St Arbucks meet, ‘Emerging Scotland’- the skinny for those who could not make it…


Mins of the meet yesterday- get in touch if you wnat to know more- or if you have your own answers to the questionnaire!

Emerging Scotland meeting, Starbucks, 24th January 2009.

This was the second meeting, with an open invite using messages to members of the Facebook group, as well as spreading the word using blogs and word of mouth…


10 people attended.

Dunoon- 5

Kilwinning- 1

Irvine- 1

Easterhouse, Glasgow- 1

Edinburgh- 1

Several other people sent apologies, or were unable to make it at the last moment.


Informal social meeting, with a chance to share stories and encouragement. We also used a short questionnaire to inform the potential future shape of the group. I think it is important to check and recheck this as we go along…

QUESTIONNAIRE A summary of answers given;

1. What brought you to the meeting?

“A desire to meet with other Christians wandering and wondering on the edge of established church.”

“Hoping to meet folk- share ideas and find mutual support etc”

“A few years back read ‘A new kind of Christian’.”

“To speak with people without having to spend 80% of my time justifying/repeating the argument.”

“Needing to connect.”

“To give and get support.”

“To find out what’s going on elsewhere.”

2. What use might a network be to you? e.g. companionship, theological discussion, sharing of ideas, practical support for project, retreats, website and contact lists, other stuff…

“All of the above.”

“Sharing, encouraging, pulling together.”

“Discussion, ideas sharing, meeting point.”

“Meeting other parents of kids not in organised church.”

“Safe place to explore ideas free from fear of guilt and accusation.”

“A sense of not being alone.”

3. Do you have skills you might offer? Hospitality, organisation skills, webmaster skills, mentoring, prayer guiding, counselling, carpentry, mime, cake baking, whatever- please be brave, we will not impose unless you are more than willing!

  • Counsellors
  • Youth workers
  • House church pastor
  • Music, writing, alt worship
  • Theological training/university education (“might make me a liability”!)
  • Experience of weird and wonderful things over the last 30 years.
  • Mentoring young leaders, missions consultant.
  • Modesty!

4. What’s in a name? We set out using this word ‘emerging’- although it seems to be a word that is being abandoned by many of its early users. What does the word mean to you?

“A useful word to catch lots of different ideas and activities.”

“New ways of doing things.”

“Living life with people where they are and in the course of life, and living/sharing the gospel.”

“A label that speaks about what we are not, but not what we are. It evokes an emotional response.”

“The birth of something new from an old foundation.”


If this network is to call itself anything, is it time to find a new name- ideas?

“Emerging- necessary as an interim description- we can’t denote ourselves until we can define ourselves.”

“ Possibly need new name- but most names that convey significant meaning will become outdated as things move beyond them.”

“It’s fine for now.”

“Emerging implies something is HAPPENING.”

“ It speaks to me of hope, whereas ‘missional’ speaks to me of obligation, and organisation.”

(The consensus of the people at the meeting is that we should stay with EMERGING SCOTLAND for now.


There is still a formal request for people to host events in their locality. Chris is happy to gather info about these and circulate them.

The dates we have so far are as follows;

28th- 29th March- Weekend retreat/open house- Chris and Michaela’s house, Dunoon. Tel 01369 707009, or contact Chris on

Come for the weekend or for the day.

1st May weekend- an open invitation to the more hardy of us to a wild camping weekend on Scarba with Aoradh. Again- contact Chris for more info.

16th May weekend- family weekend- TBC- hosted by Nick Smith- details to follow

We pencilled in other dates- and though several people have said they offer something, we have not filled these yet-

27th June.

12th September

21st November

If you have other stuff that will ‘fit in’ already happening, or if you want to suggest an alternative date- let Chris know.

Hopefully we will pursue some of the broader organisational things as we go along…



25th Jan, 2009

One size fits all film…

I just ordered a copy of this film.

I thought it worth checking out as there seem to be some parallels between Canada as a culture and Scotland. And because these clips suggested it might be worth while…

The next one kind of hits the spot with me- the reason why I blog and use a website, and why I am persevering with the Emerging Scotland thing



We had a bit of fun with this today- Resolution randomizer.

It works a bit like a fruit machine, matching up three options to generate some useful (if slightly bizarre) NY resolutions.

Because, let’s be honest, most of my half hearted attempts have been pretty boring. You know the sort- I will lose weight and get fit. I will read the Bible more often. I will get up early to pray before the rising sun. I will organise and focus. I will motivate and set meaningful goals. I will set sail into a silver sea of achievement and fulfillment.

Until torpedoed by chocolate, and the many distractions and diversions that reality rolls in my way on a daily basis. Oh- and then there is my innate weakness of character…

Perhaps I am hard on myself. Sometimes I have kept resolutions- for whole days at a time!

It seems that I may not be alone.

But aspirations to change- they can not be bad can they? We seem to make remarkably consistent ones-


So do I bother this year?

No- but…

I have been thinking about what I would like to get into over the coming year.

I would like to get the wilderness mediations book/project thing into another gear- and for this, I will need to be fitter.

I would like to finish a couple of other writing projects.

Aoradh projects beckon too- a monthly session in a pub, the TENT thing, and performing 40 again in Lent.

Emerging Scotland stuff- our first meeting of the year is in a few weeks, and I would love to see this becoming a real network of friendship and support. I still see no other alternative that would provide this. (See here and here for more info.)

There are still other goals- but these are between me and mine. I may well fail, but perhaps that is never the issue…

As for you, my friends, may 2009 bring you adventure.

And may you remain in good company.

And walk with God.

Emerging Church/Missional church network- lets get started!

(Check out this series of posters- here)

I have posted some stuff before on our embryonic Emerging Scotland network (or whatever it comes to be called!) here.

Today I circulated a document as follows- if you want to know more, get in touch!

Emerging Scotland Network… getting things started.


It is clear in my mind that the proposal is for a facilitated network, which imposes few restrictions or obligations on members. We need to decide pretty early on what we would seek to embrace and include. My preference is for a very ‘generous orthodoxy’- and again, this seems to fit in with those who returned the questions.

The object is to support and sustain one another, share ideas, resources and find companionship and encouragement, and there may be grounds for formal/informal mentoring or partnership arrangements.

People may be part of existing church situations in which they are seeking new ways of being or doing, or they might be planting something new- or perhaps just dreaming of doing…


By a variety of means: websites, blogs, on-line networking, but also face to face meetings, retreats, information sharing events etc.

We are clear that the development of a website is a priority, but only to facilitate real human contact! Stewart has a possible way of making this happen- but might appreciate input from anyone who has skills/interest.

Sharing ideas/ skills/ resources – labyrinths, prayer rooms, musicians, poets, and people who know how to support and empower through prayer. Not to forget preachers and evangelists etc etc!

What next?

This is up to you!

Below is a list of dates. Michaela and I will facilitate the first couple to get us started, and then others can take their turn. Please give consideration to whether you could host such an event or meeting!

These meetings will have an open invitation, but for practical purposes, we will need to know numbers in advance…

What will we do at the meetings?

This too is up to you! I suppose it could be a shared coffee, or something more developed?

But I would suggest a combination of the things below-

Ø Business stuff- organisation of the network, ‘leadership’, accountability etc

Ø Creative prayer and worship

Ø A focus on key themes, for example- kids in the new context, the Bible, sectarianism, poverty, worship, rural/remote issues etc

Ø Specific local stuff relevant to the host area.

It might be that if you have an event or activity that coincides with one of these meetings (or we could make fit) then this is an opportunity for people to lend a practical form of support to one another.

So – dates… please put these dates in your diary, and we will try to fill them all… IF PEOPLE WANT TO SUGGEST OTHER DATES, let me know!





24th January, 2009


Borders Bookshop

Glasgow Fort shopping centre

Just off the M8


Meet and share session

A chance to check out the thing a bit closer- and find out more.

Sort out some business issues- fill some dates, and allocate some tasks,

Chris and Michaela Goan

01369 707009

28th-29th March, 2009

Chris and Michaela’s house

179 Marine Parade



A chance to spend some more in-depth time with people, and God. Come for the day, or for the weekend (we have room for quite a few, but obviously first come, first served!)

Kids are welcome, but we need to plan things around them- so let us know!

No cost- but you might need to bring some food along to throw into the communal pot.

This might include- quiet room, walks along the shore, worship sessions, specific group discussion times, sharing meals and sitting round log fires…

Chris and Michaela Goan

01369 707009

16th May 2009




27th June 2009




12th September 2009




21st November 2009




Chris Goan