Chain Reactions

At the meeting of the Presbytery of Glasgow on 12/09/23, my nomination as the
Business Committee Convener was confirmed. The reaction to this news has been
fascinating to me. But before I turn to that, let me explain what this new role will
involve for me. Currently the Business Committee is responsible for:
• ordering the business of Presbytery;
• giving space for Committees and Teams to understand what each other is
working on and whether there is potential overlap or potential for working
collaboratively on a matter;
• arranging away days for Conveners and Vice-Conveners to consider together
issues that affect Presbytery as a whole;
• exercising oversight of Presbytery finance, working with the Treasurer to
prepare the annual budget, and;
• preparing and approving Presbytery’s annual accounts.
For me, this will mean a few extra meetings each month and a more regular
attendance at all meetings of Presbytery. But back to reactions to this new role.
When I shared this news with some of our office-bearers the news was received
with mixed emotions. Some were concerned for my workload. Others were more
pragmatic. I explained that all Ministers at their Ordination/Induction are
required to sign a Formula accepting their obligations as Ministers, having
previously publicly taken a number of vows, one of which is to promise: “to be
subject in the Lord to this Presbytery and to the General Assembly of this Church,
and to take your due part in the administration of its affairs.” So in accepting
this new role, I am fulfilling a vow I took a long number of years ago. But I have
also accepted this position as the Presbytery believes I have something to offer
and contribute to its work at this time. What this does do for me and our
congregation is ensure that I will not be asked to serve as an Interim Moderator,
which in the current climate would be a more onerous and lengthier task. Another
individual asked Julie, if this meant I would be given a pay rise, and have some of
my other duties and responsibilities delegated to someone else! The answer to
those questions is of course NO. A colleague on the day of the meeting, sent me a
text to congratulate me, and another member of Presbytery greeted me on my
arrival and asked how I felt about my ‘peerage’. Then finally after Presbytery had
approved my appointment a colleague tapped me on my shoulder, congratulated me
and shook my hand.
At this point, as ever, I thought to myself, “What have I let myself in for?” Time
alone will tell, but I shall be relying on your prayers and support as I take up these
new and additional responsibilities.