There has been a gap of several months since we last posted anything on this blog, so a wee bit of catch-up is required.
Most of what appears below is of historical interest only – the dates for most of the events in these newsletters have passed – but we’ve decided to post the links in any event, if only for the sake of completeness since the newsletters for the early part of the year had already been posted.
The latest newsletter from the Mission & Discipleship Council of the Church of Scotland introduces Heart And Soul 2013, when the church will take over Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh for an afternoon of celebration on General Assembly Sunday (19th May), which is also the Day of Pentecost. In recognition of the 1450th anniversary of Columba landing on Iona, Heart and Soul 2013 will be inspired by Celtic Christianity, with all the richness of its themes, including: hospitality, pilgrimage, journeying, creation and its care, representing Christ to the world, and ‘being on the edge’.
The newsletter also has news of two retreats being organised to take place in the Highlands in June, the National Youth Assembly in August and a conference for Session Clerks planned for September.
Among the many items listed in the ‘resources’ section are two new websites: www.resourcingmission.org.uk offers mission resources from the Church of Scotland for download (e.g. Quick Guides) and purchase (e.g. the popular Pray It Forward cards), and an online booking facility for Mission & Discipleship events (e.g. National Youth Assembly). www.lifeandwork.org is a new online presence, offering readers and followers an enhanced and up-to-date experience of the Church of Scotland’s popular magazine. In addition, regular updates on Life and Work’s new pages will appear on Facebook (www.facebook.com/LifeandWork) and Twitter (@cofslifeandwork).
The latest monthly newsletter from the Mission & Discipleship Council of the Church of Scotland has, as always, a whole raft of events, activities and resources of interest to church people throughout Scotland.
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 newsletter from the Church of Scotland’s Mission & Discipleship Council contains details of over 20 events and resources of interest to church people throughout Scotland.
The events include a series of retreats that will take place at various venues throughout the Highlands and Islands during 2012 and Mission Shaped Ministry, described as 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.” There is news of this year’s National Youth Assembly taking place in Dundee in August and details about a one-day conference on ‘Sharing Faith in a Post-modern Age’ in Glasgow in October.
Among the many and varied resources available is Different Voices, an online magazine about church music in Scotland, produced by the Mission & Discipleship Council. It is for all those who sing in choirs, congregations and praise groups, play organs or other instruments, and all who plan, lead and choose music and hymns for worship. Also mentioned is Pray It Forward. This popular initiative features an attractive collection of high quality credit-card sized cards carrying a range of blessings inspired from scripture, for churches and individuals to give away free to others. The aim of the cards is to encourage and bless the recipient, and to encourage them to pray for, and bless, someone else in turn, ie to focus outward, and not just on what God can do for ME!
Read the full newsletter from Mission & Discipleship 69 – June 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
The April 2012 edition of the Church of Scotland’s Mission & Discipleship Council newsletter contains information about a one-day conference – on Saturday 12 May in Glasgow – called Transforming Discipleship. This conference is “designed to explore – biblically and practically – what it means to be a 21st century disciple of Jesus Christ”. Click here for further details. Also taking place that day is the first of two conferences under the heading Why believe? (the other takes place in October). This conference, in Edinburgh, is titled ‘What Can I Say?’ and is “focused on how a perhaps hesitant or discouraged believer can have confidence in the content of the Christian message, faced with the challenges thrown at it in today’s (sceptical) world.”
The newsletter also has information about the Council’s participation in Heart and Soul 2012 on 20 May and about the National Youth Assembly taking place in Dundee in August. Read the full newsletter for more information about these and a host of other events, resources and activities at Mission & Discipleship 67 – April 2012
The March 2012 newsletter from the Church of Scotland’s Mission & Discipleship council contains, as always, information about a large variety of events and resources. Among them are:
A one-day conference called ‘Transforming Discipleship‘ designed to explore – Biblically and practically – what it means to be a 21st century disciple of Jesus Christ. The conference takes place in Glasgow on 21st May.
A DVD called ‘Seeds and Roots’ which tells the stories of seven ‘fresh expressions’ of church, most of which are not quite what are generally recognised as church yet, but the missional instinct of these pioneers is driving them on to plant new expressions of church in areas and among networks not presently being reached by our churches.