The Art of the Possible

Does politics have a role in the Church or is it a distraction from our mission? Is politics about compromise – what is possible – when our Christian faith is about truth?

At a time when a lot of people say they are turned off by politics, many in our churches are still concerned about what is going on in our world. What does politics mean for our faith – and what should our faith mean for our politics?

The Art of the Possible is a resource produced by the Joint Public Issues Team of the Church of Scotland, Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church to help people to explore these questions. It was initially released in 2013, but here has been updated and renewed for 2017.

General Election 2017

Guidance on holding a hustings / election event for the General Election on June 8.

Faith in Politics

The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church and the Church of Scotland working together as the Joint Public Issues Team have produced a briefing looking at some of the issues facing voters, through the lens of shared Christian faith.

The Church of Scotland has been working with three partner churches to create a new election briefing, Faith in Politics: General Election 2017.

Rev Dr Richard Frazer, convener of the Church and Society Council said:

“This resource from the Joint Public Issues Team highlights some of the key issues for the General Election and for the future of the UK. Whether you have already made up your mind about who you will vote for or not, I am sure that you will find this resource, and the information and questions it contains, helpful to reflect on as the 8th of June approaches.”​

Focusing on four key topics, the briefing does not advise on how to vote, but offers key facts and questions to aid reflection.

The four topics it singles out for discussion are:

  • The UK’s relationship with the European Union
  • Migration, forced displacement and the UK asylum system
  • Poverty and economic inequality in the UK
  • The UK’s role in the world

Explore: Faith and Politics 2017

Guidance on holding local election meetings with a difference.

On 4 May, many of us will go the ballot box and vote for candidates in local council elections. Over the last four years Scotland has seen two referendums and a General Election, and in the midst of all of this it is easy to disengage from local politics.

In the run up to this election, SCPO and the Joint Public issues Team (JPIT) have produced ‘Explore’ – a resource to help congregations engage with these elections and to explore some of the issues within their communities.  

While conventional hustings bring communities together to listen to candidates, “Explore” is based on the idea that the community can gather to hear from some of those in greatest need, enable them to share their stories and allow the candidates to respond directly. This is an opportunity to do politics differently and to move to a more conversational politics, where people rather than parties are at the centre of the decision making process.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions and let us know what you organise!

Conversation Welcome

‘Conversation Welcome: Exploring the Future of the UK after the EU Referendum’ is a resource for churches to explore what the result of the EU Referendum will mean for them.

Published by the Joint Public Issues Team.

 

 

Sanctuary in Scotland

This resource provides information on refugee issues for faith groups in Scotland and has been produced by Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees. This resource is currently only available in hard copy and can be ordered from David Bradwell, refugee coordinator at SFAR on dbradwell@churchofscotland.org.uk

A Place To Call Home?

‘A Place To Call Home?’ features a set of six Bible studies for small group discussion focusing on a range of issues around the topic of housing. It is produced by the Joint Public Issues Team in collaboration with Housing Justice and Scottish Churches Housing Action.

‘A Place To Call Home?’ offers a biblical and theological framework to help us respond, as followers of Jesus, to the emerging issues that we might confront.

The Joint Public Issues Team combines the expertise of the Baptist Union, the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church and the Church of Scotland in the area of public issues.

 

A Christian Vision for Education in Schools

A resource created by Action Together for Churches in Scotland (ACTS). The Scottish Churches’ Education Group is made up of representatives from the Church of Scotland, Methodist Church, Roman Catholic Church, Scottish Episcopal Church and the United Free Church of Scotland.

 

Speak Up: a brief guide to the law and your gospel freedoms  

Speak Up is a new resource from the Evangelical Alliance and the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship which aims to equip and inspire Christians with confidence and knowledge of the current legal freedoms we have to share our faith. If you are interested in ordering a large number of the brief guide email Jo Wright

Loving One Another: a resource to address gender based violence

Christian Aid Scotland and the Scottish Episcopal Church have released a new resrouce that addresses gender-based violence.

In her introduction to the new resource, Christian Aid Scotland chairwoman Sally Foster-Fulton says, “Gender-based violence is a global pandemic which has undermined the will and purpose of God for too long.

“It diminishes us all, stifles the lives of women and girls and fractures our relationships. It is all too easy to assume that this is a problem that exists somewhere else. However, violence against women respects no boundaries: geographical, social or cultural.”

For a print version, email Wendy Young, Christian Aid’s Worship and Theology Partnerships Coordinator, or call her on 0141 241 6137.