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Act 2, 2020 – Regarding Exceptional Arrangements for the 2020 General Assembly and Presbyteries (As amended by Act 13, 2020 – Amending Act 1, 2020 Regarding Exceptional Arrangements for the 2020 General Assembly and Presbyteries)

  1. The General Assembly, noting the Government restrictions on travel and public gatherings due to the COVID19 pandemic, declare that the Assembly shall convene to take up urgent and time-critical business using the Zoom audio-visual technology platform.
  2. The General Assembly declare that the Assembly shall convene for one session only on Monday 18th May 2020 at 6.00pm. They further declare that the General Assembly will adjourn on Monday 18th May 2020 to meet again on Tuesday 6th October 2020 at 9.00am in the Assembly Hall, Edinburgh, and to rise mot not later than 1.00pm on 8th October 2020. They empower the Moderator and the Principal Clerk, in consultation with the Business Committee, to make alternative arrangements should the current restrictions on social distancing and public gatherings still apply.
  3. The General Assembly, noting the benefits of continuity in the role of Moderator at this time, and taking cognisance of the uncertainty regarding the Assembly meeting for normal business in this year, appoint Rev. Donald G. Macdonald, Moderator of the 2019 General Assembly, as Moderator of the 2020 General Assembly. They thank Mr Macdonald for his willingness to continue in the role of Moderator for a second year.
  4. The General Assembly note that Rev. Neil MacMillan has been elected Moderator-Designate of the 2020 General Assembly. They declare that Mr MacMillan’s election shall be valid for the purposes of appointing the Moderator of the 2021 General Assembly.
  5. The General Assembly declare that the need for the submission of Elders’ Certificates according to the terms of Act 8, 1853 as amended by Act 9, 1863, be waived for the 2020 Assembly in the light of the current COVID-19 crisis and its impact on meetings of Church courts.
  6. The General Assembly declare that the 2020 examination of the records of Presbyteries, Boards and Committees be cancelled. They instruct that arrangements be made for the examination of all records for years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 in time to report to the 2021 General Assembly.
  7. The General Assembly declare that all ministerial appointments which are due for review in May 2020 be extended under the current terms until the 2021 General Assembly.
  8. The General Assembly further declare that the fixed terms of all ministers on the Rolls of Ministers according to Act 8, Class 2, 2019 be extended until such time as revised and updated arrangements are approved by the 2021 General Assembly.
  9. The General Assembly instruct Presbyteries to proceed with the appointment of Moderator and the election of Representative Elder at Presbytery and Synod according to the terms of Act 1, Class 1, 2019 and to do so with reference to 18th May 2020, the date on which the 2020 General Assembly will adjourn to meet again on 6th October 2020.