Moderatorial Musings

Here are some thoughts from our outgoing and our incoming Moderators as they look backwards and forwards to what this role means to them. If you’re new to this game, the moderator is the person who chairs the debates during Youth Assembly and then acts as the representative for the Youth Assembly during the rest of the year.

Iain McLarty

The last two years have been an amazing experience. The obvious part about being Moderator is what you do at Youth Assembly and I had a great time chairing debates and trying to help people shape what they wanted to say to the wider church. I hope that Catherine (my wonderful clerk) and I managed to make them more accessible to everyone rather than just those who enjoy the formal debating of General Assembly and I know this will continue. The other great thing at NYA was having the freedom to talk to people and it was lovely to meet people and hear their stories. I also had some moments I will never forget such as getting up to read what a few of us thought would be a lovely bed time story at the Hootenanny only for everyone to spend the next half hour creased in laughter (for those of you who want your own copy of The Soul Bird you can buy it here) and when we had to turn off the twitter feed during the debates in 2008 because the conversation had turned towards pizza.

The other part of the job is representing the Youth Assembly to the wider church and I seem to have had limitless opportunities to do that ranging from the General Assembly and Guild Conference, to ecumenical organisations both in Scotland and abroad and even events at the Scottish Parliament. Some of the central councils of the church are really starting to take notice of what young people say and make that an integral part of their work and again I hope that can continue and that young people won’t accept it when people say that they don’t have enough experience to make a difference. The Bible is full of stories of prophets and disciples who were young and inexperienced and sometimes the church seems to forget that. Often I have been the only young person at events but that has actually meant that my contribution has had a very different perspective and when people have been open to that it has been positive for the conversation.

My thoughts and prayers are with Kim as she takes over for the next wee while and if she has half the opportunities and support that I had then I’m sure she will have an amazing time.

Iain McLarty, Moderator 2008 and 2009

Kim Wood

Hhhmmm. Part of me is really excited. Part of me is still anxious about all the stuff that’s not done yet. In terms of actually chairing the debates and all of that – I still haven’t quite got my head around it… guess that’s what the next couple of days are for! Got a lovely email from my Dundee minister and news that I’m being prayed for by folk from my home church too, so feeling very supported!

I think this year is going to be so much more familiar than last year – hopefully we will all get lost less frequently! The debates are looking really interesting, looking forward to getting started with them. We’ve got such a range of people speaking, who should be excellent at getting people thinking and talking. The Saturday night extravaganza is also sounding great! It is quite nice not being one of the team organising that this year, but I hope everyone will be VERY appreciative towards Lynzy, Alex, Petra and Katie because I know what a mountain of work is going towards making it a great night.

The thing I’m most looking forward to this year is – well, all of it. Youth Assembly is all about us having the opportunity to tell the Church what we think. And it’s a very exciting time at the moment, because the Church has serious money issues – so change is going to have to happen. We can’t keep doing things the same way, so we have to think differently. And the Church is now waking up and inviting young people to join in the conversation of how we can be the Church of Scotland in the 21st century. So I am hoping and praying that this weekend will allow every single delegate to see ways in which they can add to that conversation.

It’s going to be an amazing weekend. Bring it on!

Kim Wood, Moderator 2010

Moderators plotting...

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~ by iainmclarty on August 31, 2010.

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