Council members from around Scotland came to meet in Pitlochry on Tuesday and Wednesday (15th/16th March). Nigel Heath (Westwood BC) led our devotions over the two days and began our meeting by reminding us that we had both a responsibility to have an adventurous, risk-taking spirit whilst taking good care of the work of our Union. These opening thoughts reflected well our agenda over Council.
It was lovely to have new faces at Council, as well as welcoming Mo back after her maternity leave.
In reflecting on the work of the National Team, Alan asked how we view the spiritual temperature in Scotland – a lost cause or a glorious opportunity?
During the course of our two days together we reflected on the qualitative research report produced by Steve Younger from the feedback gathered at Assembly 2015. We discussed the findings, looked for trends and tried to hear together what God might be saying to us. We look forward to seeing how this information can be used for blessing of our family of churches in the future.
Edwin Penman inspired us with the BMS World Mission strategy – the ‘how to’ of BMS’s vision: ‘The Highest Goal of all we do is to bring people to faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and an experience of the abundant life that only he can provide’.
There were reports from Scottish Baptist College, Mission Initiative Group and Board of Ministry as well looking at the proposed budget for the coming financial year, and considering the levels of stipendiary increase and the per capita level for the Scottish Baptist Fund (Council set these as a 2% increase and £40/member respectively).
Council also set into motion groups for the 5 year review of Finance Director, Search Group for the Convenor role and a Retirement Housing task group.
Grants have been given to Castlemilk and Dennistoun churches who are working with refugees in Scotland. These funds were collected the offerings given at Assembly and by churches special offerings(further grants are available – please contact the Union office for information).
As usual, it is not just what we discuss that makes Council significant, but being together, sharing conversation, praying for one another and raising our eyes above our ‘normal day-to-day’ agendas. It was good to be together.