The last day of the General Assembly considered mainly its practical issues. How on earth we afford the insurance on some of these glorious yet often impractical buildings? How do we look after our buildings from halls to manses and of course sanctuaries? And how do we look after the staff in the infamous building of 121 (a building we are keeping for the foreseeable future)? Media stories from the weekend told the world that moral is low in 121. Probably no wonder when 121 is often a dirty word and covers a multitude of people, councils and committees. I resisted suggesting in my question re the nomination committee that people are afraid of becoming a 121 person. I did ask the nomination committee to include in their reflections and statistics the number of people who move from committee to panel to council. I voiced a question that others think but didn’t ask but most of all I am impressed I got the courage to ask and challenge. I was saddened at overhearing conversations at coffee about how we could be done in 3 days if we simply banned personal comments etc yet the beauty of the assembly is recognising that we are family united in common purpose and each person brings something important to the body of Christ.
I must admit to feeling very low last night about all things Presbyterian! And rather like the cold wet fog of this morning I couldn’t see very clearly. Yet when the love of God burns through like the sun, the fog clears and spirits rise. I am glad the assembly has finished and for all it was a gentle stroll through all things Presbyterian I am glad to be returning to my first love – my parish. Developing this wonderful group of people in my congregation, exploring apostolic vision, embracing risks for and with God, building up the disciples He has given me and seeking to be missional – I am grateful for the freedom within the Presbyterian system to do this. I just hope one day there is a real flavour of these issues in the General Assembly from start to finish.
The most practical thing we can do is let God have his way. His church is living, vibrant and beautiful today, and the foundations of tomorrow. God has his mission and he has called his church to participate in it.
I hope you have enjoyed this blog series. Comments and questions welcome.