WEDNESDAY FRIENDSHIP GROUP

Church Friendship Club

You Don’t Want to Miss This!!!

A Message from Your Pastoral Care Team

As promised the new Church Friendship Club will start on Wednesday the 2nd October.  It will run from 1.30pm until 3.00pm. It will take place in the Church Hall. Speakers, musicians and activities will be the order of the day.

The Pastoral Care Team have been very busy putting this programme together, and all we need now is your support! Teas and coffees have been organised, and we even have transport for those who need it.

We are hoping to see many of you there ---- Don't let us down!

Any questions call Irene Robertson or for transport call John Thomson.
 

DON'T FORGET YOUR SANDWICHES!

The proposed walking group programme for the autumn allows for gradually shortening hours of daylight and possibly deteriorating weather and ground conditions(!!!!!)

Saturday 31st August from Sandgreen
Murray’s Isles. We’ve been offered the unique opportunity to join up with the Gatehouse walking group, to accompany them on a walk across to Murray’s Isles at an exceptionally low tide. We should be back at Sandgreen around 7.30pm. Some paddling may be required!

Sunday 13th October at 12.15pm
Kippford to Rockcliffe loop. Rescheduled from August. 4 miles. Fairly easy walk. If you’re happy to drive please bring your car.

Sunday 10th November 12.15pm
Torr’s Point.  4 miles, moderate, may be wet underfoot in places.  We’ll drive as far as the road allows (this cuts down on boring road walking!) and walk past the lifeboat station to Torr ’s point and then head inland. The walk will loop back to the starting point.

Sunday 8th December at 12.15pm
Kirroughtree Forest Walk.  5 miles, moderate, on mainly paths and forest tracks. If you’re happy to drive please bring your car.

Please come along and join a walk. There’s chat and laughter, and often a cuppa somewhere afterwards!

For further details just speak to Sue McMinn.  

CHRISTIAN AID

The final totals for Christian Aid week are now in and I have to thank all who participated in any way. The House to House collection raised £3,992.63. Well done to all you collectors! Mary Newton’s Tea was a further success, raising £320.38. Sadly, however this was her swan song and we thank her for her help over the past few years. Our new event for this year was the Morning Tea arranged by Sue McMinn which raised £60, another splendid effort. The sponsored Half Marathon raised £965.00, thanks to the great ‘feet’ of strength of Doreen Blackadder of Greyfriars and to Vivien McAlpine.  I hope they have now recovered!

This gives us a splendid total of £,5,338.01. Well done everyone!

Christian Aid week has again raised a superb amount of money for those in need and has provided an excellent opportunity for the churches in Kirkcudbright to work together.

Linda Kinnell
 

BADMINTON CLUB COFFEE MORNING

The members of the Church Badminton Club would like to thank all those who came to their Coffee Morning and/or who gave donations. It was a very successful and enjoyable occasion (for the helpers too!).

The total raised was £310.35, all of which has been given as a donation towards the refurbishment of the hall floor.

Fiona Michie
 

WHAT AM I DOING HERE?? MISSIONARY LIFE IN MALAWI: THE DAY JOB

It seems overdue that I spend time trying to articulate what it is I’m doing here. However, the reality is a desk, in a small office, in a converted house, at the far corner of the synod campus and a short dusty walk from Mzuzu’s various hardware shops and street vendors. A desk which, if the rain comes hard enough, is just below the drip from our leaking roof.

I’ll spare you the proposals, budgets, baseline surveys and theories of change. Instead, over the next few weeks, I thought I’d try and introduce you to some of the issues the projects exist to tackle.

Let’s start with accountable democracies. If any nation is to prosper then it requires effective democracy that listens to and represents the people. Governments must be accountable to their citizens, and not just on the days they visit the ballot boxes.
Malawi is in the run-up to a general election just now. The papers are filled each day with the latest political alliances and disputes as candidates and parties prepare for the polls. As I type (you know at the desk, in the office, in the house…under the drip), I can hear the car horns as aspiring MPs make their laps of town drumming up support as they leave from filing their nomination papers.

I’m sure there will be more to say on that, not least because these elections seem more tense than usual. There have already been reports of political violence and tensions are high even three months ahead. People are disenfranchised, they look around and see their country’s great needs, their own great needs, but all too often see a government that doesn’t understand that. That fails on its promises for development.

One of the biggest issues is corruption. Not the casual bribes that are part of daily life here, but serious, organised corruption that pervades government, public services and the private sector alike. One estimate shared with me claimed over one third of Malawi’s government funds have been siphoned off over the last decade.

Malawi’s score on Transparency International’s corruption index has remained stagnant, gaining one paltry point in the most recent statistics (32 out of 100). This is despite numerous legislative changes, declaration of a zero tolerance approach from government and countless political promises. Leaving the country at 120 of 180 countries in terms of transparency.

There is no shortage of public corruption scandals, each with the ubiquitous -gate suffix. ‘Cashgate’, ‘maizegate’,  ‘TRACTORgate’, ‘MERAgate, ‘ESCOMgate’, ‘WATERBOARDgate’, and ‘TEVETAgate’ are just a few. Surely it’s time to close the gate!

With such staggering sums of money being stolen from the public purse, it’s the poorest and most vulnerable who pay the price. The money is not there for the 25% of children who do not finish a primary education, for the households affected by drought and flood; for the 81% of rural households who don’t have enough food to eat; not to mention to address the shortage of doctors, nurses, and jobs in general. [Source: IMF Country Report]

We’re engaged in projects that look to change this. We’re helping bring these cases to court and, once they’re there, ensuring they are seen through to completion with the help of media scrutiny. We’re working with other civil society and human rights organisations to say enough is enough and Malawians want their money back. We’re also working at grass roots, to help communities demand their rights and hold their officials to account.

Serious, organised corruption needs a serious, organised response. In an election year, while political promises are plentiful once more, there is also the opportunity to stem the tide of corruption and protect Malawi’s resources for those who need them most.

Gary Brough