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  • Holy Week in Real Time

    If you are in the Eastern Baptist Association (BUGB) or have links with Church from Scratch or are a Gatherer then it is possible that you might like to participate in a new venture this Holy Week.  'Jesus Live Time' is an interesting experiment whereby you can sign up to receive the Holy Week/Easter story in 'real time' in 30 text messages (is that meant to match the 30 pieces of silver?) absolutley free because the cost is being met by the participating churches.  If it goes well, then next year their hope is to do something linking with GRF (a Glasgow-based Christian radio company) - which is why we know about it.  So, if you are a Gatherer and interested, I can tell you how to connect ('spaces' are limited hence I'm not giving 'open house' at this stage)... but please only check your texts if it is safe and legal so to do.

    Jesus Live Time is being led by such great folk as Juliet Kilpin and Peter Dominey so I'm sure it'll be fantastic.

    When 'Sing Christmas' began, Dibley was one of the first churches involved; five years on it is a very big East Midlands outreach event. It'd be great if this new initiaitve could make Easter loom much larger in people's lives and inspire more interest in what Christianity is all about.

  • Hebrew Midwives?

    Just a quick post today as Holy Week preparations are keeping me pleasantly busy.

    At last night's Lent Meeting both small groups asked the same question - were the Hebrew midwives of Exodus 2 Hebrew or Egyptian?  I must admit I've always understood them to have been Hebrew but I guess it is plausible they were Egyptian midwives-to-the-Hebrews.  Having done no Hebrew at all, the limit of my check with the interlinear confirms mention of their Hebrew label but not what it means.

    From the context I reckon they were racially Hebrew, but maybe, grammatically, another reading is plausible?  So, can anyone who reads Hebrew out there enlighten me/us?

  • Things That Make You Go 'Hmm' - Sermon Titles

    So, it was back at the end of last year I put together a preaching plan up as far as Easter and plucked, effectivley out of thin air, a provisional title for my Easter Sunday service.  A perfectly serviceable title, an eminently suitable title, but one I had no clue whether it would work when the time came.  Then today I sat down to read the lectionary Psalm for Easter Sunday and there was a verse almost verbatim to my title.  Hmm!

  • Fusion Cuisine: The Square-Sausage Cob

    As I have noted before, the guys who run the coffee shop opposite church have links with Leicestershire, one of them originating only a few miles from Dibley (each was impressed the other knew of the place they'd come from to Glasgow).  Today I opted for the 'square sausage roll' for lunch, a choice which requires you to know where the invisible hyphen goes... there are even Scots to whom they have to explain it is the sausage that is square (Lorne sausage) rather than it being the oxymoron of a square sausage-roll.

    After a few minutes the Scotsman delivered my roll and announced 'one lovely healthy square sausage cob,' reflecting the fact that, so I discovered, he had spent 20 years in the Midlands.  I opted not to disabuse him of his assumption that Midland idiom was universally English (in Liverpool it'd be a sausage bap, in St Helens a sausage balm, in Blackburn I suspect a sausage on a teacake*, in Warrington probably a sausage in a bun and in Northampton just a 'sausage roll, no not that sort').

    But I liked the fusion cookery and, even if the roll was not a cob, it made me smile and enjoy the thoughtfulness and good humour of my neighbour.

    * I used to have a colleague in industry who came from Blackburn who introduced me to the concept of local delicacy known as a 'dab on a teacake' which it transpired was a potato cake/scone served in a bread roll.  Yum....

  • Dissent, Disagreement and Blind Prejudice

    This seemed to the theme of today's BUGB e-news sweep - the BUGB council discussions on women in ministry and a very thoughtful blog post by David Kerrigan of BMS here, a B&B owner who turned away pre-booked guests because she objected to their relationship, a Christan police organisation feeling it had been snubbed.

    I am interested in the BUGB talks not just because I'm a woman and a minister in general, but because my 'story' was one of those told (thankfully not one of the absolute horror stories alluded to by David, though I was once asked how I would fit in my housework and serve a church, and have been chastised for revealing too much knee while preaching!).  I am blessed to have a church who accept me and who also accept those who struggle with women in ministry per se.  A real moment of grace recently was when someone twice my age conceded that I was called to ministry, even if she is perhaps not yet convinced of the general principle.

    Tonight's Bible study takes us to the Exodus 1 story of the Hebrew midwives and their civil disobedience born of conviction of divine mandate.  AMong the set questions is one to think of contemproary examples of people who disobeyed out of faith conviction.  All of which sounds fine until I read the article about the guest house and see that one person's conviction is another's idea of injustice.  I certainly don't condone the actions (or apparent attitudes) of the owners, but can see how they could find means of justification from the Exodus 1 story.  All of which shows that nothing is ever easy.  Does God call people to disobey the law?  Yes, we cry, when we think of Martin Luther King. No, we shout, when we hear disagree with the standpoint taken.

    To disagree is to be Baptist (I'm sure that's what the dreaded 'Baptist DNA' is really about), to disagree honestly, openly, respectfully and with willingness to be shown wrong, that is.  To show blind prejudice, to be dogmatic, to be rude, inhospitable, callous or offensive is not.

    Of course, you may disagree with me, in general, in particular - but if we leap to quick, easy answers and refuse even to listen to that which challenges or offends, we risk emulating that we revile.  I need to listen carefully to myself and remember always that the other person just might be right...