As many of you will be aware, the General Assembly (GA) of the Church of Scotland takes place in Edinburgh in May each year. One of the major outputs from the SRT Project is in its reporting to the GA, and much of the past few months of our activity has been focussed on getting these reports finalised- no mean task, by the time the text is agreed, proof-read, checked for accuracy, etc!
The SRT Project is involved in two major reports to the GA this year, as well as reporting on a number of smaller issues. One of these reports, on competitiveness in sport, has generated quite a bit of media interest already, with a number of newspapers picking up on references which are made to the close association between gambling and sport. They have also noted our call to parents (and others involved in supporting sporting participants) not to get carried away, and to treat opponents with respect.
The other major report to the GA looks at how the increasing availability of new reproductive technologies have changed the way in which we view families and relatedness. It also explores the effect which this has had on adoption.
Both of these reports are available to download from the Church of Scotland and SRT Project websites. In addition, the SRT has had input into pieces of work on the “digital divide” and funeral poverty. The “digital divide” looks at the problems caused by the lack of access that many, especially in poorer or more rural communities, face as a result of not being able to reliably access the internet, and what can churches do about it.
In the last issue of the SRT eNews we looked at the idea of churches getting involved in their local science festival, perhaps by offering to host events in their buildings. To that end, we have put together a leaflet listing the local science festivals, and details such as dates and websites. A number of congregations (and, indeed, in one case, a science festival!) have expressed interest in this, which is really encouraging. Again, you’ll find more details on the SRT website. If you even have the genesis of an idea as to what you do in your local area, or if there’s anything that the SRT Project can do to help or encourage you, please do get in touch. We may be able to help to publicise this, or perhaps provide speakers, resources, etc.
In addition, the SRT Project continues to be involved in debates around legislation and policy. The debate on proposed assisted dying legislation, both in the UK and Scottish Parliaments, is ongoing, as is the debate around the ethics of what is sometimes termed “3 parent embryos” (mitochondrial transfer or maternal spindle transfer).
And so our thoughts are now turning to the issues to report on to future GAs….!
The SRT Project likes to get out and about. In addition to talks to a number presbyteries in the past few months, these have recently included talks to schools, Kirk Sessions and other church groups. If you or your church might be interested in having the SRT Project involved in a public event, please get in touch:firstname.lastname@example.org