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  • Fall Back

    Unfortunately Holly the cat does not understand about changing clock times, so after she'd yowled and scratched outside my bedroom door for an hour, I gave in, got up ans fulfilled my servant role in opening a new sachet of food even though she still had plenty of biscuits...  It's a cat's life!

    So, should I fall asleep during my own sermon, you'll know why!

  • Back to Blue!

    I know October isn't quite over yet, but I did turn this blog pink slightly early, and now it's going back to blue.  I still think the awareness raising is important, but this is not a 'single issue' blog.  In any case, I happen to like blue better than I like pink!

  • Homeward Bound

    By the wonders of mobile broadband (I did take my laptop after all!) a quick post on my way home for Baptist Assembly.  It was, overall, a good experience, good to meet some more people 'in the flesh' and good to listen to some great speakers.  Whilst I don't think we had our ears tickled, I'm not sure we quite managed to exercise the 'outrageous generosity' of which we spoke.  A lot of stuff to process, and some good memories.  Have to write a short piece ofr public consumption... more of that to come.  Overall, very glad I went... one of the best Assemblies I've been to, however flaawed!

  • Contextualisation

    och wheest.jpg

    I saw this sign in a 'very English' bookshop in the out of town shopping centre on Monday morning.  It made me smile.

    I vaguely recall my mother telling us to 'haud yer wheesht' when we were children which equated roughly to 'be quiet and calm down'.

    There are now any number of variants of this old war time poster, some more amusing than others.

    Anyway, for a bit of completeness, here's the Welsh version...

    welsh ccco.jpg

    (For some reason I saved this as a draft and forgot about it until now!)

  • Outrageous Generosity

    This is the title of the BUS/BMS Assembly which starts tomorrow (and for which I am travelling today as I need to be at a session at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow morning... my days of unnecessary, ridiculously early starts are, I have decided, done).  It is a great title, but is is true?  Will generosity, let alone outrageous generosity be evidenced?  Or will it just be a title that ends up bearing little resemblance to anything that takes place?

    There are some interesting sessions and seminars planned, and some opportunities for the 'Outrgaeous Generosity' which we claim God offers (even if we put limits on that no matter what we may claim) to permeate our thinking.

    Tomorrow morning - the Ministers Pensions Roadshow (why I have to be there early, why others are travelling form Didcot today).  In an economic recession, what is Outrageous Generosity in relation to pensions for ministers, many (most) of whom have low relatively incomes in the first place?  And what is Outrageous Generosity in terms of ethical investment?

    A seminar from David Kerrigan entitled 'Integrity and Inclusivity, Mission and Sexual Ethics Today'.  What does outrageous generosity mean in terms of inclusion? of integrity? towards those with whom we disagree?

    Or David McMillan on 'Just Peacemaking' how can that demonstrate outrageous generosity in a violent world?

    And so on, and so forth.  Most of the main stage speakers have 'generous' in their titles - but how  generous is generous?  Is it outrageously so?  Will we come away more or less generous of spirit?  Will we get our ears tickled or our minds stirred?  Will 'love cover over a multitude of sins' or will we become polarised?

    Back at the end of the last century, two women, both from Scottish churches, each training for ministry in England, under the aegis of BUGB travelled to the Scottish Baptist Assembly, where they wept openly as, once more, the churches voted against the ordination of women.  Roughly a decade later, slowly, but surely home-grown Scottish Baptist women ministers are being ordained, though this one English woman is still the only 'woman minister in sole pastoral charge of a Baptist church in Scotland'.  Some people left the BUS because it wouldn't ordain women.  Some people undoubtedly left once it did.  Some people had to leave the BUS to follow their calling.  Some people stayed put despite being denied their calling.  I find myself wondering where, from all parties, generosity was exercised, and where it was withheld? 

    Outrageous generosity probably ought to carry with it something of the risky, risque, disturbing nature of things we find 'outrageous'.  We aren't, I hope, simply saying 'God's uber generous', which we all believe anyway.  Rather, I hope we're saying that God's generosity is shocking and bewildering and surprising-in-a-scary-way and might just lead us to re-think our cosy, self-righteous understandings.

    So, I am hoping to be shaken up a bit, but in a way that shows me God's outrageous generosity is at work, rather than human self-righteous bombast (don't know if that word exists per se, but still!).

    Praying for all speakers and seminar leaders, that they will be channels of God's outrageous, generous grace.  And for delgates, that we may be genuinely open to the breeze or the hurricane of God's Spirit.