Church in the News: 24 April, 2017

Church in the news highlights Wednesday 19 - Monday 24 April

Kirk Heroine chosen for the Hall of Heroes at the Wallace Monument

Presbyterian missionary Mary Slessor is to be celebrated at a major landmark museum in an historic move to recognise the deeds of famous women.

The Dundee mill worker, who transformed lives in Calabar, Nigeria, was chosen by public vote to be immortalised in the Hall of Heroes at the National Wallace Monument near Stirling.

There has been extensive coverage of this including:

The Herald, The Scotsman , Courier, The National, around 30 local news outlets, and the Edinburgh Evening News.

Continued reaction to the paper of the theological forum

More newspapers have now covered the Theological Forum's report on human sexuality, which has generally had a positive response in the media aside from a few letters that have been published. There has been coverage in The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Daily Mail, i, Daily Express, The Sun , Metro, The Herald, The Scotsman, Daily Record, Press & Journal, The Courier, Scottish Daily Star, BBC Online, around 25 local newspapers, BBC 1 Scotland, STV, Kingdom FM, BBC Radio Scotland, Christian Today, and Pink News.

Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration

The General Assembly is being presented with a report which marks the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration which led to the creation of a Jewish homeland.

Last year, the Church of Scotland was asked to consider how it would mark the Balfour Declaration, which was a letter by Arthur J Balfour which outlined the British Government’s support for "a national home of the Jewish people".

The report, produced by the Church and Society Council and World Mission Council, explores the significance of this letter as an important moment for those living in Palestine under the British Mandate, the Jewish people and British colonial history. Lord Balfour was a member of the Church of Scotland whose views on the Holy Land were shaped by his Christian outlook.

The report has received a mixed reaction from the Jewish community, with many outlets expressing concern. The Jewish News quotes the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities, stating “We have considerable reservations, in particular the proposed Deliverance (resolution) which condemns Israeli settlements, but not Palestinian terrorism or Hamas’s institutionalised anti-Semitism,” However, the article goes on to say "Jewish representatives said they were pleased that the Church had consulted Scottish Jews before its publication, and that revisions had given a more balanced reading".

Additional coverage appears in the ;Jewish Telegraph, The Herald and The Jewish Chronicle.

A interfaith confernc

Life & Work to be offered to digital subscribers

The magazine is now available for the first time to digital subscribers, bringing the church’s magazine to a new global online audience.

The digital title, compatible across all devices, has been trialled since January with ministers and parish magazine editors, who previously received print copies, now receiving an online digital copy edition to read instead.

Following positive feedback, the title has now been launched for sale to consumers around the world via the magazine’s website and distributed via online magazine store Pocketmags.

The Herald and Stornoway Gazette wrote articles covering the development.

Moderator Designate reveals he was banished from Sunday School ;

The Herald picked up on the May edition of Life & Work which features an interview with Rev Dr Derek Browning, who next month will takeover as Moderator to the General Assembly.

In the article Dr Browning states he was taken out of Sunday School aged seven for being "a disruptive influence" and "asking too many questions".

He goes on to say that "the sense of wanting to ask questions is important to both my ministry and parish work and at the General Assembly. Questions are always in order."

Dr Browning will make hospitality and inclusion significant themes in his year as Moderator.

Interfaith conference mentioned on BBC Radio Scotland

Dr Amanullah De Sondy, who was one of the key speakers at the recent Honest Conversations interfaith conference, mentioned the event on BBC Radio Scotland as part of the Thought For the Day section on Good Morning Scotland. He cites the event as an important chance to discuss the tension between mission, belief and interfaith work.