The 177th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) met in Belfast last night (Monday), to formally elect and install Coleraine-born Rev. Dr. Frank Sellar of Bloomfield Presbyterian Church as this year’s Moderator of the General Assembly.
He succeeds Ballymoney’s Rev Dr Ian McNie from Trinity Presbyterian Church in the post.
Unveiling the business for the week, Rev. Trevor Gribben, Clerk of the General Assembly and General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, said, “Given the scope of our activity as a Church across our congregations from Bushmills to Aghada in County Cork, I am looking forward to a busy and productive time.”
“Much of what will be discussed is routine; matters that affect only the Church and the way we operate, but are, nonetheless important. Yet, running alongside these debates throughout the week are resolutions that concern the social, moral and public issues of the day. Areas where the Church, in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Kingdom, can make a unique contribution and give voice to the concerns of many people, both within and outside the Church,” Trevor Gribben said.
This year’s Annual Reports from the Church’s various Councils - affectionately known by those attending as ‘the Blue Book’ - covers 341 pages and contains the reports and the accompanying 90 Resolutions to be debated.
These include significant points affecting the mission and ministry of both the congregations around Ireland and PCI at a wider level. There are also anumber of public square issues that will be debated on the floor of the Assembly. These include abortion, freedom of conscience and dealing with the past.
Wednesday also sees an Evening Celebration of public praise and worship in the Assembly Hall that begins at 7.45pm.
The new Moderator, Dr. Sellar, will lead the service, which is themed ‘A Community of Global Concern,’ the Church’s Fit for Purpose theme for 2016.
Rev. Dr. Frank Sellar was born in 1958 and is currently the minister of Bloomfield Presbyterian Church in east Belfast. He was ordained as assistant at Hamilton Road, Bangor in 1988 and was installed as minister of Adelaide Road Presbyterian Church in Dublin in 1990. He was called to Bloomfield in 2007.
The outgoing Moderator, Rev Dr McNie, became Minister at Trinity in 1991.