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Heart & Soul 2017!

Things are getting busy here in the Church of Scotland Offices as we prepare for Heart and Soul, and the General Assembly.


At this year's Heart & Soul, the World Mission Council will offer Words for the World, based on John 10:10:


"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (NIV)


There will be praise dancing from Taiwan, singing from the London Presbyterian Church of East Africa Choir, arts and crafts, and much more!


Take part in the 'Word of Life' challenge, and attempt to read John 10:10 in as many different languages and dialects as possible, and be creative on our 'Word for the World' graffiti wall. All are welcome to make your mark!


Heart & Soul 2017 will take place on Sunday 21 May in Princess Street Gardens, Edinburgh from 1pm.

Mental Health Awareness Week

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. Mental health knows no borders and can have an impact on us all. However, we can learn from each other and support each other as we seek to assist those who are living with mental health issues.


Our partners across the world are involved in ministries which ensure that mental health needs are met, and encourage healthy attitudes towards mental illness.


Vwira Mental Health in Malawi provides advice and support from local volunteers for people who are living with mental health issues. They will also refer people for drug therapy where it is needed. Those who receive support are able to live normal lives, and are often able to go back to work. They have the opportunities to learn new skills, and access to support with home management should they want it. 


This week we remember the good work of Vwira, and all who are supporting those living with mental health issues. We especially remember those who are living with mental health issues within our congregations and communities.

Prayers for the Church of Pakistan Synod

The outgoing Moderator of Church of Pakistan Synod, Rt Rev Samuel Azariah asks for prayers for a Synod meeting which will be held on Monday 15 until Wednesday 17 May.


Please pray for the new elected leaders as they take up their responsibilities for the Church of Pakistan, in Bishop Azariah’s words, “in times of challenges and opportunities.”





  • 24th of the Month Event. We are joining with Christians around the world to pray for peace in the Middle East on the 24th of each month. We pray with and for our sisters and brothers in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory who have called for an ecumenical prayer vigil across the globe on the 24th of every month. If you are interested in hosting an event, please contact Carol Finlay, World Mission Council cfinlay@churchofscotland.org.uk or Val Brown, Christian Aid, VBrown@christian-aid.org Please note that there will be no 24th of the Month Event in May due to the General Assembly.



  • Join the Fairtrade Fiesta! Hand Up Events invites you to take part in the Fairtrade Fiesta Parade on 13 May (World Fairtrade Day) to celebrate Scotland as a Fairtrade Nation. Your local group could take part by bringing banners, flags or dressing up in costumes that promote Fairtrade. To sign up for the parade or to volunteer during the event, contact Olya at Hand Up events. Schools can sign up by emailing Angela Higgins at IDEAS.


  • The Scottish Fair Trade Forum (SFTF) is delighted to be welcoming Professor Bob Doherty, of the University of York, to deliver the 2017 Fair Trade Nation Lecture. Bob will outline why Fair Trade can play an even more important role in helping to shape a more resilient food system in the future. This will take place on Thursday the 11 May from 6pm in the City of Glasgow College, 190 Cathedral Street, G1 2TG. Click here to register.


  • There will be an exhibition of the Scottish Tapestry which includes 2 panels representing the Church of Scotland in Palestine and Israel in St Giles Cathedral from 4th to 18th May.


  • Embrace the Middle East, which supports the work of Christian organisations in the Middle East, is holding its first retreat in Scotland on Friday, 2 June 2017 to Sunday 4 June 2017. Click here for more information.


  • Dundee Presbytery World Mission Committee and Church of Scotland World Mission Council are hosting a meeting on "The Church of Scotland in Palestine and Israel: Presence and Partners" with Maureen Jack, Convener of the Middle East Committee, Kate Macdonald, Church of Scotland Mission Partner and Minister of St Andrew’s Tiberias and Omar Harami, Sabeel, Jerusalem. This will take place in the Steeple Church, Dundee, at 7.30pm on 13 June 2017


  • ALTERnativity will be holding an event in August to launch their new resource pack for challenging loneliness in the community: "Loneliness...who cares? Simply Connecting at Christmas". This will take place on the 23 August in the Church of Scotland Offices, 121 George Street, Edinburgh. Email info@alternativity.org.uk for further information.


  • Read the latest WM magazine 'Scottish Global Connections' online.



  • Eleri Birkhead, Development Officer with the World Mission Council, has written a blog about her recent visit to Pakistan with the Violence Against Women Task Group. Have a read here.


  • Read the latest news from the Evangelical Theological Seminary Cairo on Mission Partner Colin Johnston's Blog.


  • Read the latest from Mission Partners Keith and Ida Waddell in Zambia on their blog.



Lord of the excluded
Open my eyes to those I would prefer not to see
Open my life to those I would prefer not to know
Open my heart to those I would prefer not to love
And so open my eyes to see
Where I exclude you

(Iona Community)