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.

Scottish Churches Housing Action

Scottish Churches Housing Actionscha will be 20 years old on 17 January 2015.

We will mark the event with a service of celebration, challenge and commitment at
St Andrew’s RC Cathedral, Clyde St, Glasgow at 2.30 pm.

Worship will be led by our Associate Convener, Rt Rev Bruce Cameron, and the sermon will be given by Very Rev Dr Andrew McLellan.

ALL WELCOME

Scottish Churches Housing Action supports churches to make practical responses to the challenge of homelessness in Scotland. Read its reponse to the Smith Commission.

Scottish Parliament Motion supports church initiative

The City of Edinburgh Methodist Church has been officially informed that Sarah Boyack MSP has lodged a motion at the Scottish Parliament to commend the church on its recent partnership with Capital Credit Union, to facilitate the provision of credit union financial services to staff, members and the wider community in Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders. Ms Boyack had not been able to attend the church’s launch event for the partnership but wants to support the initiative.
The motion has attracted strong cross-party support.
MSPs have not been able to sent out their regular newsletters in the lead up to the Scottish referendum on independence, but Sarah plans to send out a newsletter immediately after the vote, which will include information about credit unions generally and about our initiative specifically.
The motion reads:
 Motion S4M-10847: Sarah Boyack, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 20/08/2014
Access to Credit Union Services
“That the Parliament congratulates the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church and the Capital Credit Union on their new joint credit union scheme, which aims to offer affordable loans and mortgages as an alternative to payday borrowing; welcomes the commitment by the church staff and trained volunteers to offer weekly workshops that aim to provide access to credit union services to churchgoers and across the wider community, and further welcomes the plans by the Methodist Church in Scotland to work with the Church of Scotland and the Church of England to launch the Churches’ Mutual Credit Union on 1 October 2014.”
So far, the motion has been supported by: David Stewart, Anne McTaggart, Margaret McCulloch, Hanzala Malik, Annabelle Ewing, Jayne Baxter, Richard Lyle, Patricia Ferguson, Mark McDonald, Neil Findlay, Mike MacKenzie, Elaine Murray, Stuart McMillan, David Torrance, Jackie Baillie, Dave Thompson, Cara Hilton, Nigel Don.