Assembly is now over for another year. It will be remembered as the Assembly where the Union appointed its first ever female General Secretary; Lynn Green. I’m in the fortunate position of knowing Lynn (our families have been caravanning together). She is gifted, talented and gracious. I'm sure she will grow into an excellent Gen Sec; certainly she faces some tough challenges. As if to underline this Assembly spent the final morning talking about gay relationships. An area where, it would be fair to say, there is significant diversity of opinion within the Union.
Having now been to many of these events I find it hard to know what to say about it. Overall, my experience was positive; the people leading Bible studies were good, Malcolm Duncan and David Kerrigan spoke well.
My one concern surrounded the way changes in the Union were presented. I understand the desire to put a positive perspective on things, but it felt we were glossing over the number of people being made redundant, both centrally and in Associations. Assembly ought to be a place where we own these difficult choices and the reasons behind them. Issues of finance, structure and purpose are not about to disappear and we need to find ways of talking about them.
Next year Assembly is changing format, though exactly what that looks like I don’t know. As my involvement in BUGB Council ends, and the Union’s structures change, I’m learning adjust to the fact that I have not only returned to the back benches, but the benches have now been placed outside.