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.

Call to prayer for Iraq and Syria on 31 August

The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Ken Howcroft and Ms Gill Dascombe, are asking Methodists to ensure that they spend some special time in prayer for persecuted minorities during worship on 31 August, and consider donating to Christian Aid’s Iraq appeal.

Text of letter

They have written a prayer for Syria and Iraq for use by churches and groups:

“The situation in Iraq and Syria can only be described as a living nightmare,” said Mr Howcroft and Ms Dascombe, adding, “as Methodists we stand in solidarity alongside all those who are persecuted. As followers of Jesus who was crucified we stand with all those who find their religion twisted by others out of all recognition in order to justify horrific acts of violence. We stand in prayer, crying out together to a God of justice, peace and mercy. May God have mercy on us all.”

Credit Union partnership launched

The City of Edinburgh Methodist Church has launched a new credit union partnership based at the Church. 
We’re delighted to be forming this partnership with Capital Credit Union, an experienced Edinburgh-based credit union, to offer financial services to our community. These services will help church staff and members, students and other local people build up savings, and access mortgages and low-cost loans.
As a church we want to support the “not for profit, not for charity, but for service” ethos of the credit union movement and invite you to support us in this initiative.

EDINBURGH CHURCH TAKES UP THE ‘WAR ON WONGA’

The City of Edinburgh Methodist Church is taking a stand against payday lenders by joining forces with a local credit union to bring fair and affordable savings, mortgages and loans to church members and the wider community. The church will promote the financial services of Capital Credit Union, an experienced Edinburgh-based credit union. This partnership is the first of its type in the city.

As with all credit unions, members are required to save a specific amount each week, which is then pooled and can be loaned out again at low interest rates. Information sessions will be held at the church on a weekly basis and run by church staff and specially-trained church volunteers.

The credit union partnership is officially launched at 6pm on 19 July at an event at the church’s Well Café at Nicolson Square in Edinburgh.

Belinda Letby, minster of the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church, says:

“As a church, we see every day how tough times have been over the last few years for our members – and not only for them, but for their families and the community around us. We want to help protect people from predatory payday lenders, who seem to offer a quick way out, when in reality they not only prolong but exacerbate the problem. The wonderful thing about credit unions is that all members save, so they will always have something to fall back on. This, more than anything else, is why we have set up the credit union, because we believe that by working together we can help prevent problems before they even arise.”

Capital Credit Union CEO, Marlene Shiels, says:

“We are incredibly proud to be in a position to work with the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church in this way. Credit unions are built on the ethos of people helping people, and this is a perfect illustration of our philosophy in action.”