Rise in ‘silver separators’ leads to health fears – The Christian Institute

the-christian-instituteMore and more people will spend their final years, lonely, poor and in ill health because of a rise in divorce amongst the elderly, a study has revealed.

Data by The International Longevity Centre UK demonstrates that divorce in old age has implications for the wellbeing of each party.

The report follows the publication of a study in the US which examined the effects of divorce on children.

Read the rest here

Banning creationism lessons is dangerous, warn headteachers – Herald Scotland

Creation-handsMOVES to ban the study of creationism in Scottish schools have been criticised as “dangerous” by headteachers.

The attack came after the Scottish Secular Society (SSS) lodged a petition with the Scottish Parliament calling for new government guidance on the issue.

The society believes schools should not be allowed to present the belief that the universe originates from acts of divine creation as a viable alternative to established science.

However, Ken Cunningham, general secretary of School Leaders Scotland (SLS), which represents secondary headteachers, said schools were fully aware of the need to protect pupils from “extremist” views.

In a letter to Holyrood’s public petitions committee he said banning the teaching of a particular topic would set a dangerous precedent.

“We do not feel this is a serious issue for schools, despite the inflammatory rhetoric frequently used by the petitioners,” the letter states.

“Speaking on behalf of secondary schools, we feel there are enough checks and balances already within the system to prevent extremist views being perpetrated.

“It is, we feel, always dangerous to identify particular views, whatever they be, and take the approach that is being suggested here.”

The intervention was welcomed by Rev David Robertson, the next Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland.

He said: “This demonstrates the SSS are simply trying to scaremonger and we hope our MSPs have the sense not to give in.”

Read the rest here (paywall)

All schools must back same-sex marriage, say humanists – The Christian Institute

The Christian InstituteThe Humanist Society Scotland (HSS) is calling on the Scottish Parliament to force teachers to promote same-sex marriage, even if it contravenes their religious conscience.

Responding to draft sex and relationship education guidance for schools, the HSS said that allowing faith schools to uphold a traditional marriage view “goes against equality”.

The call, which is backed by two MSPs, has been criticised by The Christian Institute.

Read the rest here

MSP drops attempt to curb church role in Scots schools – The Christian Institute

the-christian-instituteAn Independent MSP has dropped his bid to reduce churches’ role in Scottish education, following a lack of support for his plans.

Less than a fifth of those who responded to a consultation on a Bill from John Finnie MSP said they backed his position.

Under the 1973 Local Government (Scotland) Act three religious figures should be included on local authority boards.

Read the rest here

Church saddened by Jerusalem attacks – Church of Scotland

church-of-scotland-emblemThe Church of Scotland has conveyed its deepest sympathy to the Chief Rabbi of the UK following yesterday’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem.

Five Israelis were killed when two men targeted worshippers at the Bnei Torah Kehillat Yaakov Synagogue yesterday morning.

Following the incident, Moderator of the General Assembly, Rt Rev John Chalmers, sent a letter to Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis:

The Church of Scotland was deeply saddened and troubled to hear of the terror attack at the Bnei Torah Kehillat Yaakov Synagogue this morning and condemns this shameful act of violence on people at worship. Please be assured that our prayers are with the families who must be devastated at the loss of their loved ones.

In light of so many recent attacks and deaths caused on both sides of this tragic, on-going conflict, we are praying for an end to this cycle of violence and for more progress to be made towards a resolution which allows people to live together in peace and security.

The Church of Scotland also prays for calm at this time and calls for all concerned to show restraint. Any further reprisals will simply add to the desperate spiral of violence and stifle voices which are crying out for peace.


Aberdeen scientist appointed to lead Kirk’s national youth assembly – The Press and Journal

church-of-scotland-emblemAn oil industry geologist has been appointed the new moderator of the Church of Scotland’s National Youth Assembly.

Hannah Mary Goodlad, who lives in Aberdeen, said she was “honoured and privileged” to take on the one-year role from next August.

She has promised to be an approachable and accessible leader who will reach out to young people across Scotland who are seeking a connection with the Kirk.

The National Youth Assembly (NYA) is an annual residential event for young adults aged between 17-25 – the equivalent of the Kirk’s annual General Assembly.

It is an opportunity for people to worship, learn, discuss and party together.

The moderator role involves chairing the discussions at the NYA, collating a record of the event and producing a report for the General Assembly.

Ms Goodlad, who is originally from Shetland and a graduate of Glasgow University and Imperial College in London, said: “Growing up in a small community right on the edge of Scotland gave me a hunger for the inclusion for those who feel marginalised for whatever reason – geographically or indeed socially.

“I am passionate about the Church of Scotland, passionate about the never ending good works of our Kirk and I am passionate about Christ.

Read the rest here

CrossReach Week 2014 – Church of Scotland

CofSBurningBushLogoCrossReach Week is an opportunity to celebrate the amazing social care work being done in Christ’s name throughout the Church of Scotland, and a chance for CrossReach to tell the story of the part we play in this vital work.

As the Church of Scotland’s Social Care Council, CrossReach’s focus has been on offering the best possible support to the people who use our 70+ services across Scotland. We now want to add to that a closer connection with the wider Church, and greater involvement in supporting its mission. We also want local churches to have the opportunity to get alongside CrossReach and support our services. CrossReach Week 2014 will enable us all to explore ways in which we can work together.

You can find out more information about the week long programme of events in the CrossReach Week brochure.