When moderators become critics
If such a position becomes available, a former Presbyterian moderator might be up for the job. Dr Stafford Carson (pictured, right) has used his personal blog to set out a detailed and highly critical account of the Opening Night of this year's General Assembly. He says he is merely summarizing much of what he heard from others after the service, but his commentary includes criticisms of the service's duration (particularly the fact that it took so long to say goodbye to the outgoing moderator and welcome in the new one), the failure of the tech team to properly play a DVD (which "made the arrangements appear amateurish"), and the loss of "a significant piece of Presbyterian pageantry". This last point relates to the now discontinued tradition of parading moderators in and out of the service, then back in again, to welcome in the newly elected moderator. In past years, some have argued that this older tradition appeared rather Monty-Pythonesque, but clearly some former moderators quite enjoyed it.
The debate about the Opening Night of the General Assembly continues on Stafford Carson's blog. Another contributor there comments: 'Sounds as if the occasion was more of a smouldering bush rather than a burning one.' Ouch.