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Moderator welcomes Society Religion and Technology week of prayer

image Published: Jun 01, 2015

The Moderator of the General Assembly, Rt Rev Dr Angus Morrison, today encouraged churches to support the second annual week of prayer for the work of the Society, Religion and Technology (SRT) project.

Speaking ahead of the week of prayer, which takes place from June 7th- 13th, Dr Morrison said: "It's important to remember the work of the SRT in our prayers- and especially at this time. The work the SRT has done over the years to help the Church to engage in difficult ethical issues in relation to science and technology has, in my view, been an invaluable part of the ministry of the church. I would commend the leaflet to help guide your prayers.

In 1969, the (then) Industrial Mission department of the Church realised that the technological innovation which had been gathering pace in the 1960s would have a profound effect on many aspects of Scottish society- and so what was to become the SRT project was born.

Officially inaugurated on May 1st 1970, the SRT has sought to help the church to engage constructively with the scientific community in Scotland and beyond. It has been involved in informed debate with many interested parties: government, regulators, industry, scientists, the church, the general public. The variety of publications which have resulted from the work of the SRT Project stand as eloquent testimony to the dedicated work of many people over the years, and many individuals have been stimulated to think- and to act- through the work of the project.

Dr Morrison, who is pictured holding a light baton specially commissioned for the International Year of Light, continued: "Science and technology have had enormous impacts on all aspects of human life, in many cases changing the way we think of ourselves and society. Most of these impacts have been positive; some have had unforeseen consequences. Many have raised ethical and moral questions as to how and where technology can and should be applied to benefit the largest number of people.

"Many might argue that the church should not interfere with issues which lie outwith its remit. Yet the Year of Light reminds us of the work done by one of Scotland's greatest scientists, James Clerk Maxwell, who was a leading member of the church of his day. Still today, the church in Scotland comprises many people with professional expertise relevant to all kinds of areas- including areas which may be considered controversial. The SRT Project seeks to assist the Church in being faithful to Jesus' call to his followers to be "salt and light" in the world.

"As the national Church, the Church of Scotland can call on a wide range of expertise and experience from within the "ranks" of the Church: to be able to harness even a fraction of this strength in depth, and to apply the resulting wisdom, would be of great benefit to all."

If you would like more information about the work of the SRT, please contact Dr Murdo Macdonald: mmacdonald@cofscotland.org.uk

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