Thank you to all who continue to support and encourage the work of the SRT, in whatever capacity- not least in remembering us in your prayers. We would continue to encourage you to especially remember the work of the SRT during the special Week of Prayer (June 12- 18th. See http://www.srtp.org.uk/srtp/view_article/srt_project_week_of_prayer_12_18_june_2016)
Highlights from the past few months include:
Energy, fuel poverty and climate change: The report of this working group, which explores a number of important interlinked issues, was debated by the General Assembly in May 2016. The report was accepted, and there were a lot of encouraging discussions around these issues. It is important that we continue to finds ways in which the church can contribute to tackling fuel poverty.
Surveillance and social justice: we continue to develop the work around the ways in which surveillance is used, and especially to explore concerns around how surveillance deepens marginalisation of the most vulnerable in our society. The working group plans to report to General Assembly in May 2017.
Science festivals: The SRT event at the Edinburgh International Science Festival 2016 was based around the fuel poverty report mentioned above. This facilitated discussion included a number of experts in different fields. It was encouraging to see so many people attending and engaging with these issues.
We continue to explore ways of being involved in science festivals throughout the country, and to encourage congregations to consider getting involved in their local science festival- please see http://www.srtp.org.uk/srtp/view_article/scottish_science_festivals
Credit Unions: Karen Hunter has taken on responsibility for our work with CUs, and she has been very busy promoting this through talks to Presbyteries, CrossReach, etc. There are lots of opportunities to get involved with credit unions. The Churches Mutual Credit Union (CMCU) may be of particular interest to many: if you are interested in opening an account with them, please see the CMCU website, www.cmcu.org.uk
Good Money Week: How we use the resources which we have available to us is an important question. We will be involved in a half day conference in Edinburgh on Thursday 3rd November, to mark Good Money Week. We would encourage people to attend.
Digital divide: There is clearly an opportunity for individual churches and presbyteries to have a positive impact on their communities; we have highlighted some of the ways in which congregations are already doing this, and are always encouraged at the innovative approaches which many churches are taking to harness the positive power of digital technologies in their local areas.
The SRT has been involved in meetings in Europe, and also in large gatherings such as the International Association of Bioethics. However, we’re acutely aware that it is the church we primarily seek to serve, and we always enjoy interacting with presbyteries and congregations. If you would like our support in any way, please get in touch (www.srtp.org.uk)
Murdo Macdonald, SRT Project Policy Officer