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.
Highlights from the past few months include:
Surveillance and social justice: This working group, which is being led by Ian Mitchell and Eric Stoddart, plans to report to the General Assembly in May 2017. The group presented a draft report to the Church and Society Council meeting in November.
Digital divide: We continue to work in this area through a number of initiatives, as we seek to ensure that the church contributes appropriately to ensuring that congregations are using digital technologies to help those in their communities who may not be able to fully access the benefits brought by digital technologies. We are partnering with a number of groups, both within and outside the church, in this regard.
Local science festivals: We have been able to be involved with the Orkney Science Festival, and are grateful to Prof Robin Taylor who agreed to contribute to events in Kirkwall on behalf of the SRT. Prof. Taylor has also written an article published in the October issue of Life and Work magazine.
Presbyteries: The SRT has been invited to speak in Biggar on Nov 23rd at a special meeting arranged by Lanark Presbytery, about issues around organ transplantation (following on from the report to the General Assembly in May 2015). On the same day, the launch of the British Transplant Games takes place in Motherwell.
Credit Unions: As this work continues to expand, Karen has been increasingly busy in this area. Interest in and membership of the Churches Mutual Credit Union (CMCU) is growing. Charles Sim, a Kirk elder from Kilmarnock, has been working closely with Karen in promoting the CMCU, in Presbyteries and among church employees in 121. We continue to seek to make progress in encouraging CrossReach staff to join CMCU, following our presentation to their regional conference.
Good Money Week: The Good Money Week conference took place in Edinburgh on Nov 3rd. This was very well attended. One of the emerging themes of the work of the Council is around the issue of disinvestment, especially from fossil fuel companies. We continue to work closely with Adrian Shaw, Climat Change Officer, who is leading on this aspect of the work of the Council.
Conference of European Churches: The next meeting of the Bioethics group of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) will take place in Strasbourg in March. The SRT continues to make a significant contribution to this group; I am chairing the CEC bioethics group which will develop a report on gene editing.
SRT@50: A small group is starting to plan for the 50th anniversary of the project in 2020. We are exploring possible ways to get funding for some of these initiatives.
Other issues/ future engagements for the SRT Project:
Dr Murdo Macdonald, Policy Officer, SRT
24 November 2016