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30 July 2009



Well, St.S could obviously work on being more welcoming to gay and lesbian people. ;-)

And does the report give guidelines on how to differentiate a proper alcoholic from a mere stereotypical glasgweigan?


I find it strange that the church has devised a course specifically targetted at me!!!!!

Andrew T

Spot on for me, GV. Churches should be welcoming without being pushy and reaching out to those who are not yet feeling interested in coming in as well.

Could I be so bold as to share some thoughts that I've had in the last 24hrs that may be relevant to this subject? Yesterday evening at a prayer meeting that I attended the pastor preached from the third chapter of Song of Solomon and the image of "The watchmen who make the rounds in the city found me,....", (Song of Solomon 3:3, NASB), particularly spoke to me. The watchmen can be figuratively taken as being evangelists in the cities and given the most grievous situation that exists at the so-called Gallery of Modern Art, (GOMA anyone?), it just brought to me an image of Christians witnessesing outside that building as their predecessors must have done outside the heathen temples in the cities of the early New Testament times.

To conclude, it is most helpful to have witnesses/evangelists who have been in the grip of certain sins such as alcohloism, gambling and homosexuality and that have repented of it. Who better to try and pluck from the fire those that continue to be in the grip of such, (and all other), sins?



Is a church only welcoming if it teaches stuff that everyone attends likes or agrees with? ;-)

GV Bro,

Come on, that's simply not true - you aren't an alcoholic!

Fr Dougal

Ryan, there is a difference between welcome and affirmation. I'm sure it is possible to be very welcoming even if you think in a "hate the sin love the sinner" way.

There is a fine line to be trod between welcome and pushy but also there are times when the last thing you actually want is to be grabbed and included. Sometimes all you want to do is come in talk to God and go away without being drawn into a relationship with new people. One thing that city churches have to take into account is the pastoral usefulness of anonymity. It may be a visitor has a permanent base in a smaller community but is using church in the big city for a period of escape and recharging. Too intrusive a welcome could negate that.


Mr T :

I'd be curious what you mean about GOMA, as Christian LGBT groups contributed to one of the gallery's projects. I can understand you taking the Bible literally but I really hope you don't take the same approach with the Daily Heil.

David :
Ah, but same-sex hand holding presumably wouldn't be allowed in St.S, despite said action surely being far less of an offence to God than hugging. ;-)
As you say, some people may want peace and quiet - so why do we have a situation where all the back rows are blocked off, forcing perfect strangers to huddle together with overfamiliar huggy types?! What if one wanted to prepare oneself for the service without having to first engage in inane evangelical chitchat about tambourines,Hell and Alpha Courses?! ;-)


Andrew : Alcholism - as opposed to drunkenness - is a medical problem, not a sin. What's the alternative - that churches deny e.g. communion to people who are physically addicted to alcohol but are taking medication to be detoxed from it?

And obviously homosexuality isn't a sin either.



Same-sex handholdimg would be allowed at St Silas! Confession time - I've held hands with blokes many times. In some cultures, men holding hands is a sign if friendship. So far as I know, we don't monitor whether people are holding hands (what a welcoming ministry that would be as someone patrolled the pews looking for misdemeanours). I also very much doubt that people are chatting about what you suggest they are - anyway you quite like folk chatting to you, don't you? Isn't that why you come?


yes but presumably same-sex hand holding in said cultures isn't indicative of a homosexual relationship (in the same way you guys would say that Jonathan and David were just good friends!)in a way it would be in modern glasgow ?

>>>anyway you quite like folk chatting to you, don't you? Isn't that why you come?

*about* me, not *to* me.

And I attend because I'm a holy but non high-falutin' anglican type as you well know!!


But, in addition to the topics above, people are surely likely to be discussing things like CLAN which - if anything- is worse than Hell (so to speak);-).

And you didn't address my point about blocking off the back rows!


Sorry about the omitting the chairs:

We block them off simply to annoy you, of course!


Bah! I know speakers don't like the front rows being empty - but you've been preaching for over 20 years!!! Surely - even if the place was nigh-on deserted - it wouldn't put you off your game?

Kenny Macaulay

Hand-holding should be discouraged unless there is an alcohol based hand gel provided before communion.


Hmm, what's the St.Silas Rule on same-sex *kissing*? ;-)


The kiss of peace is quite alright.

No glossal contact!

Tom, St. Paul's, Visalia, Ca., USA

GV, you're right. I think just a sincere welcome will be better received than a "program." Seems a bit contrived, eh? And some people want to stay a little below the radar on a first visit.


Hmm, assume heavy petting is frowned on then? ;-)

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GadgetVicar serves with:

  • Scottish Anglican Network
    A network in Scotland of Anglican churches and individuals who follow Jesus and are enthusiastic for Him to be known in our communities.
  • St Thomas' Church, Edinburgh
    A welcoming community of people in the West of Edinburgh who follow Jesus and who long for others to join them on that journey.