Gwydyr Rd, Crieff, UK, PH7 4BS

Dear Friends

In recent months the state of the nation’s health has featured in the news. In a government report part of its introduction reads as follows:

…work was commissioned by the Public Health Institute of Scotland (PHIS), now part of NHS Health Scotland. This work confirmed that in Scotland life expectancy for women is the lowest in the European Union and for men the second lowest after Portugal.

Yet Scotland has not always performed so poorly: in the first half of the 20th century, life expectancy in Scotland was actually higher for both men and women than in a number of Western European countries, including France, Spain and Italy. In the middle of the 20th century, however, things started to change. While other countries, many of which had once lagged behind Scotland, improved, Scotland began to slip down the table of European life expectancy.

It is clear that if Scotland is to improve its position, it must reduce mortality at a rate that is faster than the European average. This conclusion disproves the hypothesis that Scotland is already in a catch-up phase. It was this finding, above all, that led to a call for a ‘step change’ in Scotland’s health.

Also an article in the 15th November 2007 Daily Mail, under the title “Want to live longer?” suggested that one way to live longer was to be a Seventh-day Adventist! The article reads:

Seventh Day Adventists live on average four more years than the rest of us, says Dr Pramil Singh of Loma Linda University in California. Analysing data obtained about the diets of Seventh Day Adventists, who are strict vegetarians, and other long-term studies, Dr Singh said that “long-term vegetarians have a 3.6-year survival advantage” and lived to around 86.5 years of age. Even just cutting down on meat could extend your lifespan. German researchers found that people who eat meat infrequently – 2-3 times a month – have “significantly longer lives”.

This information was among some of the discussion when the Mission Executive Committee met on 19th and 20th January 2008. We believe that the health needs of our nation correspond to the traditional lifestyle values and expertise of our Church.

The Committee therefore has taken the decision to adopt ‘Health Outreach’ as the major thrust being used by the Scottish Mission as a bridge to the general public of Scotland. This approach would embrace CHIP and other health development initiatives. To that end a steering committee is being set up to develop the strategy and resources for this exciting initiative.

I ask that each will pray that God will bless our efforts to share God’s interest in the wellbeing of all the peoples of this land.

Affinity fraud – check it out!

An article in the news over the past few weeks reports on how four church goers swindled over £3 million from more than 1000 fellow worshippers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in England. The gang made promises of BIG returns and used the money for their own purposes, so the reports state.

The story is a classic example of what is known as ‘affinity fraud’ and comes as a warning to all both individually and church organizations.
Affinity fraud is nothing new – one story that illustrates it is found in 1 Kings 13:1-31. Note verse 18 and ask yourself what the true prophet should have done. Isn’t it so that he should have thoroughly checked out the story of the older prophet and not simply trusted him because of his ‘affiliation’? The Bereans did well in that even though the preacher was the Apostle Paul himself they examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true [Acts 17:11 NIV].

The story of the fraud in the papers has lessons for us, not least in our own financial investments but also in the way we handle and account for offerings and tithe collections in our churches. The principles of dealing with fraud also are important in the way we deal with gossip and hearsay or ideas propounded by the literature we read or DVDs we view; an idea propounded in a Sabbath School class and even theories set forward by the preachers in our pulpits. Paul warns that we hold to truth if even he [by affinity] or an angel tells us otherwise! See Gal. 1:8.
Here are a couple of websites worth visiting to read about how to avoid affinity fraud – check it out!

Llewellyn Edwards