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.

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.

Enough – Our responsibility to meet families’ needs

enough

The Joint Public Issues Team, representing many church bodies in the UK, including the Methodist Church, has published a report challenging the premise that the Welfare Reform and Work Bill will incentivise those on benefits to improve their life chances by finding (more) work. Instead, it points out that a large number of families with children will lose a lot of money each year – up to £3000 – and that research suggests that this will result in few families finding extra work; rather, the life chances of the children will be diminished because their families will be attempting to cope with living on not enough money.

“As Christians we believe all are made in God’s image and should have the opportunity to realise the potential God has placed within them. We are asking that the welfare state holds to its founding principles, and seeks to provide enough for a basic standard of living, so that every family and every child can survive and thrive.”

“We do not believe that we should ever deliberately deprive a person, a family, a child of enough to survive, to thrive or to fulfil their God-given potential.”

 Suggested Action

If you are moved by this issue, write to your MP. A template is available at http://www.jointpublicissues.org.uk/enough/.

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.