Just after I issued the last update (see below), the Church of Scotland issued a special General Assembly edition of their Good News bulletin. This newsletter (which can be downloaded from here) summarises some of the issues to be discussed at the General Assembly which starts on Thursday 21st May in Edinburgh. Among them are suggestions that the kirk considers using ‘virtual ministers’ to stem a shortage of full-time clergy, i.e. using video links where a minister cannot be present in person. Meanwhile, a report from the kirk’s World Mission Council asks whether the Western world needs to be converted because of a “recession” in Christianity. The report says that many African countries have become heartlands of the faith while Europe has seen a slump in Christianity which is unprecedented in its extent and severity and claims that Christians from Asia and Africa are now approaching Europe as a mission field, as the direction of missionary endeavour changes.
Closer to home, our Boys’ Brigade company – the 1st Cumbernauld – had its Annual Display on Thursday 14th May. It was a fabulous evening all round and a very memorable occasion for eight young men in particular: three being presented with their Queen’s Badge and five being presented with their President’s Badge. Neil Campbell, Mark Gammie and Calum McDougall received their Queen’s Badges ahead of a further, formal presentation in a few weeks’ time at the Scottish Parliament, and Jordan Watson, Andrew Turnbull, Kenneth Scott, Stuart MacFarlane and Euan Alston were awarded their President’s Badges. Some pictures of their presentations have been added to the church website and we hope to have more pictures added over the next few weeks.
Cumbernauld Old is a member of Scotland’s Churches Scheme. They have just launched their new Sacred Scotland website and are producing a series of Sacred Places guidebooks covering the whole of Scotland. One of the features of the new website is that churches can update their own entries with historical information, pictures and events. I’ve updated the entry for Cumbernauld Old to add some pictures of the church (only six photos are allowed) and had hoped to add details of our Summer Fete and Anniversary activities. However, the events section of the website has so far beaten my attempts at updating it.
The Christian ‘think-tank’ Ekklesia has reported recently on concerns raised by Christian Aid about the current situation in Sri Lanka, hopes that the results of the recent General Elections in India will mean a reduction in the violence against Christians in the state of Orissa and a call from Christians in China for the world to remember the events of Tiananmen Square that occurred twenty years ago this June. Click on the links above to find out more.