Text of the Columba Declaration

Church of England  Church of Scotland

In the light of our common mission and context (chapter 1), our agreement in faith (chapter 2) and our significant opportunities for growing in partnership in mission (chapter 3), we recommend that our churches make the following Declaration.

We, the Church of Scotland and the Church of England, make the following acknowledgements and commitments, which are interrelated. Continue reading “Text of the Columba Declaration”

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The Columba Declaration – Ecumenical Agreement Between the Church of Scotland and the Church of England

Russell Starr , CoS & Justin Welby, CoE
Russell Starr , CoS & Justin Welby, CoE

During the current annual Assembly of the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian), delegates, which included my son, Rev. Daniel Manastireanu, the first ethnically Romanian minister in the CoS, has approved the Columba Declaration, ‘that recognises their longstanding ecumenical partnership and lays the groundwork for future joint projects’ (see HERE). Of the about 850 commissioners to the assembly, 50 voted against this motion and 49 abstained (see HERE). A similar motion was approved by the C of E’s General Synod in February.

St Columba of Iona        St Columba, stained glass at Iona Abbey
Ikon of St Columba, a gift I gave to my son, on his ordination as minister in the CoS, and
St Columba, pictured in a stained glass window at Iona Abbey, which he founded in the sixth century

‘The agreement between the Church of England and the Church of Scotland has been called the Columba Declaration, after Saint Columba [also called Columcille], an Irish abbot and missionary who was credited with spreading Christianity in Scotland. ‘ (see HERE) Continue reading “The Columba Declaration – Ecumenical Agreement Between the Church of Scotland and the Church of England”

Rev. Daniel Manastireanu – Induction Service – St. Paul’s Church Glasgow

2014-10-27 - Daniel induction service St Paul's
Rev. Jonathan Fleming, Ligia Manastireanu & Rev. Daniel Manastireanu

Yesterday, Monday 27 October, our son, Daniel, (actually Rev. Daniel Manastireanu – we should speak… reverently of clergy, or… there may be consequences ) has been inducted for his new responsibility in the ‘ministry of word and sacrament’ in St. Paul’s Church within the city of Glasgow (Church of Scotland). I wish I could be there.
May his ministry be a blessing for many!

Church of Scotland – The Inheritance of Abraham. A Report on the ‘Promised Land’

Church of Scotland

The report attached below, which was published recently on the website of the Church of Scotland, was subsequently removed from the site, most probably at the pressure of the Jewish lobby in Great Britain, and replaced with the following statement:

The Church of Scotland and representatives of the Jewish Community in Scotland and the United Kingdom, held useful discussions facilitated by the Council of Christians and Jews this afternoon (Thursday 8 May). We agreed that the drafting of the report published by the Church and Society Council for discussion at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has given cause for concern and misunderstanding of its position and requires a new introduction to set the context for the report and give clarity about some of the language used. Continue reading “Church of Scotland – The Inheritance of Abraham. A Report on the ‘Promised Land’”

Thomas F Torrance – Urgent Call to the Kirk

tf torrance

This letter was written by T.F. Torrance when he was Moderator of the Church of Scotland, 1976 – 1977. He and three others circulated it to all the clergy. It reveals something of the heart of his theological work as a ministry in service of the Church of Jesus Christ.

* * *

We believe that the Church of Scotland is in deep spiritual crisis.

There are certainly encouraging signs of renewal in many parishes and presbyteries, where there is an increasing concern for the spiritual needs of people within the Kirk and for the mission of the Gospel to those outside its institutions, for which we rejoice. But taken as a whole and on a national level the situation in the Church of Scotland is very discouraging. Erosion of fundamental belief has sapped its inner confidence, discarding of great Christian convictions has bereft it of vision and curtailed its mission, detachment of preaching from the control of biblical Revelation has undermined its authority as the Church of Christ, neglecting in teaching the truth of the Gospel has allowed the general membership to become seriously ignorant of the Christian Faith. With this loss of evangelical substance the Kirk fails to be taken seriously, while increasing stress upon formal and socio-legal structure has the effect of making the institutional Church get in the way between Christ and the people of the land.

This calls for our repentance. The hungry sheep look, up and are not fed; the flock of Christ is scattered and the membership of the Kirk steadily diminishes; a damaging cut-back in churches and worshipping communities takes place; there are fewer and fewer pastors to care for the flock and to seek and save the lost. There is a drastic slump in the position of the Kirk as a ‘National Church’, for, while eighty per cent of the people believe in God, only one-third are on the roll of any Church. and less than twenty per cent are on the roll of the Church of Scotland.

We call upon the Kirk to commit itself afresh to Jesus Christ and his Gospel and to carry out an evangelical rebuilding of its faith, life and mission.

Jesus Christ and his Gospel must be brought back into the centre of the Church and all its life, thought and activity, for he is the sole source of God’s incarnate self-revelation, the unique way to God the Father, the only ground of salvation and the one foundation and norm of the Church. The Spirit of Jesus Christ alone can quicken and renew the Church and make it one body with Christ.

The Truth of Jesus Christ and his Gospel as mediated through the Holy Scriptures must be given its rightful place in the preaching and teaching of the Church, and be allowed to exercise its divine power and authority in cleansing and unifying the mind of the Church and its ministry at all levels.

Missions and evangelism must be given priority and a controlling place in all the worship, life and activity of the Kirk. The re-evangelisation of Scotland is absolutely imperative. It is above all in the regular on-going evangelism of the parish and pastoral ministry that the crucified and risen Jesus Christ is mediated to the people. This will require many more ministers or pastors of the flock steadily at work throughout Scotland, the opening of centres for worship and mission, but it will also mean the emergence of a new kind of elder who will take his or her place in the evangelistic and spiritual mission of the Church, and an engagement of every congregation in the urgent task in winning back the three million people of Scotland to Christ and his Church.

The Church’s evangelistic message must recover the New Testament stress upon personal faith and commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, upon the universal claims of the Gospel of Christ crucified, risen and coming again upon human society and the whole world of humanity and indeed upon the physical creation as it is disclosed through our science. Every encouragement must be given to renew the prayer life of the Church in which all members engage in regular intercession for the salvation of mankind. This will require regular Bible study throughout the Kirk and the steady rehabilitation of evangelical belief, matching renewed proclamation of the Gospel and the teaching of the Truth as it is in Jesus. We respectfully invite the Moderator at the General Assembly, and throughout the year, to lead the Kirk in prayer and intercession for a renewal of the Church and the conversion of Scotland.

This call for a repentant return of the Church of Scotland to Christ clothed with his Gospel is unashamedly evangelical and theological, for the grave crisis facing the Church is essentially spiritual. Only through spiritual and evangelical renewal will the Church of Scotland meet the compelling claims of Christ upon it to carry the Gospel to the millions in our own land who have not been gathered into the fold of Christ but who are desperately hungry for the bread of life.

* * *

Source, HERE

I have published here this prophetic call, which unfortunately, as much as I know, went mostly unheard, as a model of self reflection to Romanian churches, be those Protestant, Orthodox or Catholic.

We, in Romania, do not seem to have this exercise, and live if a permanent exercise of self-justification and perpetual mediocrity. Maybe we need to hear again the voice of a prophet.

The Archbishop Rowan Williams Address to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

Wednesday 23rd May 2012

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, delivered an address to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in which he discussed the various challenges facing both the Church of Scotland and the Church of England.

The full text of the Archbishop’s address follows, or listen to an audio recording [16Mb, 16 mins] or watch the video recording. Continue reading “The Archbishop Rowan Williams Address to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland”

God, the Source of Real Authority – A Sermon on Mark 1:21-28

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/36197271]

Sermon delivered in Bishopton Parish Church of Scotland in Renfrewshire on 29th January 2012, Fourth Sunday after Epiphany.