Is Presbyterianism Working?

I’ve spent the last couple of days at my desk with the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly streaming live in the corner of my desktop.

At various points I have sighed, shouted and come very close to swearing at some of the things said.  Today the Youth Assembly reported impressively in the person of their Moderator Judith Taylor.  One of the questions raised, not for the first time, was why youth delegates don’t have a vote.  The answer, again not for the first time, is that they are not elders, deacons or ministers and have not therefore signed the Formula making them eligible to serve in the Courts of the Church.  Making an exception would, and I quote ‘be the top of a slippery slope’.

A slippery slope leading where?  Would the slippery slope lead to some kind of representation of the people in the church who would be able to make decissions about their church, what their priorities are and how their money should be spent?  Heaven forbid that people actually feel some sense of connection to their church or that their church trusts them and their contribution.

But then obviously there is no need for change as the current system of governance seems to be working so well!!!  People feel such a sense of belonging, no one is leaving, young people are flocking to church and all is well… (repeat with a small hint of sarcasm)

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7 Responses to Is Presbyterianism Working?

  1. JohnO says:

    I was watching the video feed this morning as well.
    I thought the reaction from commissioners was very encouraging, especially the visiting ones. I think there is great potential there for YA to get involved in the worldwide church which would give them an excellent ‘profile’.

    I thought the deputy clerk’s suggested answer from ‘legal questions’ was ‘interesting’. How can a church see fit to set apart readers who would be considered ‘unfit’ to be part of a kirk session? I can see that there are legal issues to be overcome, but if that is the basis of their argument (or at least an example of it) then it surely stands on rather shaky ground.

    And if signing up to the Formula is the issue, why not allow prospective delegates/commissioners the opportunity of signing up? It wouldn’t automatically give rights of access to session, presbytery or assembly, but it would acknowledge that their voice counted as a ‘legitimate’ part of the CofS.

  2. chris says:

    “But then obviously there is no need for change as the current system of governance seems to be working so well!!! People feel such a sense of belonging, no one is leaving, young people are flocking to church and all is well…”
    Um. Quite. I’m glad for your sarcasm.

  3. Stewart says:

    I think what got me going most was the obvious wishes of the commissioners to include the youth delegates further but the obstacles placed in the way of that by the ‘system’. I remember once at Assembly someone suggested a great idea. The Clerk stood up and informed the Assembly that this would require an Act of Parliament to change the current Act to allow the idea to go ahead. That was the end of the idea. Rather than change the rules people back down. The system always seems to win and people settle down and ‘know their place’.

  4. Avril says:

    Personally i think it sounds tired and depressed … it’s badly needing an injection of energy, motivation, drive, sense of purpose, optimism, charisma!?!!

  5. Stewart says:

    is that just since I stopped working there dearest?

  6. Avril says:

    actually darlin, i was thinking more like since i left!

    it just looks kind of weary and in need of some tlc … equivalent of a spa visit!

  7. bclc says:

    http://bclc.wordpress.com/2006/12/05/great-church-myths-72/

    I am actually 43 now and don’t feel any different about it….

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