Christian Aid has a vision: an end to poverty. They say, “Poverty is an outrage against humanity. It robs people of dignity, freedom and hope, of power over their own lives.” They believe their vision of an end to poverty can become a reality, and urge us to join them. Read the report, watch the video, and take action.
With summer now well and truly upon us, things in the kirk are a bit quieter than normal. That, perhaps, is no bad thing given how busy we were during the first six months of the year. However, there is still a lot going on behind the scenes and there are two particular events to which I would like to draw your attention:
The Stated Annual Meeting of the congregation is on Wednesday 15th July at 7.30pm in the Parish Church. As well as the opportunity to look back at the congregation’s life over the past year, we hope to have a presentation showing the progress of our “Year in the Life” photo journal of our 350th Anniversary Year.
And the Prayer & Launch Event for Connect 2009 will be on Friday 7th August at 7.00pm in Seafar House. This will consist of presentations from the various Steering Groups to pass on information about the events planned for this year and how we can all be involved. There will also be time for prayer for the Connect events taking place in September. We will feature Connect more fully in a future ‘update’.
A selection of photographs from this year’s Garden Fete and June’s 350th Anniversary celebrations have now been posted onto the kirk’s website. To see pictures from the Birthday Party that followed the worship service on 7th June click on the “next page” link at the foot of the Anniversary Service page.
The July edition of the Church of Scotland’s Good News magazine includes a special report from Edinburgh Presbytery that argues the Church of Scotland can seize on the challenges of a secular society, and also the convener of the Panel on Review and Reform, Reverend David S. Cameron, explains how congregations can help cultivate change in the Kirk. You can download Good News from here.
The Ekklesia news service reports that The Church of Scotland has welcomed the Scottish Government’s new climate change targets but warned they were doomed to fail unless the people of Scotland were involved at a grassroots level. Speaking a day after the Scottish Parliament approved the trail-blazing Scottish Climate Change Bill, The Rev Ian Galloway, Convener of the Kirk’s Church and Society Council, said: “We warmly welcome the amendment to the Bill requiring the Scottish Government to publish a strategy for public engagement. Without an effective strategy the new law stands little chance of success. Congregations across Scotland, particularly Eco-Congregations, will have [a] vital role to play in coming months to help the Government get this right.” Read the full article here.
Ecumenical News International (ENI) reports that the Methodist Church, the third largest in Britain, has become the first church in the country to ban its members from belonging to the British National Party, which Methodism deems to be a group advocating racism. The church said on 9 July that its annual conference in Wolverhampton had passed a resolution that none of the church’s 265,000 members could be a member of a political party whose constitution, aims or objectives promote racism. This specifically includes, but is not solely limited to, the BNP. More on this here.
ENI also reports that Protestant Christians are celebrating the 500th anniversary of the birth of Jean Calvin, the French-born church reformer who inspired a movement that now has tens of millions of adherents worldwide. Calvin was born on 10 July 1509 at Noyon in northern France, and is known throughout the world for his role in the Reformation while he lived in Geneva, a once independent city state that is now part of Switzerland. Religious and political leaders gathered on 10 July at Geneva’s Cathedral of St Pierre, the church where Calvin preached during the Reformation, where they heard a call for the theologian to be commemorated as a source for a contemporary response to social issues. Read the full article here.