by CiS General Secretary, Gavin Merrifield
A new year gives us all the chance to reflect on where we have been and where we are hoping to go. There is no doubt that the last couple of years have been tough on us all and that we desire to take hold of something more positive as we move forwards.
Christians in Science (CiS) is no exception to either of these and we have been using the time to think a little bit more about who we are and what we want to be. CiS has always existed – and will continue to – to help our members explore the relationship between science and their personal faith. Alongside this though, we have recognised an increasing need to resource and equip churches to better understand and deepen their own understandings of this area.
At times we have existed in our own bubble, keeping our many gifts and experience largely to ourselves. When we do this, it allows those, on all sides, who want to create trouble between scientists and the Church the opportunity to do so. Going into 2023, I am hearing increasing rumblings that such groups are on a renewed move post-covid. It is up to all of us to challenge this and provide a healthier and more robust alternative so that the Church and our Christian witness can both thrive.
To enable this though, we need to unlock more resources. This is in terms of finances yes, but just as importantly it is in terms of our member’s time and skills as well. Every one of you is a living example to a Church that needs to see positive examples of science and faith working together. You are embedded in all of your different scientific and church communities and so best placed to bang the drum of our message to those who need to hear it.
As we enter into 2023, I would like to encourage you all to take up what we are calling the ‘+1 Challenge’ where we are asking our members to do (at least) one more thing to help CiS this year and bring our vision of better engagement between science and Church into greater reality. This can be as simple as making a one-off financial donation to CiS (don’t forget the benefits of Gift Aid), helping to run a local group or a conference, volunteering to help at a CiS stand at an upcoming Festival. It could be as simple as speaking about CiS at your local church (we can provide resources to help with this) or over coffee with your church leaders (we have a Church affiliation scheme for churches who’d like to sponsor us as a mission partner). We’d also like you to get creative with how you support us – think a bit outside the box! If you’re a baker can you do cake sale that raises some funds and awareness for CiS while giving the cakes a science spin? If you’re a runner can you do a sponsored run with CiS as your charity of choice (a great conversation starter)? Be inventive, be imaginative, but most of all we ask you all do something. If you have ideas or successes you would like to share, let us know so that we can use them to inspire others.
I’ll be writing more throughout the year to let you know how we are doing and to suggest new ideas and projects you can get involved in. Of course, +1 is just the start and we are encouraging you to not limit yourself to just one thing if you want to do more! The very first thing though I would like to ask you to do though is pray. Please pray for the CiS Trustees and Committee, our local group leaders, our staff and for all our members. Please pray for the Church too, that we can have great conversations and develop good relations that will help us all grow in our discipleship and our love of Christ ever more.