NYA Deliverances

Once completed this page will contain every NYA deliverance from 2004 onwards. Click on the following links to be taken to that year. What is given here is the final collated deliverance for each year. However, the report as printed in the General Assembly’s “Blue Book” can be downloaded as a pdf for each year and in some cases this contains more detailed minutes, reports and details of who presented at debates.

2011 Deliverance
2010 Deliverance | GA Report
2009 Deliverance | GA Report
2008 Deliverance | GA Report
2007 Deliverance | GA Report
2006 Deliverance | GA Report
2005 Deliverance | GA Report
2004 Deliverance | GA Report

NYA2011 – “Love life”

At Stirling and within the University campus, 2-5 September 2011.

Debate One – Sexualisation of Childhood
The National Youth Assembly:

  1. recognises the ground-breaking and challenging work of the Church of Scotland Guild. The NYA congratulate them on their achievements to date and would urge them to continue their campaigns, working closely with other relevant organisations.
  2. feels that children should not be exposed to over-sexualised images and ideals on their own. However, the NYA does not think that legislative censorship is a good solution. Instead the NYA seeks a balanced approach where children are guided and supported in their development by responsible education.
  3. seeks to consult with the Scottish Youth Parliament over the sexualisation and commercialisation of children.
  4. seeks to work with relevant organisations on the issue of child trafficking in relation to London Olympics 2012 and Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014.
  5. believes the way in which the human body is portrayed in the media through airbrushed models of perfection leads to false expectations of boys and girls for themselves and others.
  6. encourage all clothing retailers to analyse their products and marketing strategies to ensure all merchandise is age appropriate.
  7. believes that those in the public eye, especially those who market themselves to young audiences, should bear in mind their responsibilities as role models and act accordingly.
  8. believes all of us, as part of the Church of Scotland, have a responsibility to be role models within our communities and to encourage and enable each other.
  9. asks the Church and Society Council to explore what help could be given to local churches in supporting families, particularly in regard to the choices they make about clothing, TV, movies, music, internet and computer games for their children, with intent to implement such support within a reasonable time scale.
  10. urges the Mission and Discipleship Council, working with other relevant organisations, to offer training for those who hold leadership roles within the Church; that they in turn can provide support for parents including exploring the possibility of offering parenting classes, drop-in or support groups for parents and their children within churches and the local community.
  11. believes that all types of advertising going out to a general audience (i.e billboards, bus shelters, TV etc.) should be regulated in the same way and under the same restrictions as each other.
  12. instructs the 2011 appointed youth representatives to further consider the Advertising Standards Agency’s Code of Practice and encourage the ASA to extend their Code of Practice in relation to non-broadcast advertising and sexually portraying content in regard to minors.
  13. recognises the advantages of parental controls and the ease with which they can be used and commits to raising awareness of how these can be activated in partnership with the Guild and the Church and Society Council.
  14. affirms the Bailey’s Review proposal which seeks to create a website for parents to use to make complaints in regard to images, music videos and advertising. However, the NYA feel it should be expanded to also incorporate advice for parents and guardians.
  15. understands that children can’t be sheltered from knowledge of the world we live in; this includes not just issues of sexuality but also of war, poverty and other world issues.

Debate Two – Priority Areas
The National Youth Assembly:

  1. commends the work of the Church of Scotland in priority areas through the Priority Areas team and partner organisations whilst recognising that the entire Church has a responsibility to this cause.
  2. seeks to encourage priority area congregations to send youth delegates to NYA as the presence of young people from all sections of the church will vastly enrich the voice of NYA.
  3. recognises the good work of uniformed organisations and encourages the Church to develop its work with them to adapt to meet the needs of young people in priority areas.
  4. encourages the provisions for youth work in all areas of Scotland and commit to working with other groups to this end.
  5. urges the Council of Assembly to expand financial provision for the Church’s outreach to priority areas for all ages.
  6. encourages the Church to explore and develop co-operation with other bodies within local communities, such as sport clubs, musical organisations etc., with the aim of reacting and supporting young people, especially those in priority areas.
  7. encourages local churches to share resources, talents and time to build links between communities which may lead to more structured twinnings and parish groupings.
  8. instructs its elected representatives to work with people (including local and national charities) who are exploring funding options to assist with the provision of facilities, including technology, for the use of youth groups specifically in priority areas. The representatives should raise awareness of these options by reporting back.
  9. asks the Ministries Council to explore further ways for church leaders, workers and volunteers in priority areas to exchange ideas and provide clearer and more accessible information on opportunities for volunteers.
  10. asks the 2011 NYA representatives to explore volunteering opportunities available within youth work projects and make these well known to all within the COSY family.
  11. condemns stereotyping of priority areas and those who live in them.
  12. believes that inter-generational work is paramount in breaking down the stereotypes of modern society.
  13. believes the “Sunday best” attitude in Church creates a barrier for people. The Church should welcome people for who they are regardless of their background, circumstances and how they are dressed.
  14. believes that negative attitudes and stereotypes in regard to young people are profoundly damaging and can cause or enhance feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness.
  15. believes that the Church has a responsibility to encourage the media to portray young people in a more positive light and encourages the elected youth representatives of this Assembly, in conjunction with the Church and Society Council and the Scottish Youth Parliament, to lobby the relevant parties.
  16. condemns priority areas being exploited by the media for entertainment purposes but would encourage continuing education and awareness-raising of life in such areas through responsible documentaries.
  17. encourages awareness-raising of work done in priority areas through media such as “The Good News” newsletter published by the Church of Scotland online.
  18. believes that the priority area system is a helpful system but recognises that there are weaknesses in portioning priority on a purely statistical basis. Therefore the NYA encourages the Ministries Council to revaluate how it selects priority areas and also supports the expansion of the priority area targeting.

Debate Three – Marriage
The National Youth Assembly:

  1. believes that marriage is an individual choice and recognises that it may not be the correct choice for everyone.
  2. believes in the sanctity of marriage and that the Church should seek to continue to value it with reference to our constantly unfolding understanding of scriptures.
  3. believes society puts too much emphasis on the materialistic aspects of weddings and not enough on the longevity of marriage.
  4. encourages the Church to engage, in a meaningful way, with those approaching the Church for marriage and to view that contact as an opportunity to build new relationships.
  5. acknowledges that different marriage guidance courses are available and would encourage the Church to raise awareness of such courses.
  6. would encourage preachers to engage with marital issues on a more regular basis outwith wedding ceremonies.
  7. believes that couples who are truly unhappy in a marriage should not be pressurised into staying together, including for reasons because of their children, and divorce or separation may be the most appropriate action. Furthermore:
    i) Positive married role models should be encouraged, without detracting from positive influences of those who are single.
    ii) In cases of divorce, children should not be used as emotional weapons.
  8. recognises that divorce and separation, although unfortunate, can have a positive impact on individual lives and feels the wider Church should recognise this also.
  9. condemns the stigma present within the Church in regard to divorce and recognises the difficulties that couples may face as part of being involved in a faith community.
  10. believes there is a need for greater pastoral care available to couples at all stages of relationships (entering, during and leaving) and to any children of these relationships who may be affected by these relationships. The Church has a responsibility to keep them included within their loving community.
  11. affirms the possibility of re-marriage for divorcees whilst respecting the presence of a conscience clause available to ministers of the Church.
  12. believe there is a need for greater engagement with the issue of divorce and with the people it affects. This would include further guidance for ministers and those in a pastoral role.
  13. encourages the Marriage Report Working Group to give serious consideration to the drafting of liturgy to mark the end of relationships.
  14. recognises that there are differing views on sex before marriage and feels the Church of Scotland should respect all of these views. The NYA encourages the use of the Mission and Discipleship’s teaching resources on Singleness within youth groups in regard to this topic.
  15. affirms that regardless of relationship status, we are all equally loved by God.

Debate Two Appendix – Youth Work
Moved during the debate from the Priority Areas Deliverance
The National Youth Assembly:

  1. loves youth workers.
  2. urges the General Assembly to affirm youth workers and prove how much they are appreciated by endorsing the “We Love Our Youth Worker” scheme and encouraging all relevant Kirk Sessions to sign up for it.

AMANDA PHILIP, Moderator
LYNSEY MARTIN, Clerk

NYA2010 – “To boldly go…”

Deliverance to follow

NYA2009 – “Field of Dreams”

Deliverance to follow

NYA2008 – “End of Part One”

Deliverance to follow

NYA2007 – “Now, next, later”

Deliverance to follow

NYA2006 – “Grace”

At Dundee and within the Apex City Quay Hotel, 8 September 2006.

Debate One – Panel Discussion on Freedom of Pastoral Conscience

The National Youth Assembly held a panel discussion on a variety of issues relating to pastoral conscience, especially in relation to sacraments and ordinances, and to delicate issues of pastoral care including the question of civil partnerships.

Debate Two – Ministries in the 21st Century
The National Youth Assembly:

  1. affirms the recognised ministries of the Ministries Council to meet the vision for ministries in the 21st century but also to assist the whole membership of the Church to discover and develop their gifts towards carrying out ministry for themselves.
  2. affirms training for collaborative ministries as part of church growth and planning.
  3. urges the Ministries Council to explore part time ministry as a means of addressing the needs of congregations in the Church of Scotland but caution against over-reliance on this model of ministry.
  4. urges the Ministries Council to prioritise resourcing of Developing Ministries.
  5. encourages the Church of Scotland to explore ways of working outwith geographical parishes whilst affirming the ministry of geographical parishes to local communities.

Debate Three – Sexual Health Education Strategy
The National Youth Assembly:

  1. Endorses the six bullet points contained within the contribution of the Church of Scotland on sexual health education in the Summary of National Advice produced by the Scottish Executive.
  2. Urges the Church to take action towards encouraging the Scottish Executive to provide a policy on a coherent sex education programme.
  3. Calls on schools to promote the appropriate use of the personal experiences of a range of invited speakers of relationships in sex education.
  4. Calls on schools to educate on sexual abstinence as an equally valid lifestyle choice.
  5. Affirms the importance of collaboration and cooperation with parents in the areas of sexual health and relationships education.

Debate Four – Legal Questions Committee
The National Youth Assembly:

  1. Confirms the right of ministers and deacons to freedom of conscience in the exercise of their pastoral duties in matters which are not fundamental to the faith or contained within the law of the Church.
  2. Agrees that a decision to mark a civil partnership is a legitimate exercise of freedom of conscience.
  3. Agrees that no minister or deacon should be subject to disciplinary action on the grounds that he or she has agreed or refused to perform such a ceremony.
  4. Thanks the Convener for bringing her report to the National Youth Assembly.

Debate Five – Adult Education in the Church
The National Youth Assembly:

  1. Encourages throughout the Church the use of a style similar to that of the National Youth Assembly: especially because of the voice it gives, the fellowship that is generated, and the way seminars stretch people.
  2. Commends the inclusion of the theory and practice of education in the initial training and ongoing professional development of ordained ministers, so that adult education and discipleship is given an equal priority in ministry with formal preaching and the sacraments.
  3. Encourages the eldership to recognise and develop their own unique role within the discipleship of the congregation.
  4. Calls on youth and children’s co-ordinators to work with ministers to promote family support groups as a key component of any children’s or youthwork that runs in the Church.
  5. Calls on the Church to encourage adults to take part in mission activities, in the way younger people are similarly encouraged; and provide a system of mentoring for such people.
  6. Commends the use of faith-sharing groups, like mentoring and accountability groups, home study groups etc throughout the life of the Church.
  7. Urges the Church to use issue-based introductory theological teaching in adult education.

JUDITH L TAYLOR, Moderator
MARJORY A MACLEAN, Clerk

NYA2005 – “Mind the Gap”

At Dundee and within the Apex Hotel, 9 September 2005. The theme of the Assembly was the bridging of the ‘gaps’ perceived to exist between:

  • the Gospel of Christ and contemporary culture.
  • belief in the Christian message and living it out in practice.

The debates focused on the remits of the General Assembly’s new Councils, and the initial priorities within the first year of their work.
During the National Youth Assembly a one-day re-union meeting was held of the Children’s Ambassadors to the General Assembly of 2005. Renaming themselves ‘The
Junior Youth Assembly’, they discussed the format of future events, and engaged in debate on themes raised by the Ministries Council and the Mission and Discipleship
Council. A summary of their conclusions is contained in the Appendix to this minute.

Debate One – World Mission Council

Mission as Partnership

  1. Aberdeen Presbytery and Blantyre City Presbytery are to be congratulated on their achievements in partnership.
  2. Urge congregations to develop partnerships further, and urge the wider church to be willing to look at other denominations and learn more widely.
  3. Remember that both parties should benefit.
  4. Ask the Council to help congregations in the difficult task of choosing partner churches.

Mission as local to local

  1. One-to-one relationships are more personal and so deeper.
  2. They broaden experience, and help us to become aware of problems in other countries, and they can teach different forms of worship and promote prayer support.
  3. Encourage groups of churches (including ecumenical groups) to work together for partnerships.
  4. Urge the World Mission Council to explore ways to assist congregations of different types to enter partnerships.
  5. Encourage Presbyteries to develop links too where practicable.

Tiberias Development

  1. Tiberias should not be a high priority for the Council at this time, and the project should never have gone ahead.
  2. The centre exists, and perhaps therefore it is God’s will that it should be there; so the best should be made of it.
  3. Tabeetha School is a more important use of the Church’s resources.
  4. The Tiberias centre provides a new way of working for reconciliation and mission, creating a harmonious environment.
  5. Encourage congregations to use the centre.
  6. Consider having a future Youth Assembly or youth event in the centre.
  7. The centre must not be used just to make the Church of Scotland look good, but to support Palestinian Christians and others.

Debate Two – Ministries Council

Main priorities for next five years

  1. Investigate new possibilities for team ministries, and Presbytery teams.
  2. Increase funding for Priority Areas work and youth ministry.
  3. Continue to implement the Church Without Walls report, partly in order to overcome divisions in the Church.
  4. Increase continuing training and appraisal for those already in all ministries.
  5. Encourage younger people to consider whether they might be called to ministry.

Effective mission

  1. Emphasise the varieties of ministry, and increase lay and elder training.
  2. Find ways to extend sector ministry especially to professional people.
  3. Widen youth ministry training, and initiatives to meet the spiritual needs of young people.
  4. Encourage community-wide events, to improve the image of the Church and allow ministers to be more involved in their context.
  5. Extend the use of services for special occasions (eg. annual service for the bereaved).
  6. Extend the New Charge Development programme further.

Essential new forms of ministry

  1. Emphasise different types of ministry meeting contemporary needs (eg. ministry to asylum seekers and other social groups).
  2. Develop youth ministry and school chaplaincy.
  3. Allow stronger parishes to provide support to weaker ones through partnership.

Balance of people and buildings

  1. Preserve rural churches where they are needed.
  2. Strike a balance amongst architectural realities, mission needs, and the value of people.
  3. Bear in mind the feelings of e.g. older people who are attached to particular buildings, but ensure buildings are well-suited to particular needs, e.g. children.
  4. Make possible the sharing of buildings, including across denominational boundaries.
  5. Make possible worship in different venues, and commend the work of New Charge Development in their use of spaces.

Debate Three – Church and Society Council

Adoption

  1. Birth parents should have the right of contact with children who have been adopted, with the child’s consent.
  2. Single people should continue to be permitted to adopt children.
  3. Unmarried heterosexual couples should be permitted to adopt children.
  4. Gay and lesbian couples should be permitted to adopt children.

Disinvestment in Israel

  1. Churches should disinvest in companies that support the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
  2. The Church of Scotland should be careful not to operate double standards.
  3. There should be more transparency for members regarding the Church’s investments.

Energy and the environment

  1. The church should support the development of more and safer nuclear power stations.
  2. The church should support the development of sustainable sources.
  3. The church should take more of a lead in encouraging people to use less energy, example in relation to recycling, and to lobby the powerful.
  4. Encourage the Church to put pressure on the USA to improve its position in relation to global warming and related issues.

Debate Four – Social Care Council

Faith and Works

  1. Agree that faith without works is ineffective evangelism.
  2. Affirm that the Church needs to lead by prayer and example.
  3. Acknowledge that we are called to serve and that we need to take risks.

Action

  1. Members of the Youth Assembly proposed the following as ideas for action:-Domestic Abuse; Drug Rehabilitation; Theft Counselling Services; Respite Care; Family Therapy; Asylum Seekers; Age-Related Work; Homelessness Work; Racism; Bullying; Bereavement Care; Rural Aid; Youth Work; Offender Rehabilitation; Sexual Abuse.
  2. Affirm that we must seek the Lord’s Will at all times before taking action, and that we must do what is right and not what enhances the Church’s image.
  3. Congratulate CrossReach on the variety of their existing initiatives.
  4. Commend the Council on its Inverness “designated place” and encourage wider use of this project.

Support of the Local

  1. Encourage local congregations to raise awareness and publicise the work of CrossReach, within their areas, for example in schools.
  2. Assist local churches to establish where needs lie and develop solutions.
  3. Acknowledge that congregations work effectively when in partnership with those of other denominations.
  4. Recommend that Presbyteries maintain a list of locallybased charities so that needs are more efficiently met, and that Presbyteries should make this list available to Kirk Sessions.
  5. Encourage congregations to support, financially and in other ways, the projects of CrossReach.

Debate Five – Mission and Discipleship Council

Priorities for the Council

  1. Commend the Council on its Youth Work, but acknowledge that Adult Education is just as important.
  2. Request that the Council should examine the possibility for Youth Delegate voting at the General Assembly.
  3. Ensure that all work is effectively communicated from the national to the local and vice-versa.
  4. Acknowledge that there needs to be some system of mentoring for new members.
  5. Encourage the Council to continue the excellent youth work of the former Boards of Parish Education and National Mission.
  6. Express great regret at the loss of dedicated National Children’s and Youth Advisors.

Passing on the Gospel

  1. Recognise that there are various ways of transmitting the Gospel story and encourage exploration of new ways.
  2. Encourage a youth-friendly version of Life and Work both printed and on-line.
  3. Affirm that we must seek out those who do not know Christ and meet them in their own environment.

Key Doctrinal Issues

  1. Re-examine the Westminster Confession of Faith and consider revising it to meet the needs of the modern Church.

Serving Children

  1. Encourage use of child-friendly services, clubs, and family services, and endeavour to provide training for such services.
  2. Acknowledge that children and young people can teach older people about faith.

Worship Patterns and Styles for Young People

  1. Endeavour to include young people in worship leadership more widely.
  2. Encourage everyone to give as well as take.
  3. Request that the Council find ways to allow young people to have a voice in their congregation with regard to worship.

Use of Church Buildings

  1. Promote further appropriate use of technology in church buildings.
  2. Encourage creative use of buildings.

ALISON E THOMSON, Moderator
MARJORY A MACLEAN, Clerk

NYA2004 – “Ten”

At Dundee and within the Apex Hotel, 11 September 2004. The theme of the Assembly was contemplation of the meaning of the Ten Commandments in contemporary life; and throughout the Assembly celebrations were held to mark the tenth anniversary of the first Youth Assembly in 1994.

Debate One – The Spiritual Dimension

  1. The Church of Scotland does not adequately fulfil spiritual needs and often does not communicate effectively in this field.
  2. The encouragement of personal prayer and listening to God should be a priority of the Church – spirituality is not an optional extra.
  3. The Church should remain sensitive to the needs of different groups.
  4. Christians should be encouraged to have the imagination and confidence to be open about their faith and to reach out into the community.
  5. The Church should encourage the promotion and identification of new spiritual leaders, and they should include people of education, imagination and sympathy.
  6. As a matter of urgency, there should be more focus on practical forms of spirituality, including week-day and ‘24/7’ spirituality, welcomeprogrammes and spirituality beyond the walls of the Church.
  7. The Church should have more confidence in modern technology to assist in this area.
  8. The Church should encourage debate and mutual listening as people learn to develop their individual spirituality, and recognise that there can be a stigma in having and sharing faith.
  9. The Church should focus on spirituality more than on regulation, and be unafraid of informal forms of worship and small-group work.
  10. ‘Spirituality’ can be the object of suspicion in an age of many cults and is not an easy term to define.
  11. The Church of Scotland has much to learn from other churches and traditions.

Debate Two – Church Membership

  1. Discipleship is more important than membership: Jesus Christ did not operate a formal system for joining his movement.
  2. Baptism is the principal point of joining the Church, the Body of Christ.
  3. The Church should recognise those who wish to be baptised as believers, even if they were baptised as infants.
  4. Church membership is about faithful commitment, not numerical statistics, so Church membership must be related to a commitment in faith and not just for the purposes of weddings etc.
  5. Church involvement can be significant without requiring formal membership, and people should not be put under pressure.
  6. A more inclusive Church will encourage a larger membership.
  7. Preparation for Church membership (communicants’ classes etc) should be more relevant and effective: e.g. youth leaders might be involved in encouraging people, and the Church should think of more outreach in schools.
  8. It should be clearer that those joining the Church are joining the world-wide Church first and foremost, and the Church of Scotland only as part of that.
  9. New members should have the option to take on more responsibilities.
  10. The local Church should meaningfully follow up new members after they have made profession of faith.
  11. New members should have the opportunity to be involved in small-group fellowships.

Debate Three – Selection and Training of Ministers

  1. Affirm the call to ministry and service of all Christian believers and so affirm the ministries of elders, readers and many others in the Church.
  2. Agree that the ministry is a high priority within the work of the Church and that no-one should stand in the way of God’s call to a special form of service.
  3. Affirm the value of the current enquiry process.
  4. Encourage the Church to consider removing age-capping for recruitment and training for ministry.
  5. Express regret that recruitment to the ministry of the Church is constrained by financial difficulties and encourage the Board to explore different ways of financing professional ministry; trusting that God’s will will somehow be done!
  6. Urge Church members to improve their financial stewardship, to enable the work of ministry to be done without current financial limitations.
  7. Recognise that the number of charges and buildings may need to be further reduced to assist the financial situation of the Church.
  8. Urge the Board of Ministry to find alternatives to the capping of numbers.
  9. Encourage the Board to make further exploration of other patterns of ministry, including specialist youth ministry.
  10. Affirm the importance of the Auxiliary Ministry and encourage people to think of a ‘bi-vocational’ approach.
  11. Encourage the development of ecumenical approaches to ministry, and the welcome of ministers from other traditions who may help to transform the Church of Scotland.
  12. Encourage the further development of team ministries, including different skills and talents.
  13. Affirm that the best of ministers are not always the most highly educated.
  14. Urge the Board to explore more flexible possibilities for the educational training for ministry, beyond the traditional B.D.

Council of Assembly Consultation
As requested by the General Assembly of 2004, the Convener of the Council of Assembly, Mrs Helen McLeod, led a consultation relating to the current work of the Council in its first year.

Debate Four – The inclusive Church

  1. The Church should diversify its leadership, for example by ordaining younger elders, and by enabling rotation in Kirk Session membership and other leadership roles.
  2. It is regrettable that the Church often fails to welcome serious criminal offenders especially sex-offenders.
  3. The Church in some places is too preoccupied with middle-class people.
  4. Christians should respect the points of view both of those who believe homosexuality and Christian practice are incompatible, and of those who disagree with them: to do otherwise would be to exclude those who exclude others.
  5. The preaching and teaching of the Church should strongly affirm the principle of inclusion.
  6. Congregations should be more positive about the presence of young children, and people who may be perceived to be disruptive.
  7. Congregations must make every effort to make it possible for physically disabled people, deaf people, the blind, the mentally disabled etc, to gain access to Church buildings and to take part fully in worship.
  8. People sometimes exclude themselves from the Church because of their perceived ideas about it, and the Church needs to address those perceptions.
  9. Poor use of language (e.g. religious jargon) can be a barrier to worship.
  10. Those who love God and respond to the call of Christ to follow him, may call themselves Christian.
  11. God’s grace means that the institutional Church should not judge people’s worth.

ALISON E THOMSON, Moderator
MARJORY A MACLEAN, Clerk


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