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  • Respect...

    Revd Dr Marie Isaacs is probably not a name you will have heard of - I hadn't until today.  Yet, in that mysterious way that things work, I discover that, to an extent, her story and mine intertwine more than once along their way, since her ordination back in 1962 (the year I was born).  You can read about her here

    So what are the links?

    Revd Dr Isaacs worked alongside Revd Dr Edwin Robertson when he moved to Heath Street BC from Westbourne Park BC, which I had attended as a student in London.  This was my first experience of Baptist life, and a significant one I guess, with hindsight.  Edwin Robertson was also known to some member of the Gathering Place, so that makes for more links still!

    A second link is via Revd Dr Ruth Gouldbourne, who was unofficially mentored by Marie Isaacs when she (Ruth) was a student minister at Bloomsbury.  Ruth preached at my induction on Scotland and supervised my post grad. research.  And Ruth preached at the Gathering Place many years ago when Scottish Baptist pulpits were, by and large, closed to women.

    If it is sometimes isolating and isolated being the only woman Baptist minister in sole pastoral charge in Scotland, if sometimes the burden of being a pioneer weighs all too heavily on my mind and heart, I am both encouraged and chastened by the stories of these true pioneers in whose footsteps I follow or on whose shoulders I climb.  I have deep respect for this woman I have never met, and thank God for her.

  • She's Behind You...

    This is pretty amazing and powerful, and has 'gone viral' in social media.  Hope you appreciate it...

    (apologies to anyone who is offended by the phrase 'God-damn Roar' but in the spirit of one Tony Campolo, if the language is the only thing that matters then maybe there is a need to look for the plank in our own eyes first...)

  • Good Day

    It has been a long week, characterised by some moments of deep sadness as well as some of great joy.  It was, therefore, with some degree of trepidation that I set off this morning for a half day of Trustees' Training.  Maybe sometimes trepidation is good, because the only way from there is to a more positive state (I think... if worst fears are realised then that must be a kind of status quo?).  It was a good day, a very good day, covering a lot of ground in a way that showed a lightness of touch and a deep understanding of what a faith community is.

    After the training day, I nipped down to the shops to pick up a copy of the Glasgow Evening Times, which had an article featuring friends of mine who are participating in the Glasgow Race for Life next month.  As I left the check out, I spotted a woman, aged around middle sixties I suppose, who was collecting for Breast Cancer Campaign.  I smiled, and dropped a couple of coins in her buckets mumbling, "glad to help, I'm a 'survivor'" (even though it's not a word I like... my little friend who died of breast cancer this week aged just 27 was not a loser).  Quick as a flash she replied, "oh, how long since your diagnosis, you look so well..." which opened up a short conversation about her anxieties, and allowed me to offer her some support.  She said 'but you're too young...' I smiled, wryly, and said, "not compared to the girl who died..."  And then we hugged and went our separate ways.  I'd like to think that somewhere in that encounter was something of God.

    This is all rather rambling and probably does not go anywhere much, but today had felt good in so many ways.  For that I am truly thankful.

  • Rewriting Scripture...

    Rejoice with those who rejoice

    Weep with those who weep

    And if necessary do both at once


    For the joys and for the sorrows... for this we have Jesus.


    Rejoicing with E,D M

    Weeping for L, RIP



    *** Have been alerted to ambiguity in the anonymising here - neither relates to Church ***

  • Nothing New Under the Sun...

    When I was a ministerial student, I did some empirical research on single people's experiences of church (which was published in the Baptist Ministers' Journal and can be found somewhere on line via this blog!).  In that research I noted, from my literature review, that an almost identical set of conclusion had been arrived at decade earlier.  So this today makes me wish the church would wake up and smell the coffee!