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  • For those who 'do' praying

    023.JPGPlease pray for Annie as she walks a dark and scary road.

    Thank you.

  • Theological Writings?

    This coming autumn I am planning on leading a short series (four weeks) on aspects of human relationships, with each week having its provisional title posed as a question e.g. "A Christian marriage?"  In four weeks I cannot possbily do justice to any of the topics I've chosen and of course there are 'places' Baptist ministers aren't permitted to go from the pulpit, though I hope to insert a few hints and glimspes to prompt people to do some thinking for themselves.

    A quick Amazon search indicates any number of writings I might pick up, ranging from the 'Banner of Truth' via the 'Kingsway paperback' to the 'Theological Treatise.'  What I am looking for is not the 'this is the answer' stuff, but some decent theological writing and wondering what others might have read on:

    'Christian' marriage

    'Christian' family

    'Christian' work ethic

    'Christian' responses to complex human situations e.g. multi-parent families, long term unemployment, family breakdown etc.

    Anyone who points at the 'sixty minute' anything or 'power of the praying x' will be thumped (in love of course).  I am happy to read across the theological spectrum so that I can then help others to think in a more sophisticated way about their own attitudes and lifestyles.

    The experiences of the last year have changed me from feeling diffident about tackling such topics in worship to realising that it's the only way some people will ever engage with them.  Omission of some topics from the list may say more about a mix of cowardice, pastoral sensitivity and the disicipline of the BUs than suggesting what I might think (waiiting eagerly for the BUGB publications here!).


  • Crafty

    If you are a Gatherer and don't want a spoiler for Sunday, look away now...

    Otherwise, if you are a Sunday School leader, children's worker, Brown Owl, GB officer or other such thing you may be vaguely interested in what follows.

    This Sunday our theme is "Stories Jesus Told About Parties" and it is all age, slightly mad and very interactive.  During the "grownup's talk" (I like a bit of subversion don't you?!) the children will be invited to make themselves party hats.  Most of our children are quite tiny and they won't have very long, so I was really pleased to find the idea I am using...

    Take one paper plate about 9"-10" (23 - 25 cm) in diameter and turn it upside down.

    001.JPGDraw a line diameterically across the middle part (leaving the 'fluted' edge plain).  Turn the plate through a quarter turn (90 degrees) and draw another diameterical line (you have four equal sectors).  Now draw lines bisecting the others so that you have eight sectors.

    Carefully cut along these lines so that you have eight triangular 'points.'

    Decorate the 'points' of the crown with stickers, felt tips, glitter or whatever is in your craft box.

    Carefully bend up the points and, hey presto, a party crown for a small person.


    002.JPGIf the crown is too small you can carefully extend the the points into the 'brim'

    Have fun... we will!



  • We Love the Jesus Stories...

    BPW 211 is, it seems the only place this little song is found:

    We love the Jesus stories,

    Of what was lost and found

    And how he teaches us to see

    God's Kingdom all around.


    He tells of hidden treasure

    Of sheep and goats and seeds

    Of birds that nest in leafy trees

    Of corn and wheat and weeds.


    We learn of guests and banquets

    Of talents and of debts

    Of houses built on sand and rock

    And pearls and fishing nets.


    He teaches love for others

    That God forgives our sins,

    That what we do for those in need

    We do it all for him.

    David Maldwyn Owen

    Over the summer at the Gathering Place we are hearing again some of the stories Jesus told and enjoying (I hope!) a slower pace, a lighter touch, as we worship all together with shorter talky slots and more interaction.

    This week we begin with 'stories Jesus told about parties' - a theme I thought apposite as it is also Communion week.  Plus a great excuse to sing this beautiful song from the days when Sounds of Living Water was new and exciting:


    Oh welcome all you noble saints of old,

    As now before your very eyes unfold,

    The wonders all so long ago foretold

    God with us at table is sat down

    God with us at table is sat down


    Elders, martyrs, all are falling down,

    Prophets, patriarchs are gath’ring round,

    What angels longed to see now we have found:

    God with us at table is sat down

    God with us at table is sat down


    Who is this who spreads the vict’ry feast?

    Who is this who makes our warring cease?

    Jesus, risen Saviour, Prince of Peace

    God with us at table is sat down

    God with us at table is sat down


    Beggars, lame and harlots also here;

    Repentant publicans are drawing near,

    Wayward sons come home without a fear,

    God with us at table is sat down

    God with us at table is sat down


    Worship in the presence of the Lord

    With joyful songs and hearts in one accord

    And let our host at table be adored.

    God with us at table is sat down

    God with us at table is sat down.


    When at last this earth shall pass away,

    When Jesus and his bride are one to stay,

    The feast of love is just begun that day:

    God with us at table is sat down

    God with us at table is sat down


    Robert Stamps © Robert Stamps (SLW 67)

  • Back Messages?

    Amongst my post today was my pack for the Shine Glasgow half marathon - tee-shirt, training plan (ha ha), sponsor form, participant number and 'back message'.  It's the 'back message' that has got me wondering, not least because I've seen various views expressed on this aspect of cancer fund raising events.  Should there be back messages or not?  And what form ought they to take?  Some people find it very meaningful to raise money in memory of a friend or loved one whose life was claimed by cancer.  Some people like to do so as a celebration of cure or remission either personally or for a friend/loved one.  Some people find it ghoulish.  Some people don't want their names written on someone's back.  Some people are glad to be named.  So, who or what do I write on my back message?

    I'm shining for...?

    - well I could simply put the facts: 'research into breast cancer'

    - or I could say 'to celebrate completing my breast cancer treatment' (the grammar would need a tweak or three!)

    - or I could list the names/pseudonymns of people who've shared parts of my 'journey'

    - or I could say 'you'


    I am curious to know what other people think about 'back messages' and what you might choose to say?

    If you happen to be planning to be a spectator on 10th September, look out for walker number 10248 to discover what I end up putting on my back message!


    ps, I feel a parody of a Graham Kendrick song coming on.... Shine, Glasgow Shine...