Day 3 was a bit of an odd one for me. I spent most of the morning in bed after being unwell for most of the night (no alcohol involved!). In the afternoon I laid out a labyrinth for the FURY Oasis (activities and chill out for youth delegates).
The labyrinth went really well and those who walked it left some amazing comments and lots of them were clearly deeply affected by their journey. It was great to get to spend some time getting to know more of the Fury folk.
Day 4 was another odd day. Most of my morning was taken up with clearning up and getting boxes to Sue to bring home for me. I missed most of the Bible Study which I was annoyed about as the guy was showing lots of pictures children of all ages had made depicting their understanding of Psalm 139. Powerful stuff.
I sat in on the Racial Justice and Multicultural Ministry discussion around compelling every synod to send at least one delegate from the black or ethnic minority community. The resolution was eventually withdrawn partially because it had been badly thought through and partially because the debate was handled very poorly in terms of proceedure. My own thoughts? I’m not sure that compelling synods was the right was to go. Many of the Synods have very few, if any, members, elders or ministers who are black or from ethnic minority groups. For example, we in the Synod of Scotland have one black minister. She would have to attend every Assembly. She ministers in a community that is 98% white. Who is it she would represent? The real challenge is for us to engage with all the cultures and ethnic groups in Scotland.
The committee defined ethinic minority as ‘not white european’. I’m not sure that reflects the real multicultural make up of the URC with growing engagement in many areas with the large numbers of eastern european immigrants who bring a very different culture to our church and community as well as the black and asian community in many urban areas.
I think it would have perhaps been more useful to encourage Synods to look at the enthnic make up of their churches and to ensure that this is represented in their delegation to General Assembly.
And that was General Assembly for 2007. It’s in Edinburgh next year.
I travelled home by train, both of which were on time (well done Virgin!) and collapsed into bed after a curry from Cafe Manzil! (yummy!)