Securing ministry and maximising opportunities.

We want to thank you for considering supporting our Lockdown Hope Appeal, at a time when many are struggling. Thank you also to those who so far have responded, generously giving £90,616.

Below Robin MacLellan, SU Scotland CEO, shares with us the current opportunities and challenges of ministry with young people. An open letter to the SU Family follows.

Dear friends,

I’m writing to ask for your help as we see children and young people exploring the Bible and responding to Jesus in brand new ways!

All our usual ministry activities will be paused for many months.

For the thousands of children and young people that we’d have met in schools or at our centres and campsites this spring and summer, it’s become a virtual “famine of hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:11). On the face of it, it’s a huge loss for them and painful for SU volunteers and staff to process. We can but trust that God’s sovereign plans and purposes are bigger than that and do everything we can to reach out in innovative ways.

The crisis has also meant a drastic loss of income, especially with the cancellation of SU holidays, weekends and school residentials at our centres and the Magnitude festival. So far, we have managed to keep our heads above water, thanks to regular giving from supporters and the Government’s furlough scheme paying most of the salary costs of our staff team who have had no work to do. However, as the crisis continues and physical distancing measures look set to persist for a long time, we are facing significant financial challenges ahead. We are forecasting an average gap of around £80,000 per month later this year.

Whatever happens, we are determined to emerge from this crisis with clear vision, ready to restart activities at our centres, in schools, communities, holidays and training events. I want to ask if you can give a gift to help us resume face-to-face work with young people as soon as physical distancing restrictions ease.

But more than that, your gift will also help us expand and develop new forms of SU ministry online right now. We’ve been blessed with an incredibly creative team of volunteers and staff and the latest @SU Magazine shares some of what has been happening, including

There’s more to come throughout the summer with senior pupils able to log on to our brand new Discipleship at Home programme – Bible teaching and training to prepare them for a different kind of service on a virtual team over the summer. An exciting online resource to support SU holiday clubs and SU Holidays has also been developed – and will be made available to churches too. To replace the inaugural Magnitude youth festival, we are even developing a digital alternative to give young people and youth leaders a flavour of what we hope and pray they will experience in person in 2021.

It is essential that we continue to develop greater digital capacity to connect with young people, and vital that we accelerate planned developments in youth communications to help us reach and engage young people where they are. This investment will serve the young people of Scotland long after COVID-19 restrictions are removed.

In other words, your prayers and financial support are needed – and appreciated – now more than ever.

As we navigate this summer season unlike any other in living memory, can I ask you to please give what you can on this page to support our unchanging vision for children and young people? Regular giving especially helps us to combat these challenges, but one-off gifts of any amount make a difference.

Whatever you are able to give, know that it will help make possible…

  • equipping young people to share their faith
  • preparing young people to lead their school SU Group next session
  • exciting online events, building up young Christians and reaching young people who might never have heard the gospel before
  • protecting SU Scotland’s capacity to emerge from the current crisis in a position to make the most of the opportunities to serve children, young people and families.

Our prayers are with you and all our supporters, especially those who are unwell, grieving loss or separated from loved ones. In this difficult season, I am particularly grateful for your prayers and financial partnership in the ministry of SU Scotland.

Thank you for your support,

Robin MacLellan