• Messengers of Hope
    Assembly booking is now open. We are returning to Motherwell Civic Centre. Early Bird discounts are available until the end of the month! Everything sounds predictable, except this year you could be a keynote speaker. You are being invited to bring a message of hope to our Assembly. There is no age limit, no media limitation, you don’t need to have achieved some elevated status of leadership within the church. We are looking to gather together messages of hope from the churches collectively, and also from individuals who will take the time to carefully and prayerfully craft a letter, tweet or video to be shared in the run up to Assembly and during the course of our gathering. Baptists have been committed to the priesthood of all believers since their inception. One expression of this is that we believe that each of us can speak directly with our Father God and can hear his voice directly, through others, in his word and in the world around us. Taking time to listen to all voices is a challenge. Big voices are always easier to hear, yet in Scripture it is so often the still, small voice that we are drawn to, in order to hear the word of God. Your message should explore the theme of hope. If using social media, please use #BUShope. If writing a letter or email, it should be no longer than 250 words and printed on one side of paper, it can be posted to our usual address marked “hope” or emailed to BUShope2017@gmail.com We are creating a YouTube channel where we will upload your videos. We would encourage you to film these on a phone held horizontally, and it should last no longer than 1 minute. Please think carefully and prayerfully about the message of hope you wish to share. The videos will be streamed throughout Assembly, with letters on display in the exhibition area. Social media messages will be immediately live on our social media channels, and should be posted with appropriate care. God is at work in our nation, through our churches and the people of God. Amidst suffering, personal and national distress, facing a world in great pain and daily impacted by the sinful selfishness of humanity, the resurrection gives us reason for hope and the power to live differently. In these messages, let us remind one another of the hope we have and the stories of hope that emanate from that deep belief #BUShope Hope, Baptist Union of Scotland, 48 Speirs Wharf, Glasgow, G4 9TH. Videos – BUShope2017@gmail.com
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  • Fruitfulness
    John 15 teaches us that if we abide in him we will bear much fruit, and yet for over 50 years the church in Scotland has been in sharp decline. With a focus on membership, Sunday service attendance and baptismal statistics, the picture painted by statisticians is overwhelmingly gloomy. The recent church census conducted by Peter Brierley in 2016 has demonstrated that all traditional denominations in Scotland are in decline, with a small trace of church growth being seen in new forms of church and ethnic minority congregations. There is no doubt in my mind that these stories are overwhelmingly debilitating and faith-sapping for our churches. Trying harder or seeking to discover the latest trending programme will not resolve the underlying issues. The problem with these numbers is that they only tell a particular story. Ten years ago, very few of our churches were committed to the local community in the way I observe today. Church buildings are open to the public, ministers are spending more time with as yet unbelievers. I hear stories of small groups that have adopted a missional stance and are engaging with local schools, artists, musicians, prostitutes, prisoners, bikers, joggers, and so the list could go on. I hear of churches developing fresh gatherings for prayer that often last several days at a time. There are new ways of approaching the discipleship of young leaders and putting space aside to think about the long term future of the church rather than always focusing on the immediate. Thankfully, decline is beginning to disturb our equilibrium. We have been forced, in many cases, into a journey of self-emptying, a humbling journey. Arrested by the imminent death of the established church, we travel towards a new place of Christ-like reliance and creativity that embraces the journey celebrated in Baptism of dying to self and rising in an expression of new life in God’s Kingdom. Abiding in Christ should cause us to re-evaluate our practices and priorities. To consider what has been lost from our Baptist faith and practice in the last 50 years that we need to recapture. To measure the fruitfulness of the discipleship of each and every believer; our commitment to see everyone in our churches faithful in witness and global outreach; and the counter cultural lifestyle that is always present where Jesus is declared as Lord. Rev Alan Donaldson General Director Baptist Union of Scotland
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  • Celebrate
    Well, its all happening! Brexit. Council Election. General Election. North Korea. Terrorist attacks. But in the midst of doom and gloom, we can find a healthier focus. Here’s a wee poem that I offer, neither condemning nor criticising. Simply celebrating. Celebrate the Promises, Purposes, Presence, Participation and Power of God come through Jesus Christ Celebrate God as heavenly Father, radiating grace and light Celebrate the living waters of the Spirit, poured out for life Celebrate the character and and the covenants of God, revealed in the Bible Celebrate people remade and reshaped in love through renewal and revival Celebrate lives called into fellowship and discipleship, more than mere survival Celebrate commitments to  holiness, compassion and forgiveness Celebrate liberation of the demonised, healing of the wounded Celebrate justice found and righteousness forged among the discarded Celebrate men and women, created in the image of God, complementary to one another Celebrate both singleness and marriage amongst a community of faith, supporting others Celebrate family life that nurtures and teaches children care and respect for the other Celebrate peace and joy, the good news that all can find fresh identity and fulfilment in life through repentance and  faith in Jesus Christ
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