OneKirk is not a club, pressure group or party. Rather it is a network of Church of Scotland people to support, enable and facilitate one another in our various ministries, whether they are lay ministries or ordained. OneKirk seeks to help us discern the meaning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our generation. It is our hope that we can foster and encourage an atmosphere of open and theologically informed debate on matters of spiritual, social and political import within the Church of Scotland and, indeed, the wider church and society. We seek to include all people in the life of the Church of Scotland regardless of past life, or present, for we recognise that God’s love is for all.
While each of us comes from a different background, and each has travelled a different journey of faith, it may be useful to describe the common ground we share. This is not a declaration of beliefs to which we must subscribe, but rather a way to describe where we begin our journey of exploration and discovery of God working in our world today. Our starting point is God, known to us as the Creator of all that is, as the One who brings love and reconciliation through his life, death and resurrection, and as the inspiration and comforter of the Church through the centuries. How we know and love God is informed by the Holy Scriptures, historic creeds, example of fellow Christians, and our own faith experiences. God lives in us and moves in us by the work of His Spirit and the inspiration of His gracious love. God’s grace extends beyond our imagining, no one lies outwith God’s grace, and His Kingdom values of peace and justice extend to all people. Ministers, deacons and members of the Church of Scotland are joined in one purpose: to minister for Christ, and yet do so while recognising their differences of opinion and conscience. The liberty of opinion and conscience is a worthy tradition of the Church of Scotland.
Aims of OneKirk
To work for an inclusive church
Desmond Tutu pointed out that when Jesus Christ was lifted on the Cross, he did not say ‘I draw some people’, he said ‘I draw all people.’ God’s grace shown to us in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is for all people, regardless of race, age, gender or sexual orientation.
We aim to serve a church where the love of Christ shared among us will break down barriers, and where all shall be made welcome.
To work for an affirming church
St Anselm spoke of faith seeking understanding being the only faith worth having. Leaders and members of the Church of Scotland, and indeed the wider Church, in their ministry and discipleship are called to a life of faith seeking understanding.
This is no easy road and people need companions to give affirmation on their journey. We aim to help and support one another on the journey of faith, recognising that grace is found more often while searching for truth than in claiming to be certain of truth.
To work for a progressive church
The Christian writer, Michel Quoist, said that ‘to have faith is not only to raise one’s eyes to God to contemplate God; it is also to look at this world with Christ’s eyes.’ When we look at our world in this way we see the world differently.
- It leads us to work towards peace and justice for all the people of God, as Jesus did.
- It leads us to love and accept even the most unloved and unaccepted people within society, as Jesus did.
- It leads us to understand that our faith is shaped by the most unlikely of people and situations, as Jesus did.
- It leads us to bring fresh hope to the work, worship and witness of all the members of Jesus’ Church.