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'Life and Work' March 2009 Issue

1st March 2009

The Young Kirk.
Children should be seen and heard according to the Kirk's specialist in children's ministry the Rev Linda Pollock. In the March edition of Life and Work Ms Pollock says: "Children are often accused of great naivety, of not having sensible opinions, of being slaves to the terrible culture of celebrity and kitsch that's so prevalent at the moment, but we are missing out so much by not giving them a chance to be heard and more importantly, listened to."

A group of Church of Scotland children, aged 12 - 14 are set to visit Malawi this summer to meet youngsters of their own age involved in the Church. "We're not going there to guilt-trip the youngsters" says Ms Pollock. "The idea is not to show them how poor these children are, and how much they have by comparison. Children don't need that kind of lesson. Most of them are quicker than us adults to see the inequalities present all around them. We're hoping this visit will give them the confidence, the sense of completeness, that they are not alone, that they are part of something glorious and huge, that they are part of the Christian communion worldwide and that's a family that extends beyond the mortal boundaries of race, colour, age, gender shape or class."

The third Kirk Children's Assembly will be held this year on the Island of Iona when children from the length and breadth of the country will meet together. There is no future for the church without children, says Ms Pollock: "Who do we think are going to fill the pews and the pulpits in years to come if not those who are children now?"

Apocalyptic artist
The Church of Scotland is in need of revival, according to controversial artist Peter Howson, profiled in this month's Life and Work. Howson says: "I think the Church of Scotland is being a bit namby pamby at the moment, whatever it says in the press I don't agree with. I think it needs some sort of revival, to get back to its traditional roots. Howson is also critical of the Church on 'green' issues. "And the whole thing with green issues and saving the planet - that's not the Church's job. The church's job is saving souls. To go with the green stuff is a disaster. It's revolting to me."

"I am a fully paid-up member of the Church of Scotland but I have fallen out with them to some extent. I do have a fondness for the Church of Scotland. I do enjoy hearing a good sermon; I think there is probably a lot of good work going on both at home and overseas. I know a few Church of Scotland people who really walk the walk of Christ."

Thank you Mr Darwin
As the birth of Charles Darwin, author of "Origin of the Species" is celebrated, Christians should not see this as a threat, according to this month's Life and Work. Graham Hellier argues that Darwin's work "drives us back to acknowledge the awesome majesty of God". Darwin reminds us, he writes "that our faith in God has to be an all or nothing affair. The ordinary is extraordinary and we look not for God in the occasional miraculous intervention for the whole of creation must live and move and have its being in Him"