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  • Advertising, All Age Worship, Pauline Theology and John Wesley!

    The title is probably the best bit of this post... three days into my drug experiment (read that as you will!) I have had three nights of very poor sleep and my brain is maybe not as functional as I'd like.  Anyway, today I've found a few recent (and not so recent) TV adverts going through my mind and making connections with things I've been thinking about.

    The first is the current Persil 'mini miracles' series - well actually they seem to have found two ideas - which makes me smile as it echoes two of my 'stories Jesus told' all age service threads... a 30 minute herb garden (reckon I can do it in 5-10) and 30 minute bread (BUGB had this recipe almost two decades ago!) each of which I will be incorporating into upcoming services.  Gatherer's beware!

    The second arises from being sent a 'sneak preview' of cancer research UK's new advert by email, reading an inpsiring blog and recalling the blood donor campaign that was aired over Christmas/new year 2010/2011.  Alice's bucket list is a gracious and mature blog being written by a 15 year-old with terminal cancer.  It reflects the confidence and uncomplication of youth, as well as courage, determination and acceptance that not everything she wants is achievable.  The second item on her list is 'to make everyone sign up to be a bone marrow donor.'  This one reminded me of the blood transfusion service advertisement - whether actors or 'real' people, I don't know (cancer research makes a point of not using actors) - in which the person told the viewer 'it is you I'm talking to'; you who should give blood now.  I'd love to play my part in fulfilling Alice's wish to get everyone to sign up - but I can't, I'm ineligible.  I'd love to respond to the blood donor advert, indeed I used to be a blood donor, but I am no longer permitted to do so.  I am currently on the organ donor register, have been for years, but now not even my corneas are safe to transplant 'just in case'.  All of which leads me to a bit of Pauline theology, 'the good I want to do I find I cannot do.'  I know he wasn't talking about this kind of thing, but it did get me thinking - there is going to be good, of all sorts, that we'd love to do but cannot for one reason or another.  I have a suspicion John Wesley had it about right when he said:

    Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.

    Best, I reckon not to lose sleep over the things we cannot change (I did afterall give a good body's worth of blood in my time!) and concentrate on the things where we can make a difference... which is why later on I will be heading off to buy compost and plants for Sunday!

  • From BUS and BUGB

    I try to remember to check out the BUS and BUGB websites about once a week just in case there is anything new, important or interesting.  Today is a case in point, and shows that it helps to be a dual-(denomi)nationality church!

    From BUS this one about the possibility of pitching for large sums of money for Christian social action projects in a 'Dragon's Den' style event taking place in London - not of direct interest to me or my church but maybe it is for yours...?

    From BUGB this one about the possibility of young people 'in relationship with' Baptist churches having the opportunity to sail a tall ship.  I kind of wish I was younger, and still had two fully functional arms, so I could go for this one, but hey, just maybe there is someone reading this who knows someone aged 16-25 who would love this?

    Given I have readers in both BUS and BUGB and beyond, it just may be that one of these is useful to someone.


  • Quick Links

    A couple of interesting links this morning. 

    For those who bemoan the paucity of some (much?) Baptist preaching then Steve Holmes is worth a quick look see here.  Steve is another ex-pat English Baptist in Scotland, teaching and researching at St Andrews.  Of course, should he worship at the Gathering Place he'd fine we do use decent chunks of scripture week on week... :-)

    Sticking with my 'authenticity' theme HT Angela for this little video which should make you smile... and maybe think a little:

    Whoo!  I finally learned to embed video!! 

    I guess it is a song created from a 'good' place rather than a 'dark' place but even so it recognises the potential for darkness (and of course I could be wrong...).  And even if I'm not wild about the word 'fight' I think I get what they're saying.

    Here are the words...

    I wanna soar with you up on wings like eagles
    But I'll crawl with you too
    When the dark and lonely questions come
    I wanna stand true
    No matter what's new or comes through
    I cant stand still
    Whatever hits I'll keep making movements to you
    I'm running fast and free to you,

    Cos your love is the movement and fight in me
    I'm running fast and free to you,

    Cos you are my home where I wanna be

    I wanna float with you, the currents driving me
    But I'll paddle hard too
    When the waves and rapids overcome
    I wanna stand firm
    When my mind is weak and my emotions squirm
    I must stand true
    Whatever hits I'll keep making movements to you
    Won’t walk away, I won’t walk away

  • ASBO Jesus the Book!

    asbocoverweb.jpgIs now available as an ebook (glorious technicolor or thereabouts) or a real book (lovely grey scale).  Ideal pressie for you fave minister-type person and with celebrity endorsements from, erm me, among others (still shocked Jon asked me, but chuffed)

    Can't wait for my copy to arrive - well I can, I will, but it'll be great.

    There is lots of other 'cool stuff' (I think that's the right phrase!!) you can buy for your favourite minister-type person from Jon's website and 10% of profits from the book go to Frontier Youth Trust so you can combine a good laugh, some deep thought and help others - what more would you want?

  • More on Context

    So, last Sunday we had a little look at Matthew 18 in order to hear his sheep parable in a wider, textual context.  We thought a little bit about what the postulate of a Matthean community, or at least a local gathering of believers in Jesus for whom this particular gospel was constructed, rather than some mythical target audience (let alone an 'ideal reader' for those, like me, who get side-tracked with literary theory).  Next Sunday our broad banner is 'stories Jesus told about plants' and we are staying in Matthew to pick up three parables with a clear agricultural/horticultural basis.  As is often the case, variants of these parables are found in the other synoptics, so once more part of thinking has to be, why does this gospel writer put the story in this place?  But also maybe we need to go a bit further and say, how does what we learn hear fit with what we learned last week?

    I am having fun playing with the stories, and also mildly amused that those of my collegues/friends in churches and traditions that use the RCL will be pondering some of the same material, as this is the year of Matthew, and the chapter we will be visiting (chapter 13 if anyone wnats to read it ahead of time) currently has a starring role in the Lectionary.