Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Love That Crosses The Greatest Of Divides

A short reflection based around the story of the Good Samaritan - filmed for Fresh Expressions - original web site link here

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Phil James - New single released this week ...

Our good friend and staunch Zac's Place supporter since our beginnings in 1998, Phil James, has a new single out this week.

It's already had BBC Radio 2 play and is BBC Radio Wales record of the week.

It's available on iTunes here

Monday, September 19, 2011

Beach Baptisms ...

‎Had a great evening baptizing some of our folks from Zac's in the ocean last night - cold wind, choppy waves, turning tide, full moon, sun setting - hugely symbolic of life amidst stormy waters. Strong rips that push you around, but a determination to battle through. A real milestone for all those involved and much to be thankful for.....

Friday, September 16, 2011

Prayers for the hurting

‎.... Prayers for those, just a few short miles away, bereft of hope in these hours, for those whose wounds and scars will run as deep and dark as the very mines that swallowed their loved ones - when well meaning words and media lenses are hollow and invasive; may they have those who will just sit with them, walk with them, cry with them and carry them ......

News Item

Friday, August 12, 2011

News from the margins ...

Here's a couple of news items from this week - not necessarily connected, but they could quite easily be......

The first is at this link from the Swansea Evening Post website today - a feature on a legendary minister to the margins some years back Maverick Preacher Leon.

The second - a Sky News item with two guys commenting on the recent riots in London and beyond ....

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Truth Shall Make You Beige?!

We've just had our last Thursday evening Zac's coffee bar/soup kitchen before taking a break for the month of August. More than any other year previously, I think all of our volunteers will be glad of a breather, and the neighbours also.

It's been a rough eleven months, with repeated poor behaviour and violent scenes from many of those seeking support. Negotiating has become increasingly more difficult as many of the symptoms of the current drug use habits exhibit some pretty extreme psychotic patterns of behaviour. None of this of course is any different to what the city centre experiences across the board. But sometimes you can't help thinking, it's not just our guests banging their head's against the wall.

As well as taking a breather, the volunteers will also be taking stock and looking at how we can change things to improve the overall experience, without diluting a heartfelt desire to love those on the margins.

If there are occasionally any doubts as to whether things are worth all the aggro, I was served up a tangible reminder, just last weekend thundering down a German autobahn, that it's worth sticking with it.

On the road trip with fellow God's Squad members, to southern Germany, for the club's gathering of our chapters around Europe, it dawned on me once again, what an incredible collection of characters and stories we are. Addressing the club as a whole and looking at a sea of faces or taking a snapshot glimpse into my rear view mirror at the smaller group of twenty two headlights following in tight formation; the stories of the transforming grace of God abound. For some, vital signs of life have emerged from absolute carnage - precious tales of survival in a last chance saloon. Others have faithfully grafted in service and sacrifice for the Lord for years, there's some around now I call brothers, who when we first met hurled insults our way years ago. There are faces that are lived in, tattoos that are as autobiographical as any book, scars aplenty, many battles still to be won - but there is a tenderness of heart and humility of spirit that only comes from an encounter with the servant Jesus. Truly a pleasure to share the road with such pilgrims, especially when other aspects of ministry have brought frustration in recent days.

Chaotic? Yup.
Uncomfortable? Certainly.
Humiliating? Sometimes.
Beige? Never!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Warm Welcome

Recent weeks have seen seen fleeting, but significant visits, on the road away from Zac's Place.

Returns to Holland and USA and setting off for Germany shortly have made it an unusually high mileage month.

Was great to be in Michigan visiting the God's Squad family there. Time included pastoral visits, preaching, soup runs, community meals and opportunity even allowed for a trip to hell!

I continue to have the old quote from the cricketing missionary, CT Studd written in the inside cover of my bible .... "some want to live within the sound of church and chapel bell, but I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell".

True to form the periphery of Hell turned out to be a great place of meeting new people and 'warm' hospitality! Even got an invite back ....

Friday, April 22, 2011

'How about I get a seaside bar with Mary, and just preach at weekends...'

Wrote more than usual on here last Easter .... this time around the thought continues. But here's a song instead - yup, I guess 'he could have got a bar and preached at weekends'. Love the layers in this song.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Zac's Place Yass, Australia; Set To Open On Good Friday

After months of hard work by our dear friends Glenn and Ros and the God's Squad Chapter in Southern NSW, and friends, Zac's Place is set to open it's doors in Yass. Glenn and Ros's time with us in Swansea was pivotal in deepening their desire for mission on the margins. To return home to Australia and expand the vision and put into practice what they encountered whilst in the UK, is a truly precious thing indeed. Check out the links below and sign up to follow the development of this exciting venture.

Glenn and Woody at the 'bar' - with a familiar looking colour scheme going on there!

The following news article gives a helpful introduction....

Yass Tribune: Zac's Place To Open It's Doors

A direct link to the related website can be found HERE. Please take a look at it and consider supporting it in whatever way you can.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Zac's Place Australia Web Site Launch

Further to the previous post regarding Zac's Place developments in Yass, NSW Australia - here's the link to the associated web page -
Here you will find options for signing up for news, facebook page, donations, pictures and info as it happens .... including the opening on 22 April, 2011.

For Zac's Place stuff in the UK, you'll still find everything here

Friday, March 11, 2011

Zac's Place set to open it's doors in Australia

Glenn and Ros Stewart's time with us in Swansea had a huge impact, on them and us, while they were here. Since returning to Australia, they have been putting the experiences they had in Swansea to good use in their homeland and a new adventure now unfolds ....

The Yass Tribune begins their article with these words....

God’s Squad is riding into town to set up a place where those living on the fringes of our society can find themselves at home.
The old St Clement’s community hall/tennis clubhouse is being transformed into Zac’s Place, an outreach centre which is unashamedly Christian in ethos and completely committed to extending a hand to local people in need.

The initiative is derived from a model in Swansea, Wales, where a church for ragamuffins was founded by the European president of the God’s Squad Christian Motorcycle Club, Sean Stillman.

Glenn Stewart, president of the Southern NSW chapter of God’s Squad, and his wife Ros have spent some time in the UK learning the tricks of the trade and growing their passion.

They have applied this experience to establish Zac’s Place in Yass, which they define as being “all about community”.

God’s Squad, which primarily exists to minister among the biker fraternity as a relevant and accepted expression of the Christian Church, has been working in the Yass Valley for about eight years. Mr Stewart said the nondenominational group has identified a need here but is also willing to be flexible in the service it will offer the community.

The doors of Zac’s Place will be open to everyone - men, women, young adults and the elderly. You don’t have to be a member of a motorcycle club or a church to find solace at the facility, which will act as a ‘drop-in centre’.

To read the rest of the web edition of the article, go to this LINK at the Yass Tribune

To read a pdf version of the front page feature of the article, which is a little longer than the web version, go to this LINK.