Israel and Palestine
John McCulloch grew up in France, Spain and Scotland, and then lived in Bolivia for a year, where he worked for a project that helped street children. Prior to training for ministry of Word & Sacrament in The Church of Scotland, John was Head of Hispanic Studies at Glasgow University, where he lectured on Hispanic literature, history, politics and Continental Philosophy.
He left his academic career to respond to the call into ministry, completing his theological degree at Highland Theological College. He did his ministry placements in Govan & Linthouse, Bearsden, St Andrews Jerusalem and his probationary period in the parishes of Lochgoilhead & Kilmorich l/w Strachur & Strathlachlan in rural Argyll. During his ministry training he spent some time in Central America, studying contextual theology with The Global Institute of Theology (World Communion of Reformed Churches).
His background in Hispanic Studies and the time he spent in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Bolivia brought John into direct contact with Latin American Liberation Theology, which has shaped his theological outlook. He is looking forward to drawing on this experience to the challenging context of Israel Palestine, where he has been coming and going in various capacities over the last three years.
John is married to Annette McCulloch, who is a GP with considerable experience in the field of refugee medicine and emergency care, and she hopes to be able to use some of her skills in the context of Israel /Palestine and the wider region.
John has four children, Esther, Anna, Joseph and David.
The Reverend Kate McDonald grew up in the Appalachian mountains of Southwestern Virginia and moved to Scotland to study Scottish Ethnology (with a focus on folk tales) in 2002. A cradle American Episcopalian, she became involved with the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC).
After a few years in the Scottish Borders during which she worked with adults with learning difficulties and obtained her Bachelor of Divinity, Kate returned to Old St Paul's when she was ordained deacon in the SEC in 2012 and Priested in 2013. She served as Assistant Curate there for three years.
In 2014, Kate served as the SEC representative on an ecumenical partnership visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories organised by the World Mission Council, and while there felt a strong sense that God was leading her to serve in that region among all who are suffering under occupation, and it is with joy and trepidation that she has responded to that call.