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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Meeting of the Parliament 25 June 2019

Agenda: Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Education Reforms, Business Motion, Management of Offenders (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3, Management of Offenders (Scotland) Bill, Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, Decision Time, Aircraft Noise (Health)


Contents


Time for Reflection

The Presiding Officer (Ken Macintosh)

Good afternoon. Our first item of business this afternoon is time for reflection, for which our leader is the Reverend Lorna Souter, minister for Cockpen and Carrington parish church with Lasswade and Rosewell parish church.

The Rev Lorna Souter (Cockpen and Carrington Parish Church, and Lasswade and Rosewell Parish Church)

Presiding Officer and members of the Scottish Parliament, thank you for the opportunity to address you this afternoon.

We seem to have been living through frustratingly uncertain times for a long time now. Always in life, there is a question of how we cope with uncertainty. In his book “Canoeing the Mountains”, the America writer Tod Bolsinger uses the example of the American explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who in 1804 embarked on their search for the north-west passage.

After spending 15 months paddling and carrying canoes up the Mississippi-Missouri river to its source, Lewis and Clark were full of expectation that they were about to realise the dream of centuries of pioneers. They believed that all they and their party had to do was to walk up the little hill in front of them and look down a gentle slope—which would take them a half day to cross with their canoes on their backs—and they would see the Columbia river, which would swiftly whisk them to the Pacific Ocean and the climax of their quest. However, in the next moments, what they actually found was something entirely different. They found the Rocky mountains, stretching out for miles and miles as far as the eye could see, one set of peaks upon another.

What was next for them? They were going to have to go off the map into uncharted territory. All was uncertain. They might have felt like giving up and turning back, but they did not. Instead, with courage, resilience, openness and versatility, they kept going. The true adventure had just begun.

In the church, too, we face uncertain times at present, having to head into uncharted territory as we explore new ways of being and doing church today. It can seem daunting and, in the Lord’s leading, we need courage and versatility to press on.

In our wider uncertain times, I dare say that there are moments when you want to put head in hands and wonder, “What next?” However, I pray you will each know the courage, resilience, openness and versatility that you, too, will need to pursue paths of potential ahead. Before then, may you each, importantly, be able to make space for true rest in the recess, to recharge your batteries and be refreshed for your task ahead. Thank you.