Theology United Reformed Church


On Sunday I will preside at communion for the first time.  I’m a little nervous, a little excited and a little scared in case I make a mess of it!

I’m not a minister.  I’m a youth worker.  I do quite a bit of preaching but I have no formal theological training.  The fact that I am allowed to conduct communion in the United Reformed Church speaks volumes about their real belief in what might be called ‘the priesthood of all believers’, that is that everyone who believes has a ministry.

The Church of Scotland, the denomination I grew up in, says it believes in the priesthood of all believers but retains a very definite divide between the ordained ministry of ‘word and sacrament’ (proper ministry) and all the rest.

I don’t get it.  Where does Jesus say ‘Do this to remember me, but only if you have a theology degree.’?  He didn’t.  He said that whenever we gather around the table we should take bread and remember his sacrifice for us and take wine and remember the new covenant.  Is it really more complicated than that?

God, Faith & Church United Reformed Church

Synod of Scotland

Saughtonhall Church
Isn’t technology great…I’m at the Spring Synod of the United Reformed Church in Scotland in Saughtonhall URC, Edinburgh.  I’ve been to this church before and had a great time.  It’s a lively congregation led so ably by Sue.  I love the beautiful windows that were saved from their old building and incorporated into the new church.

Things are off to a great start.  Two fantastic young people led our prayers this morning and this afternoon Morison Memorial Church in Clydebank will be presented with their Child Friendly Church Award, the first to receive the award in our Synod.  Hopefully lots more churches will follow their lead (but I wonder sometimes!).

First on the agenda… Ministerial Deployment.  An indication of when ministers would retire gives a startling picture of the demisnishing number of ministers over the next 10 years, so we need a policy.  I worry that one thing we seem not to be talking about in tandem with the issue of deployment of ‘ministers’ is how we support and skill the people of God to play their part in ministry.

 Sexuallity now…

Just listening about the moratorium on the making of policy on Human Sexuality.

Feedback from the Synod Roadshows now…  It’s always interesting to hear what people thought their church was like and is for.  Over the months from October to November the Synod team toured around the country to engage with our congregations and ask them to think about who and what they would like to be.  Part of that exercise was to ask people to write words that described who they were as a church.  We have collated these and now Jack is trying hard to explain an H diagram exercise!  The room is set up in a cabaret style so we’re engaging in lots of discussion today.

The replacement of Trident is next in the agenda.  The Synod of Scotland believes that the replacement of Trident is morally indefensible and is incompatible with our commitment to peacemaking.  Good contributions urging us to remember that our commitment is a practical one.

Our first church to attain the Child Friendly Church Award received their certificate today!

Fairtrade Churches now number 50% of the Synod.  That seems to be good progress but the process seems to be slowing down.

All in all Synod went well I think.  The setting definitely enhanced the meeting.  It was great to have tables rather than being stuck in straight lines.  A great advert for taking pews out!!!