Glasgow Churches Together (GCT) were happy indeed to be asked to arrange a welcoming service for the visit of Dr. Browning, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland to Glasgow in November. The service took place in St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church where the congregation were welcomed by the rector, Rev. Canon Dr. Scott Robertson and his community.
Dr. Browning gave his address after the readings, and began with the challenge that there is no more “them” and “us”. We are all in this together, and in the Kingdom of God, all are welcome. He reminded the congregation that at the heart of any civilised society is the question of how it treats the most vulnerable. But society must not stamp out all differences. Diversity is essential. We must welcome the “other” and see them as ourselves.
He asked: how do we react to the “others” – the refugees, the people on benefits, the people with no faith. The Holy Spirit gives us the answer. In view of our world and our country today, struggling with divisions, what have we as church to offer? The belief that we must create a longer table, not build a higher fence. We should celebrate our important distinctions while overcoming differences. What a gift that would be to our communities, our nations and our world! The challenge remains for us that we should be changing the world.
After the service, the congregation enjoyed the hospitality of St. Margaret’s and a chance to chat with the Moderator.