Kirk votes to permit ministers to enter civil partnerships

May 17, 2015 by

 Frank Cranmer , Law and Religion UK. The BBC reported, and the Kirk subsequently confirmed, that the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has voted to allow congregations to ordain or induct ministers who are in same-sex civil partnerships: commissioners voted 309 in favour and 183 against. The issue has been the subject of several debates, both within the General Assembly and in the wider Church; and at the Assembly in 2014 the issue was sent down to the 45 presbyteries under the terms of the Barrier Act. The presbyteries voted 31 to 14 in favour of change. The co-ordinator of the Principal Clerk’s office, the Very Revd David Arnott, said: “The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland decided today to allow individual Kirk Sessions the possibility of allowing a Nominating Committee to consider an application from a minister living in a civil partnership. During a vacancy a Kirk Session may, but only if it so wishes, and after due deliberation, agree to a Nominating Committee accepting an application from such a minister. No Kirk Session may be coerced into doing so against its own wishes. This decision was in line with a majority of presbyteries who voted in favour of such a move.” A further vote will be held later this week on whether or not to extend ordination/induction to ministers in same-sex marriages. Read here See also: Church of Scotland plan for gay ministers offers possible template for Anglicans, John Bingham,...

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Humanist weddings set to overtake Church of Scotland weddings this year

Apr 23, 2015 by

by Mark Woods, Christian Today: Humanist marriages in Scotland are set to outstrip Church of Scotland weddings this year for the first time, reports The Times. According to the Humanist Society of Scotland (HSS), its celebrants will conduct more than 4,200 wedding ceremonies this year. Church of Scotland wedding have more than halved since 2003. In 2013, Church of Scotland ministers presided over 4,616 weddings, a fall of around 900 from the previous year. A similar fall this year will see it overtaken by the HSS. Church of Scotland wedding have more than halved since 2003. “The success of humanist weddings in Scotland has been unparalleled,” Gordon MacRae, chief executive of HSS, told The Times. “The ethos of humanism places the celebration of human love and happiness at the forefront. Ceremonies don’t only offer a personalised and meaningful ceremony, but a connection to a larger movement of people who are working for the common good.” Scotland is the only UK country in which humanists can legally conduct weddings. Read here...

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Funds lost as wealthy churches quit in new gay protest

Apr 16, 2014 by

By Brian Donnelly, Herald Scotland TWO of the wealthiest Church of ­Scotland congregations are quitting the Kirk just weeks before the General Assembly over the issue of gay ordination. The move is a new cash blow with the two congregations contributing £315,000 between them to the Church. One of the congregations has already left, with the second negotiating terms. The departure of St Catherine's Argyle, in the leafy Grange district of Edinburgh, and New Restalrig in Willowbrae, also in the Scottish capital, comes as almost 1000 key figures are due to gather for the annual meeting of the Church in the city in May. The two confirmed breakaway congregations are in the "higher givings bracket" and so among the wealthiest in terms of donations. Reverend Robin Sydserff, minister at St Catherine's Argyle, is understood to have strong support in his congregation – which generated income of £200,000 a year – in objecting to the direction of the debate over the issue sparked by the appointment of openly gay Reverend Scott Rennie to an Aberdeen church in 2009. A move was made to allow ­the ­ordination of gay ministers at the General Assembly last year, sparking a number of resignations by congregations. Reverend David Court, formerly of New Restalrig, whose congregation donated £115,000 a year, has also now officially signed off, or demitted, from the Kirk and has become a member of the Free Church of Scotland. His flock of more than 100 now worship in a mission hall in Craigentinny in the city, with New Restalrig under the guidance of locum minister Reverend Peter Nelson. Read...

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Church of Scotland minister loses role as chaplain of Glasgow school after calling homosexuality a 'disorder'

Jan 7, 2014 by

By Auslan Cramb, Telegraph A Church of Scotland minister has been removed from his post as chaplain of a Gaelic school after describing homosexuality as a "perversion" and a “disorder”. The Rev Donald MacInnes made the comments on a Facebook page seen by some parents of pupils at the Glasgow Gaelic School.   They complained to the city council over the remarks, with one describing them as “absolutely disgraceful”.   Mr MacInnes made the comments while criticising the Scottish Government's plans to legalise same-sex marriage.   He said: "The overwhelming support of our Scottish politicians in creating same-sex marriage is very disappointing.   "Many of us, myself included, agreed that the creation of civil partnerships was necessary so that individuals suffering from this disorder were not legally penalised in any way because of their sexuality. "We can now expect to see the school curriculum changed to the end that our children will be taught this perversion as if it were a good thing." Read here...

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Chaplain at school axed after calling homosexuality a 'disorder'

Jan 6, 2014 by

From STV News A Church of Scotland minister has been removed from his role as the chaplain of a Glasgow school after he described homosexuality as a "disorder". Rev Donald Michael MacInnes made the comments on a Facebook page read by parents of pupils at Glasgow Gaelic School. On Monday a spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council confirmed the Church of Scotland minister had been removed from his pastoral position at the school. In the post, the Church of Scotland minister refers to homosexuality as a disorder and a "perversion". He said: "The overwhelming support of our Scottish politicians in creating same-sex marriage is very disappointing. "Many of us, myself included, agreed that the creation of civil partnerships was necessary so that individuals suffering from this disorder were not legally penalised in any way because of their sexuality. "We can now expect to see the school curriculum changed to the end that our children will be taught this perversion as if it were a good thing." Read...

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Chaplain at school axed after calling homosexuality a ‘disorder’

Jan 6, 2014 by

From STV News A Church of Scotland minister has been removed from his role as the chaplain of a Glasgow school after he described homosexuality as a "disorder". Rev Donald Michael MacInnes made the comments on a Facebook page read by parents of pupils at Glasgow Gaelic School. On Monday a spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council confirmed the Church of Scotland minister had been removed from his pastoral position at the school. In the post, the Church of Scotland minister refers to homosexuality as a disorder and a "perversion". He said: "The overwhelming support of our Scottish politicians in creating same-sex marriage is very disappointing. "Many of us, myself included, agreed that the creation of civil partnerships was necessary so that individuals suffering from this disorder were not legally penalised in any way because of their sexuality. "We can now expect to see the school curriculum changed to the end that our children will be taught this perversion as if it were a good thing." Read...

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