11th October 2014 at St James’ Alnwick –
Our October Synod took place at St James’ in Alnwick. St James’ made us very welcome, greeting us with bacon sandwiches and teas and coffees. The 2nd Alnwick Guides tempted us with some excellent cakes.
The Moderator Revd Lis Mullen welcomed Synod to St James’ and Revd Joan Grindrod-Helmn and Madeline Russell led our opening worship. The Moderator welcomed folk new to the Synod.
We remembered friends who are unwell and families coping with bereavement. We said farewell to those moving to pastures new and we congratulated ministers who are celebrating anniversaries of their ordination.
Francis Brienen, Deputy General Secretary for Mission led a thought-provoking Bible study along our theme of Mission for the church today. Francis used Acts 1:1- 11 as and invited us to think about what Jesus asks us to do, now. She explained how Jesus promised the 2nd generation church and those which followed, the Holy Spirit for mission.
She concluded it doesn’t matter whether we are in big churches or small ones, urban or rural , the question we should ask is not what or how we should do church differently, but rather how is the Holy Spirit leading us, right where we are, and what we can do to respond?
Revd Dr Jack Dyce from the Synod of Scotland took the chair as Synod considered and agreed the proposal that our Interim Moderator remain with us until July 2016. On this happy note we had a break for lunch.
Anytown URC was how Revd Jamie Kissack described his church. He told us that his church in Hornsea which had ‘very ordinary’, ‘not quite so energetic as they used to be’ members, thought it had no resources. Yet, 18 months later, with a busy telephone service for isolated people up and running, they realized they had just the skills and talents they needed, they just couldn’t see it at the time.
The business and resolutions were considered and the formal minutes will be posted on this website.
The Moderator talked about Mission Partnerships and how they will remain for now, for those who find them useful. Churches were encouraged to meet together in ways which made the most sense to them. Work on the Northern Synods collaboration is continuing and it is hoped we may share a training post with North West Synod in the future.
We held an open conversation about the marriage of same sex couples in preparation for the discussions to follow in churches across the Synod. Synod will give its response to General Assembly at the March 2015 synod.
On a lighter note Andrew Atkinson the Trust Officer tested our knowledge of churches and the rights and wrongs of building maintenance.
Synod concluded with a short act of worship and having omitted to ask Norma Pigeon from St Columba’s to offer the invitation there next time, we do it now!