‘You’re welcome!’ said the elderly lady at the door as I went into a church at the top of my street in Govanhill which I hadn’t attended before. It wasn’t just that she spoke the words but she held out a hand and gave me a firm handshake which only served to reinforce that I was indeed welcome. The other lady standing in the foyer was tasked with taking me in to the church, and helpfully informed me ‘You can sit anywhere’... read more
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
A Year of Service – A lifetime a change – that’s the strapline for the PCUSA Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) programme. For the past couple of years, I have had the real privilege of acting as site coordinator for the four YAVs who have come each year to spend 11 months, from September to July working within different priority area parishes in Glasgow. Scotland is one of the 6 international sites and there are 15 national sites around the USA working with partner agencies and within churches to address the root causes of poverty, violence and injustice within a global context and to share the Good News of Jesus Christ... read more
It is about unfair choices or no choice at all. It is about poorer health, lower life expectancy, the threat of sanctions, choosing between heating or eating and children missing out on school because of increasing costs. It is about the slow stripping away of dignity and humanity... read more
Over the last few weeks, I have been repeatedly reminded what the word “family” means and who that includes. It all started when my flatmates and I went to the three day Priority Area* Conference with the focus of the meeting being “Family Matters.” Throughout the conference, we were asked to think about our family at home, in the church, and within the community. It wasn’t until these moments that I truly started to think of all of the different families that I have... read more
For we were aliens and transients before you, as were all our ancestors. I Chronicles 29:15
For the Lord your God is god of gods, who …loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger. Deut. 10:18-19
The stranger has not lodged in the street; I have opened my doors to the traveler. Job 31:32
When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien... read more
A week ago I was sitting in Stony Point, New York waiting. Waiting for the flight to Glasgow. Waiting to know what my work would be here in Glasgow. Waiting for information about the flat. I sat and I waited, with bags carefully packed, filled will coats and sweaters and pictures from home.
A week ago, I landed on Scottish soil for the very first time. I watched the clouds part as green, rolling hills stretched out beneath the plane. A week ago, I walked through customs with my American passport in hand, a letter from the Church of Scotland explaining that I was indeed most welcome here... read more