Over the past few months we have all enjoyed following Tim Peake's progress aboard the International Space Station. It reminds us, that as a human race, there are still frontiers to be pushed and places which remain unexplored.
A few weeks ago another rocket to Mars was launched, by Russia. It's quite astonishing to think we are now landing a number of robots on our neighbouring planet; and the Mars One project is a global initiative planning to send humans to Mars by 2030.
It is with these developments in mind, and to coincide with Scripture Union's 150th celebration in 2017, that the SU International Board is delighted to announce the launch next year of a new SU movement: SU Galactic.
"Scripture Union has always gone to where people are. If in the next 150 years, people are to be found in various space colonies, then SU must be there too."
SU International chair, Colin Sinclair
There are no plans to recruit a general secretary / CEO just yet, as an astronaut training partnership with either NASA or the European Space Agency is still to be finalised. Janet Morgan, Director of SU International said "This is a thrilling opportunity for SU, not only to expand into a new area of ministry, but to able to witness to others already working in the space industry as we grow."
The excitement of this new venture has caught the imagination of many in SU circles, including our own CEO, Andy Bathgate: "It's not hard to foresee plenty of opportunities, over the next 50 years, to open the Bible with a new community of people and share the gospel with them. Perhaps we could start with copies of the Bible placed in Virgin Galactic spacecraft; by 2040, there could be an SU Group within the Mars colony; and by 2060, we could see a gap year option in space."
During our recent discussions around SU Scotland’s strategy from 2016 to 2019, we have been encouraged to think more boldly. Perhaps now we are being encouraged to boldly go as well.