly’. We were all quite chuffed when he accepted the challenge.

So, the mods address was based around Luje 19: 1-10. The mod was talking about Jesus unmistakable plan: that he came to seek and save the lost. He started by telling a story about a wee boy ordering something in a restaurant(at which point all the youth reps expected one of the words to come out, it didn’t!). As the story went on we kept thinking one of the words would pop up. Eventually the mod uttered the now(amongst youth reps) immortal line: ‘fiddlesticks and fishfingers, thats not what I ordered!’. Que hilarious laughter from the youth reps all sitting together, and no-one else. The mod did a very good job of holding a straight face, while Marjory (obviously in the know) looked like she might fall of her seat with laughter! While we all had a great laugh, I’m sure the rest of the assembly (and those watching online) thought we must have the worst collective sense of humour in the world!
Back on with the mods address: He talked about how we all often know what the script is, but we always want to change. This was in reference to God and life.
How often do we try and complicate what Jesus has called us to? His call is simple: ‘follow me’. How powerful is that?
He left me thinking over this statement: ‘we are to be the Church, and we have to be it now.’ I’m going to be pondering that for quite a while!
I’m sure you all know by now that Archbishop Desmond Tutu graced the assembly with his presence. He was awesome, his full address can be viewed here. Here are a few of my notes on top of that, I’ll just bullet point them:
My first impression of him was that he had a very peaceful presence, a fantastic voice: calm, gentle, inviting, warm and passionate.
‘an omnipotent God who becomes impotent in the face of injustice and oppresion, is he an impotent God? or wanting his people to act?’
‘South Africa is so thankful for those who supported them through apartheid; protesters, martyrs, those who prayed etc’
he gave grateful thanks for all the missionary work the CofS has done in SA.
He urged us to ‘invest in all people a worth that is infinite; that we are created in God’s image’.
As Christians, we are compelled by God’s imperative for love.
‘Go and do justice for the orphan, widow and alien’
God draws all into his embrace.

my notes are really just some of the phrases he used that I thought were particularly captivating. I really do think you should listen to his address as a whole. What I found most moving was the 2/3 minute long standing ovation the assembly as a whole gave the Archbishop. He was obviously moved, to tears at one point. Over my 6 times at assembly, I’ve heard many ‘important’ people speak: Alex Salmond, Gordon Brown, the Queen, but never have I heard someone so passionate, gracious and Godly as Desmond Tutu. It was definitely a privilege and a moment I won’t forget in a while!

I’ll posy later about exactly what the GA has meant to me in these formative years as a Christian, I’ll just focus on GA2009 just now. I had to leave early, in order to get to Inverness at a decent hour! I finished my time at the GA by going for a coffee at Starbucks with some of the other youth reps. We were blessed to be joined by Alan MacDonald, ex moderator. He’s just awesome. He’s an incredibly intelligent, spiritual guy, but at the same time very down to earth and funny. It was a great way to spend my last hour as a youth rep………


  1. Fab blog Chris!

    Desmond Tutu is such an amazing man – a beautiful soul

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