Monthly Archives: November 2013

The importance of being creative …

creativeWhat is the value of creativity? Of art, drama, music, writing? When you are working in areas in the top 5% on the SIMD index, is it, or should it be, a priority to have a dedicated arts worker? Can my work as a creative arts worker be anything more than a sticking plaster over deep wounds?

It is a vital part of building resilience, confidence and capacity for change, not just within individuals or families, but in the communities as a whole.

.. read more
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‘Just Gan Aboot’

Ali BirkettBusy-ness can undoubtedly be one of the most crippling and debilitating illnesses effecting the life and vibrancy of any Christian community. To be honest, I get fed up with all the statistics relating to 20% of the people doing 90% of the work, but sadly they are likely to be very true. Is this the case in your situation?

Recently, here in the Borders, we’ve been bending our minds around how we retain the essential elements of authentic church, whilst continuing to develop fresh expressions of community, that will have attractiveness to those we seek to reach... read more

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No-one Will Read This Anyway

“You? Blogging?”

My teenage daughter expressed a rare, mild, interest in my activities, until I explained it was for a church website, at which point she emitted that dismissive, scornful grunt perfected by 15 year old girls, followed by: “Don’t worry, Mum. No one will read it anyway.”

Overcoming my righteous indignation, it occurred to me that there was truth in what she said. Within churches, so much time is spent on issues, apparently crucial, but which have absolutely no relevance to 90% of the population: debating parish reappraisal, maintaining buildings, discussing (or actually arguing over!) forms of worship – deluding ourselves that if only we could get these right, people, many of whom are three generations away from any meaningful religious contact, will come flocking back to God... read more

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City centre culture – should Christians engage?

Two Stirling Street PastorsOn an anxiety scale of one to ten, where would you put yourself in the following scenario?

You are a regular member of a local church, on the main thoroughfare of your local city centre. Your watch says it is 3.12am. You are with two others. Marching towards you are several hundred – maybe thousand – people, of all ages, gender, background and disposition. Most of them, if not all, have been drinking, and some clearly more than they should. On seeing you, some let out raucous roars... read more

Posted in Nurturing Christian faith within and beyond the church | Leave a comment

Projects that Make a Difference

Sheena WurthmannSince joining the Go For It Committee, I have been fascinated by all the projects that are happening through the Kirk. I have met hard-working volunteers and staff who give their heart and soul to others. 

Going to Go For It Committee meetings to hand out money sounds easy. It is not. Beforehand, each of us examine probably two projects. I find that I become the champion for “my projects”. The tough decisions are fought, but we all recognize that good work needs support... read more

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How are you?

Shirley GillanThe concept of wellbeing is, rightly, a popular one; the NHS is promoting it, schools have a wellbeing component to fulfil and self help books dealing with ‘being all we can be’ are flying off shop shelves – possibly just to gather dust on ours.

At our church we’ve taken the word and turned it into a project. But what does wellbeing mean?

Jesus said that he came to the world to bring life in all its fullness. John talks about us being made to be  our ‘True selves;  our child-of God selves.’ So how do we live our lives to the full and be the best version of ourselves – in body, mind and spirit – that we can be?.. read more

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Angry, but not helpless

wrong wayHaving watched STV’s Tonight programme, 17 October 2013, in which they focused on the hot topic of so-called legal highs, I find myself even angrier than I was before … and that’s saying something!

For those of us involved with the Havilah project in Arbroath, this is an issue that moved in next door to us just a few months ago. Since 2006 we’ve been supporting men and women in combatting their addiction issues. We run this service from our Community Spirit building, which is situated a short distance from the church... read more

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From the ground up

rolf_billesAs the Convener of The Church of Scotland’s Go For It Fund it gives me great pleasure to write this first blog post. Sitting in front of my laptop, my mind travels to the many people who at this very moment are re-imagining how to be church in Scotland by engaging with their communities, identifying the needs of the people in their neighbourhoods and developing imaginative pieces of work from the ground up.

The variety of initiatives is quite amazing: from new church plants to community cafes; from youth initiatives to counselling services; from gathering people together in choirs to befriending those who have recently been released from prison... read more

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