The Spring 2016 edition is now out!
Read about refugee camps in northern France, Geetotal, services from Bulgaria using Skype, Missional communities, and lots more.
Printed copies should be available in your local church.
The latest edition of the connexion focuses on Spirit-led enthusiasm.
Read it online or in your local church soon.
The new Methodist church in Kilsyth was dedicated on 13th March 2016 at a service led by the Chairman of the Scottish District Rev. Dr David Easton.
The first Methodist Church in Kilsyth was opened in 1840. It was replaced by a larger structure in 1885, but this was followed by a period of decline.
In the 1990’s it became clear that the church building did not meet modern requirements for mission and the burden of repairs was sapping finances and inhibiting our true calling. It was with a heavy heart and many memories that the membership of 69 decided to relinquish the building in 2007 and to meet in rented accommodation from which our mission was able to continue through social contacts, bible study and prayer meetings although with some restrictions.
From this time there arose a vision of a new church not just as a building but as commitment to God’s purpose. A search for finances to enable this vision to materialise was begun. For some time before this decision the church in Kilsyth was the only member of the original circuit, so it became expedient to join the Glasgow Circuit which subsequently morphed into the Strathclyde Circuit. Under the Superintendent, Alan Anderson the Circuit committed a substantial amount of money to a new church and this was followed by District support but this still left a substantial amount of money to be raised. Coffee mornings, requests to members and past members, as well as in more recent times the “buy a brick” campaign brought in substantial funds.
There were times when we were down hearted, especially when the Landfill Company Biffa turned down our grant application, but our faith that God’s purpose was for a new church to be built in Kilsyth carried us through. Dr Higgs of the Rank Trust visited us and was an inspiration for us to continue. Through him the Trust made a substantial contribution and he highlighted other sources of revenue. Finally the Connexion made a very generous contribution to our funds. It was during the latter part of our fund raising that momentum was created and we received substantial personal contributions to our funding. We were now in a position to invite a local builder to begin to construct our new multifunctional church which was completed on 22nd December 2015 on the same site as the original church and like that, it has no vestry or porch or pews and moreover it is in the same Circuit as the Airdrie churches who are now part of the Strathclyde Circuit – there seems to be nothing and everything new in God’s purpose.
This is only the beginning of our mission to support the Community in Kilsyth and elsewhere, but we know that with prayer and God’s blessing we will succeed.
In late 2015 several Scottish Churches and Faith Groups, including the Methodist Church, resolved to establish a refugee co-ordination project as a joint response to a growing humanitarian catastrophe.
Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees has now been set up to co-ordinate and promote action by faith communities in Scotland to support asylum seekers and refugees.
The group has a positive story to tell about interfaith and intercultural co-operation, and is here to help equip communities of faith with practical ways they can get involved and support refugee work, locally and in Scotland, and with partners across the United Kingdom, European Union and beyond.
Visit the website and follow the work on Twitter @WithRefugees.
The 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.
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.
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.
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.”
If you are moved by this issue, write to your MP. A template is available at http://www.jointpublicissues.org.uk/enough/.
Booking is still open for the We are Family events on 21st October in Glasgow.
If you are unable to attend the event, read the booklet that will be discussed there, and consider the ways in which changes in family ministry could be relevant to your church.
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!