Show me the way to shine for Jesus

Saturday 21 May heralded the arrival of the Junior Programme launch in Edinburgh. Alarms were set for 6am or earlier as leaders, presenters and staff headed to the capital from across Scotland via train, bus, car or, for the lucky ones, on foot.  There was a mix of happy and tired faces but as we moved into worship, which focused on moving from the old to discover the new, GB Scotland started to come to life.

As Emma involved leaders in drill, indian clubs and hedgehog making (the cheese and pineapple variety, please note!) you could see fond memories being resurrected while the truly young among us scratched their heads in wonder! But it was the song ‘Show me the way to shine for Jesus’ that really brought GB Scotland to life.  To the catchy tune of ‘Is this the way to Amarillo’ we lifted the roof of the COSLA centre and, yes, the tune is still in our heads today!

For nearly 125 years, Girls’ Brigade has served girls and young women here in Scotland but also around the world.  So, why is it that we are still confused with the Guides?  Why is the BB so well known while Girls’ Brigade in Scotland seems always to be in the shadow of others?  As an organisation that has a lamp and a flame in its badge it seems we are very good at hiding our light from others!  The words of ‘Show me the way to shine for Jesus’ along with the passion and commitment of those singing and praising their Lord awakened a determination to get Girls’ Brigade Scotland to show the world what we do and why we do it.

We know from Saturday that ‘Show me the way to shine for Jesus’ will be used across the country for years to come and that’s great.  But, the real challenge to every GB leader is to let the lamp in our badge light our way to share the Good News of what we do and to let the GB flame burn brightly in Churches and communities across the land.  No more hiding the GB flame!  No more apologising that we’re not the Guides!  No more walking in the shadows of others!

The time for GB Scotland to shine for Jesus is now!  So tell your GB story to all you meet and encourage girls, parents and friends to do the same.  The time for being silent is over!  In 2 years time we celebrate 125 years of Christian youth work so lets ensure that the people of Scotland, all faiths or none, know who and what Girls’ Brigade Scotland is. Let’s make ‘Show me the way to shine for Jesus’ the GB anthem so others may seek, serve and follow Christ through all we do.

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5: 16


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20 Years On – Remembering Srebenica

Tomorrow, 11 July, will mark the 20th anniversary of the atrocities committed in Srebenica.  It’s hard to believe that it’s 20 years since our television screens and newspapers were filled with horrific images and stories of the murder of thousands of Muslims, mostly men and boys.  Those of us old enough to remember 1995 were shocked as we witnessed the first case of genocide in Europe since the Second World War.  Hatred and discrimination were at the core of all that happened leading to death and destruction.

Twenty years on, what lessons have been learned?

Sadly, today’s world remains a troubled one where hatred, discrimination and a blatant lack of humanity for our fellow man seems to be on the increase as we look at recent events in Tunisia, Syria and the like.  That’s what makes it so important that today in Scotland we remembered Srebenica at a special service in St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh. In a Christian Church  all faiths and none came together to remember those who were killed, to pray for the mothers and sisters left behind; united in a common bond to promote tolerance and understanding.  What a powerful message was conveyed by the prayers led by members from GB Scotland, Girlguiding, Scouts, BB Scotland and the Army and Air Cadets.

These young men and women are our hope for a better future for Scotland and the wider world.

.St GilesNatasha

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A Red Letter Day!

Thursday 2 July saw me head off to Carronvale House, Larbert, where I’d been invited as National President of GBS to meet HRH The Duke of Wessex who was coming to see BB Scotland in action.  Beth Young, Commissioner for Central Division came along with me. The weather was kind and the event was very informal with HRH talking to boys and their parents in the grounds.

We were presented to HRH in the dining room at Carronvale where he spoke knowledgeably about the role of organisations such as BB and GB.  He was very supportive of the work we do, which I thought was really important.  After a few short speeches we all got to enjoy tea accompanied by strawberry tarts, meringues and ‘Carronvale Shortbread’ – a box of which was sent with the Duke of Wessex as a gift to his mum, HRH The Queen who is the BB Patron.

It was a great day and another milestone in my GB journey!

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