As the Church of Scotland meets in General Assembly this week, it is clear that reform is on the cards. And we take pride in our call, as a Presbyterian Church in the reformed tradition to be constantly reforming.
As we seek to be engaged in the mission of God today, however, there seems to be a reluctance for the Church of Scotland as an institution to own mistakes of the past and attitudes in fact that continue to affect its present and future. Just today, the Church of Scotland was commended by the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, for its ”highly valued” role in the life of the nation. However the Kirk, like many of our institutions, continues to model insidious gender injustice.
In particular I am concerned by the church’s paternalistic attitude and its contribution to a patriarchal culture.As one who’s role within the Church of Scotland is about changing the culture to better enable engagement with the mission of God in our communities, it is excruciating to be employed within an institution that not only glosses over the past but continues to exert a patriarchal ethos that is so ingrained that many fail to notice it any longer.
I don’t believe there is time to wait until we have put our own house in order before we engage with God’s mission but I long for us to at least attempt to start paying more than lip service to inclusion and to enabling of the role of women fully within the Kirk.