Articles from folk in North East

Redeployment of Pioneers Part 2: How to kickstart a new career

Being faced with transitioning away from pioneering can be a daunting proposition, especially after the years of investment that a pioneer has made to the work. What practical advice can be offered to enable this to happen?

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Redeployment of Pioneers Part 1: Attrition, Infrastructure and Self-redeployment

Pioneers seldom start by thinking about the end. Least of all regarding themselves. Where will the pioneer go next if the attempt fails…or indeed even if it succeeds? One of those two scenarios is 100% likely to happen. What happens to the pioneer either way? Pioneers should receive proactive support to enable their redeployment. But given that they don’t, how can they redeploy themselves after their work comes to an end?

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Back Tae Torah part 5: Crawling Through the Mud

I had come to a crossroads. Travelling the highways and byways of Scotland, funding, listening and encouraging the dreams of the saints with the Seedbed Trust. The lights suddenly switched off and in the midst of it all I felt I had lost Jesus and I didn’t know why. It just didn’t seem to make sense any more. Everything was going so well but I knew some-thing was very wrong with where we were all heading. I needed to find...

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Back Tae Torah part 4: A Strange Revival

Back Tae Torah part 4: A Strange Revival

Paul Thomson Jul. 15, 2017

It was October 2011, on a day just before the feast of tabernacles, and I was building a Sukkoth; cobbled from old Karrimor tent rods and some giant weeds, plants and flowers hastily yanked from the back garden outside our wee flat in Edinburgh. I’ll never forget my wife Fiona’s face peering out from the bedroom window: her bonny face scrunched up with surprise and concern, mouthing: ‘what the heck are you doing?’ through the glass. Freezing mid-hoist, in the...

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The Forgotten Monastics

The Forgotten Monastics

Rob Jones May. 12, 2017

‘It’s not my area of gifting’, Betty informed me. Betty was a kindly lady well into her seventies (1). She reasoned with me in a quite matter-of-fact fashion; I should sit with the clients, and then she, along with the other volunteers would make the tea and coffee, provide the food, wipe the tables and make sure everyone was looked after. Talking and listening was my job. It was another typically frustrating day. In running this church drop-in I had...

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Back Tae Torah part 3: Goodbye Real Jesus. Hello Fake Jesus

From the Low to the Glow We ended up in a wee side chapel called Academy Street Gospel Hall. The last six elderly people of this old church opened the door, looking terrified as a boisterous crowd of teens that could barely speak English spoke in unison: “can we come tae yer church?” From here, news spread: we were ‘star billing’ for a wee bit. The hall started filling up with folks from around Aberdeen. A minibus now arrived on...

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Back Tae Torah part 2: Rewind - Jesus was on my Housing Estate and it was Braw! (1980)

Sometimes to learn about a problem, you need to go back to where the problem began. Unusually, I seemed to have found Jesus outside of any Christian influence. Growing up on several housing schemes and at times in ‘care’ homes, I discovered ‘Highers’ as my way of escape. At Edinburgh University, up to my armpits in balsa and Letraset, I fell in love with Industrial Design. I became quite good at this ‘design malarcky’. I got featured in design shows,...

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The Ethics of Stories

The Ethics of Stories

Charis Robertson Feb. 01, 2017

There are so many ways that stories can be exploitative. One of my pet peeves is when organisations first present a young person as ‘broken’ or ‘vulnerable’ and then reveal how they got involved and ‘fixed’ them. That’s dishonest, and it’s not a story. It’s propaganda. How should pioneers share stories? In 2016 I completed a Masters project, focussing on the ethics of gathering and sharing real life stories. The above paragraph is an excerpt from my reflective research journal,...

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Back Tae Torah part 1: The Fall of NOS - ‘Learn’ the problem

Have we, the innovators, activists, emerging evangelists and millennial missionaries scrambling into the desert of 21st century Post-Human Europa - ended up following the wrong Jesus? This four part series traces some of the crevices of this devastating possibility - around my own journey into the Sinai desert of a post-modern Scotland caught in the liquidiser of globalism; the Almighty dragging my schemie butt out of the crumbling Egyptian idols and pharaohs of 20th century charismatic Christendom - from housing...

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The Lifespan of Utopias

The Lifespan of Utopias

Sam Gonçalves Jan. 04, 2017

Five years ago I went up to Dundee Law (the highest point in the city) and along with a large crowd watched the demolition of four multi-storey buildings. We cheered, clapped and inadvertently inhaled some dust on the way back down. Little did I know that in 2016, these buildings would become a focus of much fascination for my work.

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The Missing Sword

The Missing Sword

Dave Close Jan. 03, 2017

It seems a pretty common experience for anyone trying to do mission and grow church in new places, with new people, to find yourself genuinely wondering “Have I got this whole thing wrong?” I suspect everyone hits a crisis of legitimacy at some point – if we’re not already that way inclined then many of the responses from people around us will bring it on. All those questions that begin with “But…”

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