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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Meeting of the Parliament 23 October 2018

Agenda: Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Survivors of Child Abuse in Care (Response to Recommendations on Financial Redress), National Health Service (Performance), Scottish Screen Sector, Business Motion, Decision Time, Fife Out-of-hours General Practitioner Services (Closure)


Contents


Time for Reflection

The Presiding Officer (Ken Macintosh)

Good afternoon and welcome back. The first item of business is time for reflection. Our time for reflection leader is Dr Kathleen Forbes, who is the former director of the family life centre ministries at Stirling Baptist church.

Dr Kathleen Forbes (Former Director, Family Life Centre Ministries, Stirling Baptist Church)

Presiding Officer, members of the Scottish Parliament and ladies and gentlemen, over the past eight years I have been involved in the establishment of a family life centre in Stirling, which is a much-needed community resource. Over those years, I have founded a play therapy service, a school counselling service, an adult listening service, a family counselling service, a community bereavement course, a third sector families and children forum and a hub of other therapeutic support.

The impact of that for me was twofold. I had enormous pleasure doing the work in the name of our church, Stirling Baptist church; for me, it was a practical demonstration of the restoring, redemptive love of our God for all that he has created. The other great impact was personal. Among the thousands of people who came through our doors, I had the privilege of being with children, young people, adults, couples and families as they used the space that we offered to pause, step back and reflect on their inner worlds. In those times, they reflected, they talked and they often felt their pain more acutely. They grieved, they forgave and they found solutions and a way forward. Their stories were heard and they were held.

I have a new role to train trainee teachers in Scotland about mental health issues in the classroom. I have immediately been reminded by a second-year student of the power of our life experiences. He commented after a seminar group, “We are all different, and we all have our stories.”

I encourage members to remember today the stories of their constituents who have touched them and whose care they carry. In our aspirations to make Scotland the best place to grow up, we need to make Scotland the best place to be parented, to be taught and to be healed. We need to be able to offer God’s unbreakable, unquenchable hope into what are sometimes the darkest of places, so that those stories can change.

We can choose to trust all those stories, and our hope of making a difference, into the hands of our trustworthy heavenly father, resting in the knowledge that Jesus, with clear-sighted compassion into our hearts, sees the toil and sorrow and the weight of those upon us. He offers us, in those moments of reflection, once again the chance for our burdens to be lifted and for rest and hope to be found in the enduring truth that our

“eternal God is our refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms”.

Thank you.