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  • A Prayer from a "Remoaner"

    I tend not to make posts that express my political opinions, partly because I prefer to keep them private, partly because I don't want to offend or annoy anyone kind enough to read this stuff, and partly because there is power both in my position and in my posting.  But today, as Article 50 is triggered (and to a lesser extent in the wake of the vote in Holyrood to request a referrendum on Independence for Scotland) I feel very sad and sense that I am no alone.

    I voted to remain (this is the first time I've outed myself on how I voted - don't expect it again any time soon) because for as long as I've been able to understand it, being part of Europe has seemed a 'good thing' and nothing has convinced me otherwise.  I signed the petition asking for a second referrendum, I emailed my MP and urged her to vote against the bill to trigger Article 50.  If this offends any reader, I'm sorry, but I'm trying to set the background for my prayer.  I have been blocked by people on social media for being a 'remoaner', which saddens me, because I have a few real life friends who voted 'leave' and we respect each other's viewpoints.

    Anyway.  A prayer.


    God of all creation, unbound by geo-political boundaries,

    On this day when one small nation state formally begins a process to separate itself from a long standing, peaceful relationship with its geographical neighbours, emotions run high and words risk being highly charged.

    We can never know what might have been; can never prove that the decision was right or wrong, all we know is that it now is.

    Please grant wisdom, compassion, patience and integrity to all those entrusted with working out what this means - for the UK and for the rest of the EU, indeed for the rest of the world.

    Show me what I may do, say or be that will bring hope, peace and love as I endeavour to live out my faith in a "Post Brexit" world.  May I never descend to the depths of "remoaning", rather help me channel my disappopintment, frustration and even anger in ways that are constructive and employed for the good of all.



  • Switching Energy...

    One of the strands on our recent 'Away Day' looked at Caring for Creation, and specifically at the 'Big Church Switch', which is a scheme that encourages churches to change to green (or greener) energy suppliers.  It's something I'd been meaning to do for ages and never quite got round to, but this morning I did it... and in around five weeks the switch should be complete.

    There was a slight hitch trying to do this online, as the website wouldn't accept my date of birth as valid - fortunately when I rang them up, they were able to do it for me from there end!

    The other area where I am slightly less clear of the way forward is changing my A-rated 'energy saving light bulbs' to A+ rated 'LED light bulbs'... is it really 'greener' to throw out perfectly good light bulbs and replace them?  I'd need to do some more research to be convinced!  But as and when I need to replace bulbs from now on, I'll opt for LED where possible.

    More about The Big Church Switch here definitely worth looking at.

  • Not Doing "Mothers' Day"

    Not doing Mothers' Day is something that I've done for the vast majority of my ministry, because it is a date fraught with tensions and potential to cause hurt or offence.

    Today our main focus was on the Lazarus resurrection story from John, but we began All Together thinking about the reality that families come in all shapes and sizes - and usually nothing like those in story books!

    I used a book called "The Great Big Book of Families", the opening pages of which are shown above... It's a great little book, with lots of interesting, colourful pictures for children to investigate, and lots of ideas for people of all ages to ponder.

    The service seemed to go OK, and, in the end, my laptop overcame its desire to 'update' and woke up just in time to share this picture!

  • A Little Liturgical Levity

    This time last week, I was busily creating a visual aid to illustrate the liturgical year for a seminar I was leading on Sunday.  This morning someone shared this photo with me, which made me chuckle.  A liturgical colander.

    A the end of another week in which there has been tragedy and sadness aplenty, it's good to have something that brings a little levity, not to deny the reality but to bring a little light relief and to strengthen our resolve within it.

  • Lazarus Redivivus

    This coming Sunday, I am preaching/reflecting on Lazarus.  it's a story that I have preached upon a fair few times before, and have, at various points reflected on in some depth.  It was quite tempting simply to re-use some of my past work - especially a reflection that I wrote around eight years ago and shared on this blog.  In the end, I felt that wasn't the right thing to do - not because re-using is wrong, but because I wasn't sure if they went where I wanted/felt led to go.

    Anyway, I thought I'd revive them here by links to a couple of past blog posts:

    The reflection from the prespective of Lazarus in March 2009

    A poem I came across in April 2014