Vacancy News
25 June 2017

Session Clerk’s Update

As I promised in the summer edition of Connections, here is an update on progress made on our vacancy journey following Alison’s departure on 18 May. It includes information on how to make nominations for people to serve on the Nominating Committee.

The Electoral Register has been finalised for use, if needed, to elect the Nominating Committee and later for the new Minister. The Kirk Session agreed to the addition of 10 new adherents. Unless we have found our new Minister in 6 months the register will be updated at that stage.

I know many of you have taken part in the Consultation meetings held on 11 and 25 June. The final one is on 2 July. The discussions were lively and feedback has been very helpful. Questionnaires are still available at church on a Sunday, from the church office or from your elder and will be used in the preparation of the Parish Profile and to guide the work of the Nominating Committee.

Please return completed questionnaires to Janet Allan c/o Church Office, or to your elder, as soon as possible and no later than 16 July.

[Note that this deadline has now passed. Thanks to all who participated.]

The Presbytery has appointed an Advisory Committee to assist us during the vacancy. Its Convener is the Rev Dr Easter Smart of Currie Kirk. The Committee met the Kirk Session on 20 June and will meet the Nominating Committee once it starts its work.

To comply with the Church of Scotland’s requirements, the Session has been thinking very carefully about whether or not to consider applications from Ministers in civil partnerships or same sex marriages and has had advice from the Interim Moderator and the Advisory Committee. On 20 June the Session’s first, indicative, vote on the matter was substantially in favour of considering any such applications. The Session will hold their second and final vote on 9 July.

The Nominating Committee (formerly known as Vacancy Committee) is the group that will have the responsibility of looking for our next minister and making a recommendation tothe congregation. The Committee of 13 people will be chosen at a congregational meeting after the 10.30am service on 30 July. If more than 13 people are nominated, there will be a secret, paper ballot. Only those on the Electoral Register and who are present at that meeting will be eligible to vote. Our Interim Moderator, the Rev Jamie Griggs, will conduct the election. The membership of the Committee will be announced right away, posted on the website and included in the next edition of Vacancy News in early August.

Nominations for membership of the Committee may be made in advance, up to 23 July, or during the meeting on 30 July.

[Note that the 23 July deadline has now passed.
 New nominations may only now be made at the meeting on 30 July.]

The nominee must have a proposer and a seconder, and all three people must be on the Electoral Register. You can nominate more than one person. Please complete and return this form, even if you have already made an informal suggestion in your questionnaire. The proposer must confirm that the nominee is prepared to be on the Committee. Membership of the Nominating Committee can be enriching and rewarding, but it is also a big commitment in time, especially on a Sunday. The work of the Committee is completely confidential to its members alone. It is vital that the Committee is representative of the spread of interests, ages and genders of the congregation so please help by making nominations.

The Parish and Congregational Profile is an important document that will describe in detail the make-up of the parish and congregation to help inform possible candidates. Information collected during the consultation and in the questionnaires, including about our strengths, challenges and priorities, will be used in its preparation. The Profile will be posted on the website.

As you can see there is a lot going on at the moment. Since the Nominating Committee will carry out its work in private there will be a period when you will have to be patient since I won’t be able to report on how it is getting on. Meantime let us all remember in prayer everyone who has a part to play in the search for our new Minister and those who are looking after our spiritual and pastoral needs in the meantime.

Valerie Macniven
Session Clerk

Webpage icon Vacancy News 1 August 2017
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