Learning to take our opportunities and value our resources

On Monday morning I had the opportunity to speak with chaplains and others who are interested in getting involved with chaplaincy in FE Colleges. the colleges at the moment are undergoing massage re-organisation and many of them are looking to build into their  new structure a chaplaincy space.  Its an amazing opportunity to get involved wit young adults.  I was surprised to learn theta the new City of Glasgow College  has 13 sites around the city and has over 40,000 students enrolled. I believe around 9,000 of these  are on full time education courses. This is an opportunity for churches and congregations throughout Scotland who have FE Colleges in their parishes to get involved and make connections into these vibriant communities of learning. This kind of ministry is not about proselytising  its about opening doors in the minds of young people in order that they can find for themeselves the truth they seek. There is a real ministry of hospitality and friendship that many of our congregations can offer such young people. Today I had the pleasure of addressing the Presbytery and Parish Workers  at their Conference in Stirling University. I used the material from the "Cross Shaped Space" and also the communion liturgy from the Sanctuary First   theme that we had used last year " Roll The Stone Away". This was an interesting group of people  many of who are working in very creative ways in our parishes. I was impressed with their enthusiasm and commitment especially at a time when many of them are waiting to hear if they will be kept on in their present positions. Presbyteries throughout the country are seeking to rationalise what they are doing and trying to effect lasting missional communities within their boundaries. Many of these workers have skills that are at present enhancing the ministry of word and sacrament . After lunch I address the the Church of Scotland's Diaconate Council. This was an opportunity to encourage and engage  with  a broad section of people who are serving God throughout the churches and parishes in a very practical manner. Many of them are reaching near retrial age and the church is faced with understanding the role of Deacon in retain to other ministries like the Parish and Presbytery Workers  and the non-stipendary ministers The evening was rounded off with a reception in Edinburgh for all the people who were volunteer stewards during the General Assembly. This was an opportunity to say thank you to  the 120 people who volunteered  to work over 1000 shifts during the General Assembly.
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