the Connexion issue 4

the connexion magazine issue 4 front coverThe latest issue of the connexion tells how Methodists are doing church differently – by taking risks, offering radical hospitality, going mobile and going on-air. The Holy Spirit is inspiring local Methodist churches to meet needs and change communities. Mission is changing Methodism.

Read it online. Copies should be in your church soon.

Understanding the 2015 General Election result in Scotland

The UK General Election in May 2015 resulted in a massive shift of votes and seats from Labour and the Liberal Democrats to the Scottish National Party in Scotland. Since election night commentators and political key-players have offered several explanations for the result. Using data from the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey before and – for the first time – after the election this seminar will separate the facts from the myths.

At this event a team of researchers from the University of Edinburgh, in collaboration with Professor John Curtice and ScotCen Social Research, will present the results of their study into the 2015 General Election in Scotland for the first time. The research has been conducted under the auspices of The Applied Quantitative Methods Network (AQMeN).

Contrasting long-run changes since the advent of devolution with recent changes in voting behaviour and political attitudes will provide deep insights into the reasons underlying the outcome of the vote. It will also offer insights into Scotland’s political landscape as it prepares for Scottish Parliamentary elections in May 2016.

The Scottish Churches Parliamentary Officer commends this meeting on Wednesday February 17 2016, 12:15 to 16:00 at Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, High School Yards, Infirmary Street. The event is open to the public and free to attend, but registration through Eventbrite is required as places are limited.

Full programme.

 

Scottish Churches’ partnership on migration

 

Representatives from various churches and faith-linked groups in Scotland met recently to discuss the challenge of migrants arriving in Scotland and the overall theme of migration. They hope to set up a website providing relevant information and publicise initiatives from the various churches. They intend to address misunderstandings about migrants and challenge racism.

The group agreed to support a complaint to the Daily Mail regarding a cartoon which is based on Nazi propaganda and portraying migrants as rats. You are invited to sign the online petition.

Action of Churches Together in Scotland has agreed to support the project through funding and other resources. Other faiths will be invited to join the project.

Conversation on Christian Marriage

The Methodist Church in engaged in a conversation about whether it should revisit its definition of marriage.    This conversation is happening  in the light of changes in both the law and social attitudes to  divorce, co-habitation and same-sex marriage.

Currently, the Methodist Church, in line with scripture and traditional teaching, believes that ‘marriage is a gift of God and that it is God’s intention that a  marriage should be a life-long union in body, mind and spirit of one man and one woman’ .

The Church is asking ‘ Should the Methodist understanding of Christian marriage be revisited?’  We expect there to be a range of views.   We are feeding back the full range of these view to the connexional working group.  There are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ responses.

More information on the conversation in Scotland.

Summer Newsletter now published

The summer issue of ‘In Touch‘ – the newsletter of the Methodist Church in Scotland – is now available. Hard copies will be delivered to all Methodist churches in the District.

Read about the Methodist tent at the Solas Festival, reports from Conference, and much more!

The situation in Calais

The Joint Public Issues team, representing the Methodist Church, the Church of Scotland, the United Reform Church and Baptists Together has issued a statement on the situation in Calais, stressing that the churches believe it is important that public debate is grounded in values of compassion.

Time to rethink Benefit Sanctions

Over time, more than 1 in 5 Jobseekers find themselves sanctioned i.e. left without benefits for a month or more. The Joint Public Issues team of the Methodist Church, the Baptist Union, the United Reformed Church and the Church of Scotland has published this report in conjunction with Church Action on Poverty and the Church in Wales.

 

Churches’ Mutual Credit Union

This recent initiative, including the Methodist Church, the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Church of Scotland, is now open for business, and invites savings in the Founder Members’ Bond.

At present, membership is open to the following within the Methodist Church

  • lay and ordained ministers, in training, in active service and in retirement
  • employees of the Methodist Church, at any level from local to connexional
  • trustees of the Methodist Church – this includes all Church Council members
  • members of the household of one of the above

For more details and future plans see the website.