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  • Glasgow's Most Clicked!

    Last night we had some visitors to our evening worship.  Asking how they'd found us they simply replied they'd typed 'Baptist Church, Glasgow' into their favoured search engine and up we popped as the first recognisable Baptist church (our 'mummy' was first but she calls herself by another name so we are the first that can be recongised as a church).

    So there you have it, we are top of the clicks!  (And yes, this makes a useful distraction from my sermon on mammon!!)

  • Hymns for Stewardship

    Now here is a good hymn!  Not a catchy, toe-tapping tune (though fits many a decent one being 8787D) and not a sexy theme (though an important one).

    The writer, Martin Leckebusch, grew up very close to Dibley and has been writing hymns since he was a teenager.  What I especially admire is that he tackles less common themes such as this one on tithing/stewardship.  I know Martin calls by here from time to time, so 'hello' if you spot this and thank you for providing another much needed hymn, which we will sing at the Gathering Place next Sunday...


    Long ago you taught your people:

    'Part of what you reap is mine-

    From your cattle, bring the firstborn;

    Tithe the crops of field and vine.'

    Though beneath the law's restrictions

    We are not compelled to live,

    As we reap our monthly harvest,

    Make us eager, Lord, to give.

    What a way of life you showed us

    Through the Son you gladly gave:

    Never snared by earthly treasure,

    Buried in a borrowed grave-

    Yet to all he freely offered

    Riches of the deepest kind:

    Let us live with his example

    Firmly fixed in heart and mind.


    In the lifestyle of the Spirit

    Giving has a central part;

    Teach us, Lord, this grace of sharing

    With a cheerful, loving heart-

    Not a tiresome obligation,

    Not a barren legal due,

    But an overflow of worship:

    All we have belongs to you!


    Martin E Leckebusch (born 1962) © 2000 Kevin Mayhew Ltd


  • Fair Exchange?

    One of the many joys of worship at the Gathering Place is the quality of the music.  We are blessed with a gifted choir ably led by an excellent pianist and musical arranger.  Occasionally we have an ensemble of other instrumentalists who bring an extra dimension to the music.

    As we move into Lent the choir-leader mentioned the tradition, in his words, of 'Miserable Lent Anthems' and how we might accommodate these in the proposed preaching schedule which isn't especially Lent-like (stewardship, Fairtrade and the nurture of children in the church).  In a flippant email exchange, he observed that one miserable Lent anthem entitled me to three Graham Kendrick songs.  All of which made me wonder what an appropriate exchange rate for hymns/songs/anthems/psalms might be?

    Just in case anyone wonders, "that song" requires all of the following first....

    20 Lenten anthems, the more miserable the better

    10 Benjamin Keach doggerel

    Dibley's very own "Earthly Praises"

    All of which *should* ensure I never have to sing it! ;-)

  • Y Llyfryn Bach Cyfnewid

    Ooops - My online order for Fairtrade Fortnight material included in inadvertent 'click' on the box for the Welsh Language 'Little Book of Swaps' and I now have 100 of said items gracing my office.  As I have two Welsh speakers in my church, I will hold onto a couple for them - and rapidly order some English ones for the rest of us - but if any reader can make use of the Welsh ones please leave me a comment and I'll get them posted off to you.  In the meantime, I just await delivery of my inflatable banana and inflatable coffee cup...!

  • Leadership from Alongside

    Yesterday I finally made it to Girls' Brigade for a normal evening.  It was fun, and good to be back among girls as they enjoyed playing and learning together.

    Working with the Explorers (age 5 - 8) is always fun and necessitates its own unqiue model of leadership - that as 'from among.'  It is, I suppose, a kind of mothering model of leadership, whereby you sit on the floor with them and join in the activity they are doing.  Yes, you guide, direct and suggest; inevitably you help with skills they don't yet have; ultimately you decide when the activity is over and it is time to move on to the next one.

    So, as you sit cross-legged on the floor to play 'Duck, Duck, Goose' you know that sooner or later some little girl will delightedly shout 'goose' as she pats your head forcing you to jump up (hmm) and run around the circle to try to catch her.  This kind of leader, the leader who comes alongside, who participates with, doesn't appear in any leadership courses/models I have come across, but it is a model that works really well in some circumstances and is probably not unlike 'facilitation.'  It is, perhaps almost a mentoring model, except that the leader will always determine the direction of travel.

    The one big difference between working with Explorers and working with unruly adults of course is that with Explorers you simply stand still, stop speaking and put your hand up until they all do the same (ask any GB/BB/Guide/Scout leader!); adults would probably just ignore you!