Scottish Unitarian Association Annual Meeting

Jane Aaronson Reports

The Scottish Unitarian Annual Meeting took place at St Mark’s on 13 May. The delegates from St Mark’s were Joan Cook, Mary McKenna, Ann Sinclair and me.

Alastair Moodie, President, chaired the AGM. He indicated that the SUA was a member of an Advisory Group to the Scottish Parliament. He represented the SUA at these cross party meetings in which the SUA represented the Unitarian Church nationally in Scottish affairs. Mary McKenna commented that the Parliamentary interface was very important. Alastair went on to encourage us to complete a survey conducted by Rev Sue Woolley, Not Only But Also – A Survey of 21st Century Unitarian Beliefs and Spirituality. It covers the whole of the UK. The closing date is the end of June.

Bill Good, Secretary, stated that Rev Dr Rob Whiteman had accepted a position as part time minister at Dundee. Bill remarked that Joan Cook had 'retired' from The General Assembly Executive Committee. He indicated that her insights had been invaluable to the SUA. Joan had facilitated a series of worship leader workshops which had been held at St Mark’s. These have been helpful for those of us who wanted to lead worship or participating in services. Mary McKenna remarked that it was laudable that since August 2016 three quarters of those leading worship at St Mark's had come from the congregation. Rev John Clifford reminded the meeting that there were several retired ministers who would like to become more involved in SUA activities.

Ann Sinclair, Treasurer, reported that the SUA was financially viable and hoped to cover a number of activities this year. It was hoped to hold a lay ministry development day, and a meeting for those interested in developing church websites.  Along with local historical groups, it was hoped to explore ways of restoring the Rothiemurchus, James Martineau Memorial, Inverness-shire.

After a delicious buffet lunch, Alastair McIntosh, ‘a Scottish writer, academic and activist’ and a Quaker gave a talk entitled A Spirituality for our Time. This was followed by a service led by our General Assembly President for 2017–18, Rev Charles VanDenBroeder. His theme was A Unitarian and Free Christian Theology For Our Time. We were pleased that Charles was able to worship with us the next day, when Rev Andrew Hill led worship.

After the AGM, at an Executive Meeting, Joan Cook agreed to become the President of the SUA 2017–18. So Joan was not allowed to remain in retirement for very long! She brings much experience to an office that she has held in the past. Ann Sinclair will continue as Treasurer, Bill Good as Secretary and Sue Good as Minute Secretary. A collection for the Clara Barton fund raised £200.