Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summit Fever

Saturday 26th June 2010 - sponsored climb of Ben Nevis in support of Pro-Christo Bible College in Zambia. Thanks to all who supported the team with sponsorship and other donations.

L-R: Hazel & Andy Lloyd-Williams, Norman Wilson, Ken McPhail, Andy Hunter & David McMinn.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Take off your sandals (Exodus 3:5)

Here’s a blog arising from a bit of ‘Knight’s move’ thinking.

I had grabbed my shoes in preparation to leave the house, but then had one of those pangs that said, 'before you rush out to XX, you should pray'. So I sat down, but started to pull on my shoes - thinking ahead! – and the above verse pops into my head. I’d always wondered what the significance was in ‘taking off your shoes’ in God’s presence. The commentaries observe it is an ancient middle-eastern custom signifying respect – but why / how is never really explained.

Then it occurred to me that when you take off your shoes – you’re not going anywhere quickly. Taking off your shoes generally signifies ‘staying put’, at least for a while. So I sheepishly slipped my shoes off to push back the temptation to rattle off a quick prayer before springing up and out the door. Now of course, prayers said in socks are no more spiritual than those said in brogues. But perhaps there is a principle here (even if not from Ex 3) – i.e. God’s presence is a place to take time in. God is not someone to give a hurried nod to as we bustle between activities. Those times when we ‘connect’ with God are not to be regarded as interludes between the real business of life – but should slow us down to place of unhurriedness.

The issue isn’t so much about the amount of minutes spent (although that’s not completely irrelevant) but about the sense of stopping, giving our full attention, sensing the reality and the greatness of the One in whose presence we have paused. So maybe, now and again, slipping our shoes off when we stop to pray would be a little way of saying, ‘Like Moses, I’m in the presence of a Holy & Fearful God, and if that doesn’t stop me in my tracks nothing will’.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Sunday Evenings in Greenview

6 Studies on Minor Prophets with great speakers.

Monday, June 14, 2010

1A or not 1A, that is the question...

Why it’s vital that every member votes in the Building Options Ballot

The ballot papers are out – with a deadline of 27th June. The elders proposal is ‘Option 1A’, but there is also the choice to vote for ‘No Building at this time’ or ‘Option 2’.

Option 1A would provide…
i. Additional capacity for services (no more standing at the back, splitting up groups of visitors at 11.28am, sitting with a 10 year old on your knee, waving to your spouse three rows back etc), room for growth and special events. The potential for more people to sit under God’s Word.
ii. Classrooms – no more Sunday Schools classes sitting on the upstairs landing, potential for more age-specific groups, better facilities for teaching generally. Ground level rooms for community groups. Potential for dedicated crèche.
iii. Café area – customized & clutter free, freeing up current main hall for possible expanded Tots ministry, indoor games use and clubs area - all potentially complimented by café. Extra space for training and seminars (e.g. on Sunday mornings).
iv. Enclosed open area (safe outside play-zone for kids, overflow for café, attractive focal point giving space and light)
v. Extra & disabled toilet facilities.
vi. Extended kitchen area.
vii. Built-in extra storage.

But whether you feel greatly enthused, lukewarm or cynical about the plans – it’s really important that you return your voting paper, because…

1. We all need to take responsibility. Being a member of Greenview is to have a formal stake in the church which meets at 1439 Pollokshaws Rd. This means that all members have ‘ownership’ in the church and its future. A decision to build new facilities isn’t someone else’s responsibility or concern – it’s yours.

2. We need clarity – this would be a big step and the clearer we can be about making it (or not) the better. In one sense a resounding ‘no’ would be better than a half-hearted ‘yes’ based on a weak turnout. The elders have presented their thinking on this and the plans have been circulated – what is needed now is for the members ‘to speak’ and give a clear statement of their own position.

3. We need boldness – it’s a big project and that can daunt us. But don’t hold back from voting because you’re not sure if it’s feasible. If the proposal to build seems a good & sensible option to you – then prayerfully dig deep and pledge what you can. After that it’s out your hands if the big numbers don’t add up – but unless we’re individually bold it won’t have a chance.

4. We need faith – if it is God’s will for us to move forward in this way then we can be confident that He will provide. The Lord multiplied the few loaves & fishes and cherished the widow’s mite.

5. We need a legacy – what will be our mark on Pollokshaws and gift to our children? Now of course, a building extension is not the only way to achieve a legacy, but we have an opportunity to do what the Christians who bought Greenview Hall did, to do what the members in the 1990’s did – and bequeath a facility in which and from which gospel work can increasingly grow, develop and reach out. We are all the beneficiaries of the many gospel ministries we enjoy in Greenview today and which are possible because of the facilities left by others.

But whether you see the current proposal as the right way forward or not – you need to speak (vote!) so that this decision is made by all of us.