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  • The Number of Her Name?

    I called into Argos this morning for a present for a friend, only to discover my order number was 666.  I had a smirk to myself and then joined the queue.  Obviously the good people at Argos were wary, they called everything up to 665 and then 667 to 670 before daring to hit the button for 666.

    We Christians get ourselves in tangles over some daft things don't we?  Remember the 1980's and the 'back masking' thing - if you play records backwards they are satanic (so if you play The Eagles or Black Sabbath backwards do they become Christian?).  In the 1990's there were those who prayed over discarded spools of cassette tape - the way in which they alleged satanists marked their territory, not simply what someone had lobbed out of a car window.  Then in the early 2000's I was told that Wagner had Nazi links and that Harry Potter was evil, so I have only listened to the Ride of the Valkirie or read about Goblets of Fire under the bedclothes ever since!

    The SU Bible notes I use recently ran an excellent series on Revelation written by an Australian Bible translator.  He clearly presented good, scholarly understandings of the book and spoke of the cultural relevance to people on Pacific islands.  Not sure he'd have got published by SU in the 1980's or 1990's - it is good to say how many of us have actually grown up since then.

    Not quite sure how to get the gammatria to give 666 as the number of my name but I'm sure some of you will find a way!  Afterall, you always wondered, didn't you?!

  • A Full House for Sing Christmas

    'Ain't God good' as the saying goes?  Our Sing Christmas venue was full - and when four people left for various reasons another four arrived to take their place.  Amazing.

    The service was not quite as slick as last year, perhaps because Radio Leicester had had to change venue at the last minute and they had managed to provide different words for one of the carols to those they sang on air (interesting!).  Despite this it went really well and people enjoyed it.  Many came out to hang a bauble on the tree and everyone joined in with great gusto pulling crackers and party poppers; the room came alive when we lit our festive candles and it was great at the end to see people shaking hands with people they did not know.

    So, around 50 people, I reckon, of whom about half were our own folk, 2 Methodists, 3 Anglicans, 3 Penties and 1 Roman Catholic.  Of those with no known church connection, about half came from our Lunch Club and the rest had responded to leaflets or poster advertising.

    I think the balance was right - it showed us that people will come to a service in a pub, but not in droves.

    It was humbling to see people in their 80's find make their way through the rabbit warren of passages to find the steep staircase that led to the 'upper room' (!) where we were meeting.

    Once again, at the end of the evening I was able to stand back and survey a room full of happy people supping tea and munching endless mince pies before they set off back into the night.

    I spoke to one elderly gentleman who'd come in responce to one of my posters who said as he left 'that's done me a power of good.'  It was lovely to see how he had been made welcome by two of our own oldies and how he wished everyone he passed a Happy Christmas on his way out.  Who knows, maybe he was an angel in disguise?

    I was proud of my little church who had allowed their crazy minister to talk them into this venture and had then pulled it off so brilliantly.

    God certainly is good and Jesus was certainly present 'in the pub' tonight.

  • Singing Christmas

    medium_leicester.gifTonight we join with BBC Radio Leicester and people in at least 20 other registered venues to Sing Christmas.

    I am looking forward to it, though at the same time wondering, will anyone come to join us?  Today I have put some A2 posters on public noticeboards in a last effort to drum up a congregation beyond our own stalwarts.  A number of folk have expressed concern that no-one will come - but I'm not sure they've invited anyone!

    If you are reading this, and on broadband (to keep costs down!) you can join in online from 7 p.m. BST by going to the BBC Radio Leicester website and clicking on the 'listen live' button (it's a few seconds slow being digital) or if you miss it there's always the 'listen again' option!

    Now, just need to load the Saxo with junk, find something 'warm-festive-casual' to wear (aside from my tinsel deely boppers!) and prepare to smile at people for a few hours!!