Ahead of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in which moderator David Bruce will break the tradition of 127 years

Since the establishment of the PCI General Assembly in 1840, this has only happened six times, the last time in 1894.

Reverend Trevor Gribben, Clerk of the General Assembly and Secretary General of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland, said: “I think there were two reasons. There was a strong feeling that David couldn’t do a lot of things that he would have done as a moderator. A moderator is elected to be a pastor, enthusiasm and encouragement to the church, and an ambassador for the church. I think there was a feeling that the role was greatly hampered.

“There was also a strong feeling that after the pandemic, the continuity is good. ”

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With social distancing rules, next week’s general assembly can accommodate 350 people on the ground floor and 100 in the gallery

He added, “The result of this year’s nomination process is yet another demonstration not only of the unprecedented times we are living in, but also of the Lord’s guidance, as we prayed for His guidance for the days to come. to come. “

The three-day social distancing meeting that begins Monday is the first opportunity the church has had to come together in general assembly in more than two years.

Business before her will focus on the life and mission of the Church and will also address some of the difficult issues facing society across the island.

These include climate change and human identity in the UK government’s proposals on legacy and ICH support for decentralized institutions in Northern Ireland.

Looking ahead to next week, Reverend Gribben said: “Due to the pandemic, along with other organizations, businesses and society as a whole, the church has experienced extraordinary times over the past 19 months which have required an unprecedented adjustment in the way we do church and how we do our business. For this reason, our fall meeting, as I said recently, will be an exceptional meeting that reflects the exceptional times we are experiencing. “

Another important change is that the general assembly will open on Monday morning, not Monday evening. The moderator’s address will kick off the three days of debate and decision-making on more than 70 resolutions.

There will be three worship services led by Dr. Bruce, including the Lord’s Supper on Tuesday morning. This service will include the reading of names on the memorial roll, honoring the memory and ministry of ministers who have passed since the last in-person general assembly meeting in 2019.

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