Council Digest – September 2021
Council met in early September. Our meeting was once again over zoom but nevertheless, we had a time of warm fellowship as we gathered at what turned out to be a significant moment for our Union.
In many ways this meeting proved to be a time of both goodbyes and welcomes. We thanked Peter Dick and Jim Purves for their lengthy service to the Union as part of the National Team. We thanked Anne Muir for her time on Council as Chair of the Board of Ministry and we gratefully acknowledged the other Council members who are now rotating off the Council at the end of their term of office. Our Council has been well served by all those mentioned and we wished them all well going forward.
The welcomes were for our new appointees to the National Team. We were delighted to hear from Brian Windram (our new Finance Director); Lisa Holmes (our Deeper Church Lead); Lyndsay Cameron-Ross (our Communications Lead); Glenn Innes (our Future Church Lead); Andrew Clarke (now full-time as our Leadership Development Lead); and Ali Laing (whose position has now changed to cover his being both our Younger Generation Lead and Digital Church Lead). We were inspired by what all that these folks had to say to us and the thoughtfulness; willingness to listen; and experience that each of them bring to their new positions. Al Purss prayed for our General Director, Martin Hodson, as he heads up this new and expanded team. This team now sits at the centre of our Union’s activities, but aims to be of great service to our family of churches as we move forward into what the Lord has for us in the times ahead.
Council members had a fruitful group discussion time in breakout rooms. This enabled the National Team to ‘capture’ thoughts coming from across many of our churches. These thoughts ranged from concern about the position we find ourselves in post the pandemic to how we go forward ensuring that we include all the positive things we have consequently learned about doing church differently. There was a warm sense of welcome for our new appointees; an excitement about the possibilities around creative thinking for the future; and a desire to go on experimenting with new ideas.
Ben Drabble, one of the Communications Directors from BMS World Mission, brought a report on all the activities with which BMS have been engaged over the last few months. In particular, Ben mentioned the Covid Relief Support which has been brought to many areas. He also brought news that despite the fact that BMS workers have recently had to be repatriated from Afghanistan, there is a hope that at some point, when it is safe to do so, BMS staff may be able to return to that country.
Together as Council we took decisions regarding the transfer of BUS office bearer status from Peter Dick to Brain Windram; the expansion of the Mission Initiative Group to allow greater representation from our churches; the appointment of new members of the Board of Ministry; the affirmation of the nominees for appointment or reappointment to Council; and an agreement to support the Trustee Board’s recommendation to the AGM to be held in November that Stephen Hagan be appointed as the new BUS Convenor.
This was altogether a very positive Council meeting and I am indebted to both Hamish Wishart who led us in worship and prayer and to all the others who took part in or otherwise enabled the proceedings.
God willing, we are hopefully all slowly emerging into a new season post the pandemic and as I close my final Council Digest, I would like to say it has been a privilege to serve as Convenor to the BUS Council over my time in office.
Wishing you all every blessing,
Frances J. Bloomfield