From Inverness to Stornoway and from Kirkwall to Portree, it is a joy to work with SU Scotland in the North Highlands, Western Isles and Orkney. This is an area with a rich Christian heritage where there are many opportunities to help children and young people explore the Bible and respond to the significance of Jesus in schools, residential events and missions.
For all of us life since March 2020 has been turned upside down from the effects of COVID-19. SU Scotland has not been left unaffected but it is good to share what ministry has been happening and continues to happen among the young people across the region.
For a fuller picture, please register for my termly newsletter, which you can do on this page. Also, as we look forward to the time when we can again take up the opportunities to share the Good News face-to-face, we always need volunteers to help us do that!
If time is too limited to volunteer, you can support the region financially on this page too. The more people involved in volunteering and giving – the more we can do!
How many of us were ‘Zoom’-ing at the start of 2020? Yet it is something that is now a part of everyday life for so many people. SU Scotland is embracing this technology to use it for ministry.
Equip North is a monthly online group for Secondary 3-6 pupils from across the SU Scotland North Team area from Stirling to Shetland. The aims are to hear God’s Word, be confident in who he is and connect with others. Many young Christians in this area will feel isolated in their faith, not only because of the pandemic but because the opportunity to meet up with peers is limited by issues like geography and transport. Equip North helps to give them support and encouragement.
More information about Equip North is on the SU Scotland Equip Events webpage.
Discipleship and Training
In June, I co-led Discipleship at Home for young leaders who would have participated in our Basecamp and LeadUP training events. Over the week there was Bible teaching, discussion, workshops and practical ideas for serving others while at home.
Then in October the Go Conference also went online for Secondary 4-6 pupils who wanted to be better equipped to live as disciples in school and among their peers.
There has also been online training for senior pupils getting involved in running their school SU Group.
Lunchtime and after school SU Groups help children and young people explore the Bible and respond to the significance of Jesus through activities like crafts, discussion, games, music and prayer. The volunteers who run them are parents, grandparents, school staff, chaplains, members of local churches and senior pupils.
SU Groups were paused early in 2020 and due to restrictions on visitors coming into schools the most likely way SU Groups can be restarted is by senior pupils or school staff members. As schools settle into new patterns of operating, we are beginning to see this happen. It is slow and steady with only a handful of groups running, but it is exciting to see them meeting with the support of school management teams.
Thinking ahead to the future there are many places where an SU Group would be warmly welcomed by school staff. All we need are the volunteers to make it happen.
I would be delighted to hear from you:
- If you want to know about SU Groups running near you
- If you are interested in joining the team of an existing SU Group
- If you want to have an informal conversation about getting an SU Group started and the training and resources available
One of SU Scotland’s values is dependence on God. We are immensely grateful to all our supporters who faithfully pray for the ministries. Here are three ways you can be involved in praying for SU Scotland in the North Highlands, Western Isles and Orkney.
- Three times a year I produce a regional prayer letter that gives you an overview of what is happening. You can receive this by post or email.
- There is a monthly email prayer update with specific thanksgiving and prayer requests about current activities.
- Join with others at an SU prayer meeting. Prior to this season these met in person in Inverness, Dingwall, Lairg and Halkirk. However, prayer meetings are continuing to happen on Zoom.
To receive the prayer letter, email prayer update or get information about times and Zoom details for SU prayer meetings contact SU Inverness.
HOLIDAYS AND WEEKENDS
Currently we are unable to run residential weekends and holidays for children and young people in Primary 5 – Secondary 6. This is such a disappointment as they are a brilliant way for deepening relationships, exploring the Bible and having great fun!
However, plans for being made for Day Camps to run in 2021 at SU Scotland’s centres including Alltnacriche, near Aviemore. The SU Holidays website will always have the latest information.
Volunteers joining the team at these events as group leaders, general helpers and catering team members are always needed. Whether it would be your first time on a team or getting involved again after a period away you would be very welcome.
The North Highlands, Western Isles and Orkney is a very large area, and sadly I cannot be everywhere at once. However, there are churches across the region and I would love to support them as they seek to reach the children and young people in their communities. Please get in touch if you would like support in ways such as training and equipping youth leaders, running a holiday club or mission, organising a curricular event for your local school or if you would like your youth group invited to our events.
I have been working with SU Scotland since 2002 but my involvement goes back to Primary 6 when our new headteacher started a school SU Group with another staff member. From there my SU journey began and continues today.
Where could the SU journey for you or a young person in your community begin and continue?