Council on Zoom – Council Digest September 2020
For the first time ever, we saw our autumn Council on 2 September 2020 being held via the Zoom video conferencing platform, though it was deemed an informal meeting due to restrictions within our Articles of Association at present. OSCR has relaxed some of the rules to allow some business meetings online during this time of Covid-19.
As well as reading the National Team reports in their papers, Council heard some comments from the National Team about how our network of churches have been coping with Lockdown, as well as the challenges and opportunities presented to us at this time. In particular, Martin highlighted the flexibility and adaptability of churches and the creative ways churches have risen to the challenges. Many of our churches have continued to look after the poor and vulnerable in their communities as well as encouraging good connections within the fellowships and in the communities. There have been many ways to connect our ministers together for mutual support and encouragement as well as opportunities to create spaces for churches to reflect on mission during this time of pandemic.
We are thankful to our churches, which have continued to give consistently to the Scottish Baptist Fund throughout these months. This has enabled us to continue serving churches with information, advice and opportunities for engagement. Council highlighted the helpful and timely advice on Covid-19 restrictions from the BUS staff team as well as the encouragement of the Prayer Livestream gatherings on a Sunday evening.
Council spent some time considering what our experiences of Lockdown and digital worship have taught us and what may or may not be carried forward into the future. Council noted both the good and bad points to technology and the longing for face-to-face worship again. It was felt that going forward there will certainly be a place for digital expressions of worship.
There were various reports heard from the Mission Initiative Group, the Board of Ministry, the nominations process for Trustee Board and Council members as well as a report from BMS World Mission. Council also spent time considering some questions Martin Hodson posed on resourcing our future strategy.
Council approved that the following formal motions could be presented at the AGM: that the UVA could be wound up and OSCR approved the company name change to BUS (not BUS Ltd); a number of changes to the Articles of Association and Bye-Laws regarding setting the reference stipend, how we sign-off minutes and the use of teleconferencing for meetings.
The Council meeting finished with Ali Laing giving an update on our national gathering called Canopy which will be online from 23rd – 25th October. This will include a national prayer evening on the Friday night; a mix of worship, church stories and Bible teaching on the Saturday morning; a selection of seminars on the Saturday afternoon; an all-age programme and youth events as well as a final one-hour session on the Sunday morning, which we are hoping many of our churches will choose to use as their morning worship service that Sunday.