Beyond the home country, the Church of Scotland works in many countries worldwide through its World Mission Council usually on the basis of partnerships with national churches and institutions, and always with a view to involving church members in Scotland in the development of its work. At individual church level, congregations can modify and enlarge this central focus through their own mission partners, created and developed by local history and personal contact.
In Liberton Kirk, the Kirk Session has created a World Mission Team (WMT) to support our existing contacts, to create new ones and to encourage adults of all ages to become interested in the possibility of overseas mission work on a short or long term basis. Where young people are involved we work with Liberton Kirk’s Kirkgate Trust, an independent charity.
This entry in the Kirk website is intended to provide you with a snapshot of our current activities and how your WMT is trying to develop these relationships. During 2016-2017 we hope to supplement this with regular update articles in the Church magazine, our Mission Sunday worship service and through our fundraising events.
Who are our Current Partners?
Our current partners are interdenominational and range over three continents. We also support the activities of various international Christian agencies which undertake work in different parts of the world and which react to international disasters. Our current partnership contacts have been developed through personal contacts within our congregation over many years and which have now been adopted by the World Mission Team. We do, however, review our number of contacts annually to ensure that they remain relevant to the current priorities of Liberton Kirk and to ensure that they do not exceed our resources to maintain support through regular communication, joint projects and prayer.
Our current partnerships and associations are as follows:
The Waldensian Church in Italy where we maintain specific interest in their work in providing day centres for the many refugees continuing to flood into Europe
The African Inland Mission and in particular the work of Kathleen Burns from Edinburgh and her work with communities on the island of Lake Victoria in Uganda, where she is involved in public health education and care of HIV/AIDS patients
Tearfund, where we support this international organisation once a year through the sale of Christmas cards and gifts
Christian Aid, where we are involved in assisting with the annual parish house to house collection
The Church of Scotland HIV Programme supporting work in 17 countries, where we organise the annual Souper Sunday fundraising luncheon
Following the guidance of the Church of Scotland’s World Mission Council and their encouragement for Churches and Presbyteries to develop twinning links we also entered into a twinning association with Canning Garden Methodist Church, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia and are now into our fourth year of this special relationship. This is now the principal focus of our work as a World Mission Team as we believe we have much to gain as a congregation in sharing and learning from each other. Twinning also provides the opportunity to be equal partners in a new type of association where, as Christian families in different parts of the world, we can share in different ways of deepening our faith and exploring together new ways of discipling within our local communities.
Our association with Canning Garden currently involves the exchange of monthly prayer concerns and updates of happenings in each other countries, Skype sessions between our respective church leaders and an annual broadcast service. During 2016-2017, we plan to work on group exchange and the development of a combined project. In this world of high technology, distance is increasingly becoming less of a hurdle to overcome and we see great opportunity for the development of meaningful friendships amongst all ages of our respective congregations.
If you would like to receive our monthly prayer concerns with Canning Garden, please contact us through our Convener, Sandy Hutchison, on firstname.lastname@example.org. We will also be organising two major fundraising concerts and social events during the course of the year, one a New Year Concert and the other a summer concert in June. Details of these will appear here and in the church magazine nearer the time.