Monthly Archives: July 2014

Come on in!

Flag, dogImagine carting your lounge sofa into the heart of your hometown and inviting visitors to sit with you, that’s what Glasgow’s Opening Ceremony declared Glasgow 2014 to be all about. And what a pleasure to be a part of the ‘People Make Glasgow’ glow, welcoming all nations to our RaB C (Religion and Belief Centre) in the Athletes’ Village!

Crashed and snoozing after my Village shift, a phone-call roused me with a last-minute ticket to the Opening Ceremony. Pleasantly surprised, I headed immediately to Celtic Park, where 1 billion viewers witnessed some ‘laugh at yourself’ Gallus Glasgow Panto... read more

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Aye, bye the way.

Neil U blog 1We already have Rehanah Sadiq, a bright, beaming Muslim hospital chaplain from Birmingham, echoing, “Aye, By The Way!” one of many local colloquialisms, which already naturally slip off the lips of Glesga (Glasgow) born Muslims Shoket and Zubeir, resident members of the multi-faith chaplaincy team in The Athletes Village for the Commonwealth Games.

Like me, you may have experienced generous, warm-hearted hospitality all over the world; now it’s our turn to help host and welcome the world to our homeland, and ‘how good it feels!’ Fellow Christian chaplains from Canada, England, India, New Zealand, Nigeria, Uganda and Wales are among the multi-nationals gathering in The Athletes Village, a hop-skip-and-a-jump from The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome and Parkhead, and a short distance from other sporting venues... read more

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We need someone to be Jesus.

graeme bellWe need someone to be Jesus.

A few years ago I was working with a class and its teacher preparing an Easter drama for the upcoming assembly. Great care had been taken to identify pupils for each speaking part. The time came to have a practice in the church. Things seemed to be going well. Then Chris, a restless energetic boy, suddenly piped up, ‘We need someone to be Jesus!’

He had in fact correctly spotted a gap in the casting... read more

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Paul ChapmanIt’s an amazing story – an itinerant peasant wanders the pathways of Galilee, proposing a new way of living (the Kingdom of God) to those he encounters.  But this becomes such a threat to the rulers of the land that they execute him and the hopes of his followers come to naught.

Yet, they couldn’t forget him.  His contemporaries told the stories of his compelling life and teachings so passionately that they were passed on from generation to generation.  The stories spread and more people became followers of a now evolving movement.  People heard and retold the stories according to their own needs, interests and insights.  In a quite remarkable way they absorbed these stories not in an objective way as history but in a contemporary way that helped define who they were.  Jesus became part of their lives.  Metaphorically, you might say he lived on in their hearts... read more

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