Presbyterian General Assembly: Moderator in 'Forgive' Plea; 'Let Us Offer the Hand of Friendship'
Kennedy, Billy, The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland)
NEW Presbyterian Moderator the Reverend Dr Trevor Morrow said last night it was time for Presbyterians to reach out the hand of friendship and offer forgiveness to those who had caused them pain.
Dr Morrow, speaking after his installation as Moderator at the opening ceremony of the Presbyterian General Assembly, said he wanted his Church to rediscover its role and calling on the island of Ireland.
He said: ''We must reach out our hand to those who have caused us pain and to offer forgiveness. This is so difficult. Of course it may be rejected. Above all else, this is what I would love Presbyterians in Ireland to be known for: That we are a forgiven and forgiving people because we believe in the priority of grace.''
Lisburn man Dr Morrow, who has been minister of Lucan Presbyterian Church in Dublin for the past 17 years, described the present time in Ireland as ''these most momentous days in our history'' and said there was an opportunity for the emergence of congregations that would be ''different from the tribal allegiances of the past''.
He said women and men who were Celts and Anglo Saxons, republicans and unionists, were held together in one fellowship, not by cultural identity or political aspiration, but only that they are followers of Jesus.
''Such communities will represent on this island the true radical dissenting tradition and, without a doubt, as in our Presbyterian past, they will be extremely unsettling to the political and religious establishment,'' he said.
Dr Morrow, the first Moderator to be elected from the Republic for 36 years, has taken as his theme for his year of office Jesus and the 21st century. …