The legacy of the Scottish Reformation is to be marked with a day conference organised by the Church of Scotland and the Roman Catholic Church of Scotland with an evening service at St Giles Cathedral.
Called Scottish Reformation – Marking the Legacy, Imagining the Future, the ecumenical conference hosted by the Joint Commission on Doctrine at the Storytelling Centre, High Street, Edinburgh, on November 3, will be opened by the Archbishop Mario Conti, Joint Convener of the Commission. The First Minister Alex Salmond will address the conference.
The event includes guest speakers such as former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Very Rev Dr Sheilagh Kesting, Rev Dr Alan Falconer, Joint Convener of the Commission, Rev Dr Alison Peden, from the Scottish Episcopal Church and historian, Prof Tom Devine. Also in the line-up is Prof Paul Murray, an expert in the field of ecumenism who will be sharing the floor with Dr Kesting discussing ecumenical relations today and in the future. Each session is run along the lines of what has the Reformation done for us?
Such an ecumenical event would have been difficult to conceive even some 30 years ago. Mutual distrust and suspicion, caricatures and stereotypes of each other inhibited positive relationships. Through patient dialogue on major theological issues, mutual respect and understanding has grown and developed.
But this year alone we have seen vast strides taken in ecumenical relationships. Pope Benedict XVI came to Scotland and met the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Right Rev John Christie. The visit was a sign of the continuing work of Christ’s Church in the 21st century and helped strengthen interfaith and interdenominational relations. The conference and service is another example of the continuing work of the church in what has been an exciting year for the Christian Community in Scotland.
We have learned to accept that the theological issues we disagree on are less important than those we agree on. Today there is agreement on the central affirmations of the Apostles’ Creed.
The conference and service allow the churches to build on existing relations and helping to creating momentum to continue working together on issues of common interest. It shows that the denominations are striving tow working together in the spirit of the Lund Principle of 1952; that is, that churches should not do apart what they can do together.
An event of this kind gives us an opportunity of healing of memories. From the past we can learn how to deal with the present. Old wounds are healed and relations are strengthened by it.
The day conference begins at 9am until 5.15pm at the Storytelling Centre followed by a service at St Giles Cathedral with guest preacher, the Very Rev Dr John Miller, at 6pm,
Notes to News Desks:
The Rev Dr Alan Falconer, Joint Convenor of the Commission and Archbishop Mario Conti, will meet the First Minister Alex Salmond at 9.25am, for photograph opportunity, at the Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh.
Interviews can be arranged with the speakers through the Communications Department on a bidding system, please contact Nick Jury, Senior Media Relations Officer, Church of Scotland on 0131 240 2268.
Wednesday 27th October, 2010