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Moderator preaches importance of unity

The first female minister to become Kirk Moderator delivered a sermon in the capital yesterday in her first full day in the role.

The Right Rev Sheilagh Kesting, 53, made unity a key theme of her address at Edinburgh’s St Giles’ Cathedral on the Royal Mile, which was attended by the Duke of York in his official role as Lord High Commissioner to the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly.

The Moderator’s sermon came a day after she made history by taking up the post at the opening of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

The minister, from Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, is the second woman to hold the honorary role after Dr Alison Elliot, an elder who was appointed in 2004.

Miss Kesting, who has been the secretary of the Church’s committee on ecumenical relations since 1993, said earlier this week that her upbringing strengthened her belief that the divide between different strands of Christianity should be bridged.

Speaking on a similar theme in the capital yesterday, Miss Kesting said: “If we live as though God had not torn down the barriers that divide people of different backgrounds and cultures, if we cannot ourselves work for the healing of the tensions that are so disabling and can find no way of respecting difference as the sign of a healthy community, we will fail to be convincing.

“We will have turned the spotlight onto ourselves and our divisions, as so often in our history, and away from Jesus, who is the only focus of our unity.”

Full story at The Scotsman.

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