On Tuesday last I had the pleasure of being invited to the house of Paul and Esther Ede from Urban Expression, Glasgow for a meal with a group of like minded people who all have a passion for exploring new expressions of church in Glasgow. I met Paul a wee while ago ((link)) through Jon G... who, with his lovely wife-to-be Lorna, were their too... and it was wonderful to be in his company again and to meet Esther, who has a wonderful record collection!
After dinner we shared our stories... which was a truly exciting experience:
Tom & Helen Higgins spoke of their journey towards the present where Tom is the pastor at a new expression in Possilpark called The Grove... he works with addicts and people on the margins...
Peter & Dorothy Nielson spoke of their personal journeys. Peter Nielson is a Church of Scotland minister and friend of Paul Thomson aka Wee Beautiful Pict aka DJ Haggis... he sees his role with Urban Expression as an overseer and supporter and mentor and guide. I have one of his books, on loan from Paul, called "Church on the move : New church, New generation, New Scotland;" that I am eager to digest this week.
Dorothy, his wife and a life coach, was absolutely adorable... quirky and fun... someone who actually knew about Flickr!!! She really made you feel at home and shared my concern for the middle class - its the winos AND the winebars that the Lord has called us to!
Jenny, a social worker who is studying Theology at ICC one day a week, recounted her story and asked for us to pray for wisdom for her... she has great enthusiasm and passion for the poor... but is seeking guidance and direction.
Claire, a GP in Muirhouse, had a fantastic story that really connected with me. She moved into Muirhouse while on placement... joined a small, 20 strong, community church... lives in the area and now works there as a GP. Her story of community and being in there was really inspirational. Here was someone who had given up a lot to be where she was... and was loving it. She is seeking guidance on being more in the community.
My great friends, Jon and Lorna, spoke of their crossroads experience... and their eagerness to know God's will for their lives.
Lastly, Malcolm, the minister at the CofS in Queen's Park, spoke of his desire to reach out to the asian community in the area... and be part of an expression that captured the demographic of his patch.
It was great to be in the presence of people who shared a holy disquiet for their present situations and a love for their communities.
Paul brought things to a close by highlighting on a map of Glasgow areas that they are looking at as being ideal for planting :: areas in the North and East of Glasgow. Places like the Gorbals... that are being reborn.
Great to be with them and share in a time of fellowship and belonging. This is where real change will come to Glasgow... I felt a sense of purpose... as if I was part of history. Going to be big!