Monthly Archives: March 2015

An Assessor’s View

Go For It Conference

Thank goodness for digital technology! Instead of the desk creaking under the weight of applications for Main Grants, and me trying, literally, to keep my head above the applications, I spend hours at a clear desk, sifting through files packed onto a memory stick. From the north of Scotland to the South, from East to West – all ‘airts and pairts’ are represented, as congregations, often in partnership with others, wait to hear whether Go For It will fund their project... read more

Posted in Meeting identified needs in the community | Leave a comment

Fruit takes time to grow

So, this blog is all about ‘blogging for change’. As I write this post, I’m in the midst of preparing a sermon on Galatians 5 and the fruits of the Spirit. Many of you I’m sure, will have heard this sermon before – it’s not that we change ourselves, but that God changes us, by His Holy Spirit at work in our lives. These things grow in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – as we seek the Holy Spirit’s transforming power to grow this fruit in us... read more

Posted in Developing new ecclesial/Christian communities | Leave a comment

A New Dundee coming down…


Wes White, of International Christian College, has spoken and written of the need for churches in mission to develop an emancipated imagination, an imagination which is christologically focussed and eschatologically driven (bear with me…). In this way, he suggests, we might build missional communities oriented towards the restoration and reconciliation of all things, to God’s plan for shalom.

When the Hot Chocolate team took a playful shot at this and thought about John’s Revelation of a New Jerusalem, it came out like this:

It was 8 o’clock on Monday morning... read more

Posted in Developing new ecclesial/Christian communities | Leave a comment

Beyond Food Poverty


I spent a recent Saturday (28 February 2015) at the Beyond Foodbanks Conference at the Pierce Institute in Govan.

I got angry.

Angry again that in Scotland, one of the richest countries in the world, hundreds of thousands of people don’t have enough good quality food to eat.

Angry that the welfare system does not support or give security to the most vulnerable in our society, but punishes them. Even ‘sanctions’ them.

Rachel Gray, the Canadian keynote speaker from The Stop Community Food Centre, reminded us of the power of language, and of the dangers in unquestioning acceptance of language, by asking why ‘sanctions’ (usually applied to rogue nations) are used on folk who miss an appointment or don’t make enough job searches... read more

Posted in Tackling poverty and/or social injustice | Leave a comment



‘Trainspotting’ is a film which is now 19 years old … and that dates me. The first scenes in the film show two of the actors running along Princes Street in Edinburgh. They’re running away from store detectives who have caught them shoplifting. The voiceover which goes with these scenes talks about choices: choose this, choose that, choose the other.

As I write, the newspapers and television are full of politicians campaigning. Every other day, a new opinion poll contradicts the last opinion poll, and the General Election is getting closer with every hour which passes... read more

Posted in Meeting identified needs in the community | Leave a comment