Somehow in my preaching plan, I managed to forget Remembrance Sunday. It is not my favourite event but, here in Dibley, it is something people like to keep. Last year I was quite pleased with what we achieved - it was creative and it was challenging: trouble is I had set myself up to fail this year as I didn't want to reuse that material but it was so wide ranging I struggled for new ideas. The CCTBI and Britsh Legion websites - and even the alternatives from more pacifist perspectives - seem to suffer from the unhelpful face of traditional anglican-style liturgy. In other words, even the 'new' service is very much a civic service with the same old hymns and words, and expectation that the national anthem will be sung. There is a place for that, of course, but not three o'clock on Sunday afternoon, and not singing the national anthem in a Baptist church.
Eventually I settled on the 'The Seven Sayings from the Cross' and am fairly eager to get my head around how I can reflect on them in relation to both remembrance and the horrors of war and violence. I am also intending to use a sequence of images with the Barber Adagio for Strings as accompaniment - war photos, terrorism photos, local soldier killed this year photos - and then a montage of some of them as a cross. I think it sort of works. And at eight minutes plus it cuts down the time I need to talk!
Is there maybe a place somewhere for sharing alternative ideas for Remembrance services? I cannot believe I am alone in finding it difficult to know how to handle them.
(Photo is 'Shot at Dawn' memorial at National Memorial Arboretum Alrewas)
Good on you for trying to do something relevant and challenging with this occasion, rather than the token effort we Baptists seem to end up making most years, which can often be so obviously just a token as to be almost offensive.
Maybe it's impending old age, but in recent years I've felt more strongly that we should do something meaningful once a year to remind ourselves of what previous generations had to do to give us the freedom of speech and worship that we enjoy today. I even live in hope that by teaching our children about it, we might one day learn from it and use our Christian voice to challenge governments who declare wars in our name. Possibly a vain hope, but to consign remembrance sunday to the history books certainly won't achieve it.
Anyway, hope the service goes well. I'm sorry I'm too far away to come! Look forward to reading about it in the blog.
P.S. Re computer upgrade, you should certainly raise this with the church, as unless they know you have a problem, they can't help to solve it. Hopefully, they will appreciate the need to equip you properly to do your job and offer to cover part or all of the costs.