World Day of Prayer – Friday 1st March

Broughty Ferry Service: in St Luke’s and Queen Street (5 West Queen Street, DD5 1AU) at 2 pm.

This year’s theme is “I beg you bear with one another”, using material from Christian women of Palestine.

(During my 17 years on Scottish WDP Committee, we frequently remarked on the relevance of the theme to current events, sometimes unexpectedly so – that relevance is particularly striking this year, Jenny)

Marking Lent in Broughty Ferry

  • Wednesdays to 10th April (inclusive) at 7.15 pm (for 7.30 pm) in the St Aidan’s Worship Centre, Brook Street. See poster below.
  • Thursdays, in St Mary’s SEC, from 10.30 am to 12 noon to 21st March (inclusive). Discussion of the Beatitudes from ’40 days of reflections on the Beatitudes’ (based on the Pilgrim Journeys by Steven Croft).

Debate Night studio audience

 

A message from BBC presenter, Stephen Jardine:

DO YOU WANT TO BE IN THE STUDIO AUDIENCE OF A BBC TV PROGRAMME?

Debate Night is BBC Scotland’s political TV discussion show and we want the people of Scotland to have their say.

The programme is travelling across the country on Wednesday evenings, and we would love to meet locals at one of these locations:

Wednesday 28 Feb           DUNDEE

How do I apply for FREE studio tickets?

Visit www.bbc.co.uk/debatenight and click ‘Apply to the Audience’.

Filling out the online application takes two minutes!  It’s also accessible via mobile or tablet.

If you would like to attend with somebody, please ask them to apply too. 

Why be part of the audience?

Debate Night is the only television programme of its kind in Scotland.  With a UK general election looming, there’s never been a better time to put your questions to the country’s decision-makers and public figures.

 We want people from all walks of life.  You might be a parent, a carer or a student?  Perhaps you run a business or are a frontline worker?  Retired, self-employed, unemployed or just starting out in the workplace – we need you.

It’s your questions, stories, experiences and opinions that lead our discussion – so we couldn’t do it without you!

Our panels are a great mix of people. Recent guests to join our politicians include authors Val McDermid and Alex Gray, musicians Ricky Ross and Pat Kane, columnists Hugo Rifkind, Jim Spence and Ayesha Hazarika, footballers Pat Nevin and Michael Stewart,comedians Jo Caulfield and Susie McCabe, Lord Sugar’s advisor Mike Soutar from BBC The Apprentice and former Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Piers Linney.

You can see previous episodes on the BBC iPlayer: www.bbc.co.uk/debatenight

Know someone else who might be interested?

Help us spread the word by sharing this message with friends, family and colleagues.

Best wishes,

Stephen Jardine, host of Debate Night

Stephen Jardine, and the Debate Night Audience Team

Leadership matters

Rev’d Gill Newton, President of the Methodist Conference, shares this blog about the importance of leadership within the Church.

The extent to which the style and quality of leadership offered in any group or organisation matters or makes a difference, is a question that has often been posed and discussed in the life of the Church over the years. Leadership is also a topic or even a word that we have shied away from using in the church on occasions, as if it was somehow a questionable attribute that we shouldn’t be looking for amongst those called to serve!

This has been at the forefront of my mind again recently, because of the experiences I’ve had on some of the visits made by me and the Vice President during the year so far. What we have seen, heard and encountered in various settings has reinforced and underlined what I have always believed. The leadership offered by deacons and presbyters and by lay people is both vital and valued. Leadership matters! How we lead matters! Who we are as leaders matters! The culture we create as leaders really matters!

We have found ourselves in gatherings of circuit or district staff, amongst members of the armed forces, at schools, universities and theological institutions, with ecumenical partners, at the Central Finance Board, at warm space gatherings, in the Houses of Parliament, at Church House, with partner organisations and amongst our own colleagues in districts and the Learning Network.

In each and every context, leadership is exercised, and cultures have developed. We have quickly sensed the various cultures as we have spent time in the company of those who have invited us to be amongst them. Sometimes that culture is obvious, at other times it is more subtle, but it is always significant and full of impact.

What have I noticed?

I’ve noticed and been reminded of several things as I have observed and engaged in conversation:

  • Listening is vital. Staff or group members feel far more committed to the organisation or project when their contribution, feedback or idea is heard, validated and valued.
  • Offering encouragement and acknowledging progress or success helps to boost morale.
  • Generating an environment where people feel able to admit mistakes or say they are struggling without fear, enables learning and development and ultimately improves performance.
  • Creating spaces where team members can simply be together and get to know each other pays dividends. Knowing others well aids understanding and being known by others gives a sense of safety and security within a team.
  • Gatherings around food are helpful in enabling the development of good working relationships and a sense of value for team members.
  • Coherence between what leaders say and how they behave is crucial.
  • Praying and reflecting theologically together is helpful even where all team members are not necessarily people of faith but where there is an understanding that faith plays a critical part in the culture being established.

There is nothing new here, the practice of good leadership is crucial to the establishment of a healthy and motivational culture. Perhaps it is worth repeating some of these values and encouraging all of us to reflect on our own leadership and how well we are modelling the qualities we see in the person of Jesus Christ.

As we read the gospels, we see how much time Jesus spent with his disciples, his team, listening to their questions, affirming them in their calling but also challenging them to be and do more than they ever thought possible. He ate with them, set them an example and forgave their mistakes.

How is the leadership you are offering, reflecting the actions and qualities of Christ? How is the team that you lead benefitting from the leadership being offered? What culture is being developed because of the leadership where you are? What hidden treasures are being revealed or left uncovered because of the culture in your church, community or workplace?

Gaza appeal

The Methodist Church in Britain has launched an appeal to support the emergency work being carried out in Gaza by the Methodist Liaison Office’s partners. The partner’s work focuses on helping civilians in Gaza with medical, dental and mental healing issues and offering them financial support.
“The scale of the destruction and tragic loss of life in so short a space of time is incomparable to any other conflict in recent times. We grieve for all lives lost on October 7 and in the subsequent fighting. There is no justification for such widespread killing of tens of thousands of innocent people and we are gravely concerned for the entire population of the Gaza strip.”

How to give

Pastoral letter from Nick March 2024

March 2024
Dear Friends
“And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases … In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed … they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” He answered, “Let us go on to the neighbouring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” From Mark 1

Jesus had a lot going on, there was a lot to do and a lot of change coming – proclaiming the arrival of the kingdom is no small matter! In amongst that, Jesus took time to pray, simply to deliberately spend time in the presence of God. Lent encourages us to do likewise. There is plenty to do and there is much change coming. I wonder what Jesus prayed that morning? What is your prayer at this time?

Trying to discern God’s will in our lives and the life of the world is not easy. It can take time and patience. One of the changes the Methodist Church is testing is regarding online Holy Communion. For me it feels a bit of a strange idea, but I know how helpful and included others have felt.
As part of this journey the online Easter Day service will be led by Revds Marian & Phil Taylor and will include Holy Communion. Like all of our online services this will be recorded and viewed by different people at different times. I would encourage people to engage with this by preparing in advance with a little bit of bread and if you can, grape juice (but whatever you can use and feels appropriate – in Kenya, as a child, I remember Coca Cola being used as the only safe thing to drink!). Have the bread and wine ready as you engage with the worship and enter into the service as you would any other. Deliberate time spent in the presence of God, one another and the company of saints.
Practically this will allow all those who cannot attend on a Sunday to receive Holy Communion which is something to be celebrated. I will also be interested in feedback from people as to how they felt and what they think about it. And don’t forget to pray!

With love
Nick

Scottish Methodist Gathering

Based at the Golden Lion, the programme includes worship, a ceilidh, conversation, children’s activities, creativity, space to chill and presentations from two excellent guest speakers, Deacon Eunice Attwood (former Vice-President of the Methodist Conference and now the connexional officer for Church at the Margins) and Rev. Professor David Wilkinson, Methodist minister, astro-physicist, broadcaster and author.

Registration will open after Easter – more information is available at any time by emailing the planning group on scotmethgathering@gmail.com