Moderator embarks on landmark visit to South America

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Rt Rev Susan Brown, is embarking on a landmark trip to South America this week to spend time with local churches and human rights organisations.

Rt Rev Susan Brown
Rt Rev Susan Brown is visiting Argentina and Uruguay for an eight-day trip to spend time with local churches and human rights organisations

The eight-day trip, organised with the Waldensian Church in Uruguay, will coincide with Susan’s theme for the year, ‘Walking with…’ where she wants to walk alongside as many people as possible, both physically and spiritually.

Rt Rev Susan Brown said:

“Having served as Convener of the Europe Committee of the World Mission Council I had the honour of hearing about the work of our partner church, the Waldensian Church in Italy.

“While at their synod a few years back, I met a Waldensian minister from Uruguay. Carola [Tron] is the Moderator of the Waldensian Church in Uruguay this year and since the Church of Scotland is looking to expand our relationships in that part of the world, it seemed fitting to look to hear, walk with and share in something of their story.”

During her packed schedule, Susan will be accompanied by Ian Alexander, the Church of Scotland’s World Mission Council Secretary, as well as her husband Derek.

Visiting world-renowned human rights organisation in Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina
During her time in Argentina, Susan will also visit the human rights organisation Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo).

The visit will begin in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Thursday 18 October, with Susan making her way to an ecumenical centre for migrants and refugees, before visiting the Memorial Park (a centre for illegal detention during the Argentine dictatorship between 1976 and 1983).

During her time in Argentina, Susan will also visit the human rights organisation Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo).

The organisation was founded in 1977, with the aim of finding the children stolen and illegally adopted during the dictatorship. As a result of the work of the Grandmothers, the cases of 128 missing children have so far been resolved. They were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for the sixth time this year.

Rounding off her visit to Argentina, Susan will share a meal with church representatives from San Andres Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Church of the River Plate, the Reformed Church and Waldensian Evangelical Church.

Sharing worship and conversations in Uruguay

Susan will touch down in Colonia-Puerto de Colonia, Uruguay on Saturday 20 Oct, where she will explore the historic city of Colonia del Sacramento and have dinner with Consistorio Dolores (the equivalent of the Church of Scotland’s Kirk Session).

Susan and her husband Derek will worship in Dolores on Sunday 21 October with Rev Carola Tron, Moderator of Waldensian Evangelical Church, with Susan being invited to preach during the service.

On Monday 22 October, Susan will travel on to Colonia Waldense, Centro Emmanuel (an ecumenical centre related to agro-ecological practices and theological reflection) and el Saradí for the Waldensian Church Centre for people with disabilities.

Then, Susan and the group will meet with local people from the community to discuss the work of the Church of Scotland.

The rest of her visit to Uruguay will consist of shared worship, meetings and conversation with local church representatives, including a trip to Obra Ecuménica Barrio Borro (an ecumenical centre located in the disadvantaged neighbourhood of Montevideo, which provides support to children, teenagers and their families).