The Church & Society Council of the Church of Scotland ‘Speak Out‘ newsletter for December 2013 encourages church members (and others!) to Speak Out against Human Trafficking – a practice the Council regards as “modern day slavery” and which is happening in Scotland right now. To find out more and get details about how we can play our part in speaking out against this practice, visit the main article on the Church of Scotland website.
The newsletter also reports on the Church and Society Conference held in October, looks at the legacy of the IF Campaign in Scotland, encourages members to become blood and organ donors, looks back at Living Wage Week 2013, reports on the Stop Destitution Campaign, introduces the Your Faith Your Finance initiative, encourages churches to take part in Earth Hour 2014 (which will be on Saturday 29 March at 8.30pm), and much more.
As mentioned in another post, we’ve not updated our blog for a few months – we have, however, ensured our church website is up-to-date – and so a bit of blogging catch-up is required.
What follows, therefore, are the links to the Church of Scotland’s Church & Society Council newsletters from May 2013 onwards.
Please note that some of the news, especially that reported in the earlier editions, may have been superseded by events. Nevertheless, there is much still of current interest in terms of the Council’s interests and activities: poverty, ethical finance and Scotland’s independence referendum to name but three.
The April 2013 edition of the Church of Scotland’s Church & Society Council newsletter looks forward to some of the issues that will form part of the Council’s report to this year’s General Assembly of the Church, which convenes in Edinburgh in May.
As the newsletter states: “Our work and prayer, action and reflection are seen through the lens of priority to the poorest and most marginalised. The General Assembly is a chance for the Church to debate political, economic and social issues, and to set the direction for future thinking.”
The theme of the March 2013 edition of the Church of Scotland’s Church & Society Council newsletter is ‘Campaigning’.
There is news about a movement called Enough Food for Everyone IF, a coalition of over 150 organisations (including the Church of Scotland) calling for change. Recently launched across the UK, the campaign aims to eradicate global hunger for good.
It’s been a while since we updated our blog with news from the wider church. On the plus side, this news can be found elsewhere – mainly by following the links from the main Church of Scotland website – but we had intended that newsletters from the kirk’s Church & Society and Mission & Discipleship Councils would also be posted here regularly. In an attempt to rectify this gap, we’ve posted some of the links from recent newsletters below.
The June 2012 edition of the Church of Scotland’s Church and Society Council newsletter has a look back at the report the Council presented to the kirk’s General Assembly in May. Church members were reminded that the Council has spoken out in their name on a large number of issues, ranging from climate change to bio-ethics, sustainable food supplies to sectarianism, nuclear disarmament to human trafficking, homelessness and poverty to the need for a just and lasting peace for Israel and Palestine. The report can be downloaded from the Church of Scotland website (links are provided in the newsletter).
In addition to reporting on the General Assembly the newsletter reports that the Presbyteries of Hamilton and Lanark have come together with other faith communities in the region to tackle the stigma and discrimination of mental ill-health. There is news of a series of discussion leaflets on the topic ‘Food is a Gift from God’ available from the Council, and a series of poems written by pupils at Parkhill Secondary School in Glasgow to challenge the issue of sectarianism. The school encourages congregations and individuals to use these to reflect on problems and solutions surrounding this issue.
Read the newsletter at Church and Society News – June 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.
The April 2012 newsletter from the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland encourages us to Close the Gap, i.e. the gap between rich and poor, in a campaign run by Church Action on Poverty. According to the newsletter, the campaign is “built around ordinary people and churches pledging to join the movement and do what they can. If we Give, Act and Pray together, we can build a more equal society. Happier, Healthier. Safer. Fairer.”
There is news from Eco-Congregation Scotland and the kirk’s Society, Religion & Technology Project (SRT); news about the Council’s participation in Heart & Soul 2012 and a look forward to the General Assembly in May, when the Council will be reporting on, among other things, Barriers to Literacy, the Commission on the Purposes of Economic Activity, Domestic Abuse, Give us our Daily Bread, Homelessness: achieving the 2012 pledge, Human Trafficking, Neurobiology (free will and moral responsibility) and Sectarianism.
Read the newsletter here.