Updated August 2016
Almost eleven years ago, I gave in to peer pressure and began blogging! Most of those who were so eager to persuade me to blog have long since abandoned any such endeavours themselves. Hey ho!
Despite all the changes, and to my constant amazement, this blog still attracts an average of between 1000 and 2000 unique vistor every month. So I suppose that something I say resonates with some people.
This is not the most user friendly blogging platform in the world, but I get for free and after so many years I am reluctant to lose all the 'archives' by switching to another platform. Comments are not always successful but are possible if you keep them short!!
WHY THE TITLE?
Some of my best undergraduate theology essays started life as notes written on paper serviettes whilst I supped my weekly skinny fairtrade latte in the food court of the Arndale Centre in central Manchester- it seemed only fitting that this oversized virtual 'paper serviette' should be named to reflect a very happy and formative period in my life.
WHAT'S THIS BLOG ABOUT?
People come to read this blog for all sorts of reasons, so I have updated this 'about' stuff to try to reflect the reasons that people seem to come here.
I began blogging when I was minister of a very small Baptist church in Leicestershire, known online as Dibley, and combined a kind of pastoral narrative with some theology, liturgy and things I found amusing. I loved my people in Dibley and was incredibly proud of all they achieved whilst I was with them.
Nealry seven years ago I moved to Glasgow, to a church known online as the Gathering Place, a delightful multi-ethnic, wide-as-the-ocean theologically, church where I am loving being in the city and helping a new community gain the confidence it needs to fulfil its potential.
If I had to sum up what I'm about as a minister in one sentence it'd probably be that "faith without deeds is dead" (James 2: 26b) requires a lived response as 'mission in many modes' (David Bosch). The 'deeds' that 'prove' my faith, and 'many modes' of where or how God sends me, are often not those I'd have imagined and definitely not those I'd have chosen, but they will continually shape me as a disciple of Christ.
BAPTIST HISTORY/PRACTICAL THEOLOGY RESEARCH
For a number of years, my blog included things relating to research I undertook with Manchester University. I was awarded an MPhil on 2011.
On 23rd August 2010 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and blogged my way through treatment, a process that took as near as makes no odds nine months. I continue to live with long term side effects of the drugs, and will contiue to be monitored for the balance of a decade. As far as I or the medics know, at the moment I am NED (No Evidence of Disease) which is as good as it gets. I firmly believe God sustained me in all of this and am so grateful for the enormous support of so many people at this time - of various faiths and none.
So there you have it! Hope you enjoy my blog, but don't take it too seriously.