Developing new ecclesial/Christian communities

The Process of Rebuilding

I find that photography (via my phone) is a great way for me to capture the mood of how I’m experiencing life at Trinity in Inverness. We’ve become a very image based society; Instagram users alone share 3600 images every second!!! It seemed appropriate that this medium would be the basis for my blog post of words and images.

Three pairs of child shoes lay abandoned under empty pews. I’d been thinking about the loss of children from our Sunday services, and wanted to represent how that felt... read more

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Unanswered Question


If, when we’re reading the Gospels, Jesus asks a question, we’re going to take it seriously, and think about it, right? If he leaves the question hanging and doesn’t give an obvious answer, then you’d imagine that we’ll be debating it obsessively, we’ll be wrestling with it down the years, we’ll exegete that puppy real good … or something.

So why does this passage from Mark 9:11-13 sneak up on me so stealthily:

“And they asked him, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”

Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things... read more

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Embracing the Mystery

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I love a mystery! From a vintage Agatha Christie to the BBC’s eerie ‘The Missing’, I’m drawn in by the twists and turns, the shifting ground and the unexpected. It’s strange then, that I find the mysteries of real life, and the unforeseen, harder to deal with.

As a practical and fairly focused person, I set out with a plan which has been prayerfully hatched, and expect to see it fulfilled to my specifications. In our community project in Wellwood, in Dunfermline, I wanted to crack the puzzle that is church in the 21st century, and create a new form of church relevant to those three generations away from any religious influence... read more

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(New) church communities?

People
“Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labour in vain”
(Psalm 127:1)

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”
(Acts 2:42)

As we have received enquiries and applications for our Family Worker post, I am reminded that one of the criteria of Go For It funding is the establishment of ‘new church communities’. What will they look like? How will they be run? Who will join? What will they do?.. read more

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Going round in circles

Drop-in-Ocean
I heard someone’s story of how they came to faith recently. Aged about 20, he was hanging out with some friends in the street, when a couple of men from a local church approached them and invited them to come along to a group for young guys at the church. His friend was attracted by the appeal of music, food and general good times, and he went along to keep him company.

Somehow, the friendly invitation to come and have some fun morphed a little when they were there, and he found himself in the middle of a circle of adult men who were all praying for him... read more

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Come to the edge …

Gateways
Change is often challenging – of that there’s no doubt – and we’ve been through a big change recently. My mother-in-law (no stereotypical jokes here – she’s a gem!) moved into a local care home recently. For some time, we realised she was becoming vulnerable in her own place, and now we know she’ll be safe and well looked after. Seems like a ‘win-win’ situation, doesn’t it? Perhaps; but that never guarantees the change will be easy to handle. On a logistic level, there’s visiting to factor in, and what do we do with her old place?.. read more

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Open Doors to Open Hearts

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Standing on a street corner shivering, a foot of snow on the ground and more falling, in sub zero temperatures. Three people had turned up to go carol singing round Wellwood, a village in our parish. “We need at least five to make it worth it”, we said – but just as were about to leave, two other tentative carollers appeared round the corner!! So, off we went ‘In the Bleak Midwintering’, around dark, apparently unreceptive houses. A few curtains twitched, one child waved, and when the guitarists fingers could strum no more, we got in our cars and went home, wondering what it had all been about... read more

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Mission for one?

Hot Choc discussion

Years ago I’m working for a YMCA supporting a vulnerable young man who wants to be a youth worker. I overhear him talking with the janitor (call him Dan) who goes to a local Pentecostal church. Dan suggests he come down to the church on Sunday night: he could volunteer with their youth work. Later I ask Dan if this was realistic – the young man isn’t the most reliable just now, his lifestyle is pretty wild, oh … and he’s Muslim... read more

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Feeling Our Way – Moving Inwards

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This blog is a great place to get a glimpse of the wide range of creative projects supported through the Go For It Fund. It is, in a very real sense, a window on the larger church.

And what a view it offers! There are so many people in so many different places across Scotland, looking for new ways of doing church, and of being church.

I often find myself using visual language to describe the work of our project, Nitekirk... read more

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Mind your language!

Ship sailing - Copy

Recently, I was invited by some friends to join them for a week’s sailing holiday aboard a 37ft yacht. Having seven of us on board ensured things were rather cosy, as we slipped the mooring at Inverkip and headed off aboard the Hebridean Flame 2. It was an amazing week, and due to an abundance of wind, we managed to call in to Port Rush in Northern Ireland as well as Jura, Arran and a cruise through the Crinan canal.

Our Skipper looked after us all admirably, but sometimes the sailing lingo he used was difficult to understand, especially for those on board who’d never experienced the maritime vernacular!.. read more

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