Mission & Discipleship 68 – May 2012

The latest e-newsletter from the Church of Scotland’s Mission & Discipleship Council contains details of many different events and resources of interest to church people throughout Scotland. Among the events listed are:
Mission Shaped Ministry – a one-year, part-time course designed to help people develop practical knowledge and skills which will help them engage their community with the Gospel. It has been developed through Fresh Expressions (www.freshexpressions.org.uk) in partnership with various denominations, with the Church of Scotland involved on a less formal basis to date. A ‘fresh expression’ of church is described as “a form of church for our changing culture, established primarily for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church”. Individuals or teams, leaders and members, clergy and lay people learn side by side in the sessions to make MSM a major contributor to lay and ordained ministry training. The course begins on 8th September 2012.
There is an invitation to visit the Mission & Discipleship tent at Heart and Soul 2012 on Sunday 20 May in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh. They say, “Come along and enjoy a cuppa and a good blether at the Café or take part in one of the debates or workshops spanning comedy, music, art and topical discussion. Learn more about the work of Mission Forum and the breadth and depth of the work of one of the Church’s major Councils. Or just come and play with the Lego and have your face painted – we’d love to see you!”
Talking up the Eldership is an annual event which has been running for four years and is open to all elders in all congregations, whether they are new or well experienced. This year’s event is on Saturday 26th May in Kirkcaldy when the workshop leaders are Mission & Discipleship’s Presbytery Adult Trainers from five different Presbyteries who are all involved in continually looking at the eldership role and what it entails today. The material used is up-to-date and relevant, not set in tablets of stone, and will be presented by each of them in their own inimitable way! There is so much to be gained from the interaction with other elders – quite apart from the workshops – that this kind of day is well worth attending.
Why Believe? is a resource to encourage the Scottish churches to provide a reasoned case for Christian belief (apologetics) amid the challenges and opportunities of today’s Scotland. It brings together a group of Christians of different denominations, administered within the Mission & Discipleship Council, and also supported by ACTS (Action of Churches Together in Scotland). To download the ‘What Can I Say?’ leaflet, giving brief responses to some things that people say about Christianity, click here.
Read the full newsletter from Mission & Discipleship 68 – May 2012

Church and Society News – May 2012

The May 2012 edition of the kirk’s Church and Society e-newsletter provides links to their report which will be discussed at this year’s General Assembly and much more.
Coinciding with the General Assembly there is an exhibition in St Augustine’s Church, Edinburgh called ‘Walking in my Shoes‘. Described as a “moving and challenging experience”, each shoe tells a story and the exhibition is an invitation to the onlooker to ‘walk in the shoes’ of women who have lived with domestic abuse.
Another subject addressed in this year’s report is that of Human Trafficking. Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings – both adults and children – for the purpose of commercial exploitation. Operated by serious organised criminal gangs and independent opportunists, it can take many forms including sexual exploitation, forced labour and domestic slavery. The impoverished, socially disadvantaged and children and women are those who are at most risk of being exploited. We’re appealing to anyone who may in their day to day lives come into contact with people who are trafficked – be it where they live, where they work or as they travel within their community – to report any concerns anonymously to CRIMESTOPPERS on 0800 555 111. By taking the time to do this you can help us build an accurate picture of what’s happening within our communities, help us take action against the crime groups who are cashing in on this modern day slavery, and provide victims with the support they deserve and require.
The National Parenting Initiative (NPI) is seeking to help churches in the UK across every denomination and network to grasp the opportunity to connect with parents in their communities and support family life in a practical way. Churches that are already running, or are planning to run, a parenting course are being invited to register their course – however small – on the new NPI website. Some courses will involve a few parents meeting in a home. Others will be larger courses run in community centres, kids’ clubs, youth centres, cafés after hours, schools or church rooms.
The full newsletter, which contains information about various other topics from sectarianism to neurobiology, can be read from here.