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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Meeting of the Parliament 14 March 2017

Agenda: Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Inclusive and Accessible Tourism, Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland, Decision Time, Play Scotland (Play Charter)


Time for Reflection

Good afternoon. Our first item of business today is time for reflection. Our time for reflection leader is the Rev Jenny M Adams, minister of Duffus, Spynie and Hopeman church in Moray.

The Rev Jenny M Adams (Minister of Duffus, Spynie and Hopeman Church, Moray)

Presiding Officer, members of the Scottish Parliament, thank you for the opportunity to address you today.

I am a parish minister in a beautiful slice of Moray. There is variety in landscape, from beaches through farmland to forestry, with a neighbouring Royal Air Force base and a major town. There is diversity in the communities of fishing and farming, schools and armed forces, commuters and retirees. I enjoy great variety and diversity in my work, as do most ministers and as do you, as members of the Scottish Parliament and ministers. Most days, I deal with life and worship in the communities I serve, where I am welcomed into people’s lives, particularly at beginnings and endings. I have responsibilities in presbytery, playing my part in governance and mutual support. There is national work in the Church of Scotland’s panel on review and reform, trying to find out what God is doing in Scotland and join in.

So there is great variety and diversity of people, contexts and timescales, and a fair number of meetings. That may sound familiar, and you have a lot more folk to worry about. The variety and diversity are great. It is a privilege to be invited into people’s lives and to help when we can, but there are challenges of time and priorities. Who can we give time to in a full diary? How do we balance looking to the future with getting through now? We need time with friends and family, and when do we enjoy fullness of life for body, mind and spirit?

Sometimes, it can be helpful to reflect on why we are doing what we are doing. I would talk of that as calling, although you could think of it as motivation—you may or may not give God a place in your vocation. However, I am guessing that none of you went into politics for convenient working hours and universal approval and that you did so to make a difference locally, nationally and globally.

When we do what we are drawn to do, serving those who we are called to serve and sharing our lives with those we are given to live and work with, even the difficult days can bring fulfilment. It does not mean that we do not do other duties, too, and it certainly includes life beyond work, but reconnecting with why can guide how we deal with the great variety and diversity of people and tasks that life and work bring us.

May your calling bring you fulfilment and make Scotland a better place for all.