District Prayer Diary – contributions sought

I am now preparing the new District Prayer Diary and would be very pleased
to have contributions from around the District on the themes – from the
District Development Proposals – of Biblical Engagement and Social Action.

In previous years we have offered prayers for people and situations within
particular Circuits and hope to be able to do this again. So it would be
particularly good if Superintendents could submit prayer(s) for particular
things going on in their Circuits.

Please share this notice in church newsletters/intimations as everyone is
invited to submit contributions.

Contributions by 17th August please to smj4409@hotmail.co.uk

Make a meal of it

Many elderly people are battling with isolation, trust and confidence issues. ‘Make a meal of it’ focuses on a long-term view of befriending and providing support. Resources are available to inspire churches to connect with older people by offering a fresh take on the community meal.

Solas Festival 22-24 June 2018

The Solas Festival 2018 takes place at the Bield in Perth between June 22nd and June 24th. Solas is an arts festival with a focus on justice. It has its roots in the Christian tradition and we Methodists have had a presence at the festival for a number of years, focused mainly on our tent which provides space for reflection, conversation and welcome.

This year is no different and if you would like to volunteer at the festival and receive a free day or weekend ticket in return, please contact Lorraine Darlow, darlowl@methodistchurch.org.uk to find out more.  A limited number of free day tickets for first-time festival goers are also available, as are a number of free tickets for young people and youth leaders.

To find out more about Solas, visit  www.solasfestival.co.uk

Columba Fest 2018

It will take place on 8th-10th June 2018 at the Iona Community Base, in Glasgow.  More details of venues and events.

Contributors will include Pádraig Ó Tuama, Alastair McIntosh, Alyson Hallet, John L. Bell, Carol Marples, Jane Bentley, Margaret McLarty, Lorraine McIntosh, Ian Bradley, Craig Gardiner, Andy Thornton, David Heavenor … and with more wonderful folk to be confirmed soon.

There is a range of ticket options available: come for the weekend, a day, or just an evening.

ColumbaFest is organised by Wild Goose and the Iona Community and this year is themed, ‘Dreams and Visions’. It’s an urban festival of faith, culture, politics and creativity, consisting of a stimulating and diverse range of talks, workshops, concerts, worship, and walks.

Creating a culture of welcome: church-led responses to migration and refugees

At the recent JPIT conference, David Bradwell, JPIT member and Co-ordinator of Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees, and Philip Jones and other members of Wilbraham St Ninian’s URC who have direct experience of the UK asylum and refugee system, led a session on the UK’s response to refugees.

They explored practical ways your church can demonstrate love-of-neighbour. This is for everyone, whether or not you have asylum seekers or refugees living in your local area: there are things all of us can do to create a culture of welcome in church and in society.

Read the briefing paper Made for Goodness: A faithful response to the refugee crisis.

If you want to have sacred conversations on migrating within your local church or church related group @home in a strange place is a very useful resource.

Here are some Church organisations carrying out work with refugees that you can get involved with.

Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees

Christian Aid

City of Sanctuary

Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe

CTBI Focus on Refugees

Universal Credit is driving families to food banks

A report by the Trussell Trust notes a 51% rise in food bank use in Universal Credit Areas and a 13% rise in other areas. Many areas in Scotland are now full service areas for Universal Credit, meaning that those under pension age claiming income-related benefits for the first time will wait at least a month for their first payment.