NYA Moderator looks back on 'challenging' 2016

Andrew MacPherson, the National Youth Assembly Moderatorlooks back at 2016 and ahead at what's to come in 2017.

Each year now seems to go past quicker and busier than the one before, however for myself this has been taken to a whole new level this year. While many things have been quite constant, taking on the role as Moderator of the National Youth Assembly added a new pie, one much larger than any others I had my finger in.

Andrew and Gigha
Andrew Macpherson and his partner Gigha Lennox visited the island which shares her name.

This last year, 2016, certainly has been eye opening. Leading the National Youth Assembly has definitely been the highlight, along with many other special memories that I will take from the year.

It hasn’t all been good however, so many times this year I’ve been saddened to hear news reports of the latest attacks, the latest political shocks or the latest passing of a cherished member of society.

It has been a year to test us all, one to challenge us in many ways, including our faith, and I’m certain next year will be no different.

Looking back to my involvement in NYA at the beginning of the year, I had a great time working under Hannah-Mary while she was NYA Moderator completing the amazing work we had the opportunity to do throughout her 12 months.

NYA Moderator for 2016-17 Andrew MacPherson
NYA Moderator for 2016-17 Andrew MacPherson

After this I was busy preparing myself for the Assembly and as well as leading the Assembly itself this year, I’ve found it a great pleasure taking part in the many engagements I have had since: giving presentations to various groups, leading my excellent team of youth reps and the anniversary trip to the Scottish mission in Budapest amongst many, many others.

In my personal life, I’ve also had great memories throughout the year taking time to relax and reflect while travelling to some memorable places. A trip to Krakow and to nearby Auschwitz is a haunting memory I’m sure will always stick by me, the horror of what happened there so difficult to comprehend.

More positive travels took me to the Inner Hebridean island of Gigha where me and my partner (also Gigha!) enjoyed some very peaceful days in the week following the National Youth Assembly, some much needed rest and also a reminder of the fantastic country we live in, it’s no wonder people travel across the world to visit places we would never think of going to.

2017 is shaping up to be another busy year, the National Youth Assembly’s work will continue with great steam (look out for a new partnership beginning early next year) along with a host of other engagements already lined up for me including attending the World Communion of Reformed Churches General Council next Summer, another brand new experience that I’m very excited to be a part of.

It won’t be without its challenges I’m sure, but with my faith and strength from God I know that it will not be one to forget.