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Presbyterianism in Action


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The Church of Scotland is the recognised National church in Scotland. Whenever a contentious decision is asked for it at it's annual General Assembly it uses something called the Barrier Act to slow things down, so from there the inidividual areas come together to vote, and it then goes back to the next General Assembly to pass a vote.  The whole point of presbyterianism is that no one person has the ear of God, for we were created equal and in God's image. By definition the church is a slow and painful thing to change, last year a minister asked if we could recognise that we are never going to reconcile those that do not want to embrace blessing same sex marriage, with those that do want to and allow ministers to actually sign up in order to legally be able to conduct services while still allowing those who are against to be legally protected.

I saw this this morning and it brightened my day.



I know that simply by culture alone Uist, Lewis and Skye will intend to vote no, as if they had their way people wiould still not be allowed to cook or do their washing on a Sunday; but since the votes are already in the majority in favour, a report will be submitted to the General Assembly in May. However, it will only become Church law in Scotland if the General Assembly agree to the legislation too.
The Church has been debating sexuality since 2006 with the advent of Civil Partnerships in Scotland and whether ministers could bless them, but this is the first time that the vote seemse to ahve moved past a 50/50 split. It has taken time but now the Church is on the threshold of allowing people in same sex relationships to be married by their ministers!
At the moment the only indicator I have while I look for an accepting church is whether a church has indicated that they have Departed from the traditional stance and are happy for a minister in a same sex partnership to be called (which has been allowed for a few years if the individual church allows it), the church is also restructuring it's presbyteries so that they will shrink down to a likely 8 in total, so this is a detailed population indicator that simply won't exist when it comes to the actual vote. This shows things moving slowly but surely in the right direction.


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I am glad to hear they are leaning in the right direction.


I don't have any personal allegiance to Christianity, but my grandfather was a Church of Scotland minister.  He served in several parishes all over Scotland, but my memories, dim as they are, are of Contin, which would be in #37 on your map.  I looked it up on Google Streetview.  Beautiful setting, and the manse looks nice, but what a dreary-looking church!


Thanks for sharing the good news.

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Very good news DeeDee!  Looks like some progress is being made. 



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@KathyLauren Wow! I know the Contin area well. I used to wild swim in the river there as a teenager. The trend from conservative to liberal going from north to south and rural to central belt has been anecotally known for years, but there are definitely far more yeses than I expected, and that does give me hope for the future.

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6 hours ago, DeeDee said:

Wow! I know the Contin area well.


That's amazing!  I have never encountered anyone who had even heard of Contin.

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Hi, I'm Scots by ancestry and a Presbyterian by choice and ordination, so this hits close to home for me. Here in the states, Presbyterianism has split into three major denominations, with varying degrees of acceptance of the entire LGBTQ community, the most inclusive being the PCUSA. Back in 2014 we (clergy) voted to sanction and allow same sex marriages as well as gay/lesbian ministers of Word and Sacrament. So far, the PCA and OPC have not. 


Congrats, @DeeDee! Glad to see some progress is being made in Scotland.

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My great grandfather was an Elder, and I am a Deacon in PCUSA. I was also on the search committee and steering committee for a new church development in PCUSA.  I am out to our current minister and church members.  I couldn’t have done that if we weren’t PCUSA.



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16 hours ago, Willow said:

My great grandfather was an Elder, and I am a Deacon in PCUSA. I was also on the search committee and steering committee for a new church development in PCUSA.  I am out to our current minister and church members.  I couldn’t have done that if we weren’t PCUSA.



Hi @Willow, What you say is the truth, and it's good news for the church. When I was going through seminary (a long time ago) we were bound by the fidelity and chastity clause in the Book of Order, which was, to put it mildly, very parochial in its interpretation of marriage, ordination and sexuality. Thank God it was rewritten to reflect a more inclusive perspective. Had that not happened, I would not be ordained and you would not be a deacon. 


Sometimes progress is slow, but it is certain. There's an old saying about how the gristmill of God grinds slowly, but it never stops and it always grinds very fine. Perhaps we're seeing it now...

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