Monthly Archives: October 2013

God is love

Paul Chapman 2Love is one of the great mysteries of life, defying definition.  Love is the heart beat of life which we seek throughout our years.  Love is so compelling that the search is our life agenda.

God is love.  But how does this God-love express itself in this world?  I admire people who affirm that God’s love is known in the glories of nature – the rainbow and the rain, the wind and the sunset.  But I ask myself does that revelation include the tsunamis and the volcanoes?.. read more

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Being present in community ministry

Dundee Youth WorkerOur world can no longer be fully experienced separately from the internet and social media. Jesus instructs us as followers to go out into the world and share the good news. For young people in particular community is expressed and experienced in two modes: offline & online. Being present to young people online is fraught with risks and challenges. I have to admit that this a challenge I have avoided. As a Youth Worker I struggle to find the right balance... read more

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A friend in deed

Iain JohnstoneHere’s a set of pretty complicated questions: how do you tackle poverty in a city with huge levels of unemployment; build trust across divided communities; and influence local politicians to change things for the better?   Here’s a pretty straightforward answer: make friends.
Does that seem ridiculously simplistic? I hope not. Whilst there are real challenges behind these questions, the experiences of many who work in priority areas suggest that one of the best ways to tackle what seem like intractable problems is to make friends... read more

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The road less taken – Greater Maryhill Foodbank

Sheila-5[1]We heard from our community policeman that people were stealing food. As Maryhill Parish Church sits in an area of high deprivation, we also knew that even employed folks were running short on food, as an earlier donation of food to the church had seen a big response from both employed and unemployed people.

Two roads appeared—the first was an opportunity to work with a major franchise foodbank that would supply us with tried and true policy, logos, storage facility, accounting, and other solid help... read more

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Gospel goosebumps

utheo_07It doesn’t happen every day but sometimes I get a good old dose of what I can only call Gospel Goosebumps. It is those times when I am acutely aware that I am standing on holy ground surrounded by holy people with the presence of God palpably present.

Recently I was back in Bellshill (Lanarkshire) where I was parish minister for ten wonderful years throughout the nineties. It was there that I was allowed to make mistakes and still be loved... read more

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