One theme that has come up over and over this past year is the question: how are we being the church? Within Scotland, within The States, within this 21st century world, how are we the church?
Our adventure here in Glasgow working in Priority Areas began in September and is coming to a close, but we have learned and laughed so much.
Working on the PA Instagram this past week, I asked church members where they see God at work within us and how we are being the church in the community. The answers varied. But, at the root was walking with people. At the root was the awareness of and embracing of our community, our brothers and sisters... read more
Alan Sorensen: Greenock: Wellpark Mid Kirk
Do you still have old love letters, or maybe a valentine, in a drawer somewhere? It means something to have, in writing, someone’s love or good wishes. In a PA congregation I’m acutely aware that many folks don’t get anything like the affirmation in life that I do and so at baptisms I often include some tangible way for the congregation’s blessings to be given to the family. It really can have a profound effect... read more
There is a new abbreviation that is starting to emerge in conversation and on social media. ABCD or Asset Based Community Development is the new buzzword, but I wondered if it was part of Jesus ministry, and if it was, then was it being displayed in my ministry as Young Person and Family Worker in Trinity Inverness.
The main youth ministry focus within Trinity right now is a film club. This came about through a Research Project funded by Go For It to look at what young people wanted, with the most requested need being the tools to create a film studio and a community cinema... read more
Community Consultation and the coproduction approach
Good day all,
I am here to talk about the importance of not only working for your community but working with your community.
You see, there is a difference and I have made decisions for people (with the best intentions) only to find out that with some discussion and consultation things could have been so much better. Mistakes are there for us to learn from however and learn I have – now any decisions I make involve community input wherever possible to ensure that they can have their voices heard and so they understand that they are valued... read more
These last days the news has been full of election fever and the broadcasting companies have bringing together candidates for the General Election in different groupings to be interviewed by TV hosts, studio audiences, and even one another.
It is good that we have these opportunities to hear the candidates together although it seems there’s always controversy about which parties get invited to take part, and the debates often end up being bad tempered affairs with people being interrupted and shouted down by their political rivals... read more
Derek Pope who retires as the Convenor of the Priority Areas Committee reflects on a Boys Brigade Review he attended and calls for the Church to embrace a radical theology of Defiance.
Last Friday evening I attended the Annual Review of the Motherwell, Bellshill and District Battalion of the Boys Brigade. The large town centre church was well filled with 250-300 boys, plus their parents and supporters. There was much about the event that was impressive. The large turnout spoke of the commitment of the Lanarkshire churches to the Boys Brigade. John Swinney, the Depute First Minister and Guest of Honour, spoke sincerely of how the BB had shaped his life and how its values were needed today. The Chaplain presented an age appropriate multi media address and the excitement of the boys was palpable as the previously unknown results of the various competitions were revealed. It was a particularly good night for North Motherwell, where this blogger has ministered for the past 22 years, as our small BB Company (the Motherwell 20th) managed to win ‘The Flag’ for the third time in four years. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t quietly pleased for the boys and officers who had put in so much work and were now enjoying the rewards... read more
Maryhill Parish Church is coming to the end of its time as a Priority Areas church. As part of our PA journey, we joined the Chance to Thrive programme, which prompted us to focus on what it is we do to serve the community and how we could do better going forward. We wanted service to be embedded in everything we do, so we came up with three strands to describe our work: Care for Others, Care for Young People and Care for the Environment... read more
I saw a tube of toothpaste and I cried. But we’ll get to that later.
One of the five values of the YAV program is intentional Christian community.
“YAVs explore what it means to be a Christian community with one another and their neighbors. While some will live in housing together and others spread throughout their country, all YAVs will reflect together on their service and explore their relationship with God, the church, and their ministry in a broken world.”
Not that I wasn’t expecting it, maybe more so it wasn’t at the forefront of my mind, but my intentional Christian community in the context of my YAV year extends far beyond my YAV community... read more
Priority Area churches are examples for the rest of the church in the way they serve their communities in the name of Christ. Mission and service is in their DNA. The challenge is always to not think that service in the community is ALL that God requires of us. Worship is the first priority for us as visible expressions of Christ’s body on earth. Our service in our communities flows from our worship, otherwise we engage in mere activism. Therefore, how we engage in worship becomes extremely important, so I want to talk about this area of ministry in this post... read more
Life is all about Prioritising
Depending on who you ask, where you are from, or what age you are one might think that priorities differ between people, but in reality I don’t believe they really do. I have been volunteering with theGKexperience ‘Just Do It’ group (a group of young people who come together from various Priority Areas). Chatting with two of the young people, one from Blackhill and one from Ruchazie, and one young leader from Ruchazie I found that a lot of our priorities are similar... read more