The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) supports efforts for renewal, reconciliation, service and ecumenical cooperation in the United Kingdom through partner churches and organizations and through our mission personnel (in Northern Ireland and Wales). The United Kingdom is also one of the international sites for the PC(USA) Young Adult Volunteer program. In Great Britain, YAVs serve through Time for God, a volunteer agency set up cooperatively by a number of denominations.
Presbyterianism in North America traces its roots back through Scots-Irish immigrants from the north of Ireland to Scotland. Once a dominant institution in a relatively homogenous society, today the Church of Scotland seeks to witness to the gospel as a minority body amidst a growing secular and increasingly multicultural and multifaith population. Creative centers of urban ministry and worship renewal are as important stopping off points for pilgrims as historical buildings.
In England and Wales our partner churches also wrestle with declining membership and ministerial shortages as they also minister in increasingly secular or multiracial and multifaith contexts. Reaching new population groups around their older congregations, attitudes toward immigration and the widening gap between rich and poor in society are three of many issues that churches in the United Kingdom and the United States share in wrestling with and may learn about from one another.
In Northern Ireland, the PC(USA)’s partner churches and organizations and PC(USA) mission personnel are particularly involved in reconciliation efforts as there continues to be movement out of conflict and toward a positively shared future.