Meeting of the Parliament
Meeting date: Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Agenda: Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill, Motion without Notice, Decision Time, Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month 2022
- Time for Reflection
- Topical Question Time
- Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill
- Motion without Notice
- Decision Time
- Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month 2022
Time for Reflection
The first item of business is time for reflection. Our time for reflection leader today is Reverend Anikó Schütz Bradwell, the minister of Humbie linked with Yester, Bolton and Saltoun Church.
Good afternoon. I am not a native Scot. I was born in East Germany, and in my 20s, I had the opportunity to travel and volunteer around Europe—in France, Italy, Norway and on the beautiful island of Iona. As a child, I could not have imagined that this is where I would end up, 16 years later, as a parish minister and a mama to a beautiful boy who has just started primary 1. I am so grateful for the opportunities that I have had to travel and to find a new home, here where I feel safe and welcome, especially in a world that has seen so much change and uncertainty.
I am also conscious that I have had advantages compared to other migrants. I am white, university educated and can speak and understand English. There are many people in society, including members of the church, who have barriers to overcome in order to choose where to live, where to bring up their family and where to feel safe. We know of so many people who are denied that choice, because of where they are born. It could so easily have happened to me, too. If the iron curtain had not come down, I am not sure what my life would be like today, but I almost certainly would not be standing here.
Through encounters with the diversity of humankind, we celebrate our God-given spirit of creativity and imagination. The sharing of stories and meeting of cultures is a theme that runs through scripture, and the history of Christianity is full of believers travelling and spreading the message of God’s love. Modern Scotland is enriched through a variety of cultures, faiths and languages, and we can learn from one another, gaining new insights and new understanding.
As you begin your work this week, remember the gift of the opportunities that you have been given, and give thanks. Give thanks also for those stories of the lives of migrants, remembering that even Jesus himself sought shelter and sanctuary from persecution shortly after his birth. May we offer our open hearts and open minds to welcome the stranger as a way that we can share in some of the blessings we all enjoy, grateful that they have chosen Scotland as their home and in the hope and belief that they will be a gift to our community and nation, as they serve one another and share their lives with us.
Thank you, Reverend Schütz Bradwell.