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  • Being Baptist...

    BBC Beyond Belief presented a brilliant example of Baptists, well, being Baptist...  "agree to disagree and still love each other."  Go listen.  Especially proud of my former research supervisor Ruth Gouldbourne.  Some interesting questions and answers, and hopefully illuminating for all who listened.


    Will be available to download after the i-player version has expired.

  • Gadgets for God

    I have no idea if Ship of Fools have spotted this one, but oh, my, word...


    Spiritual Male Praying Hands Sculpture - Looks Like David Beckham

    According to Amazon it is a "spiritual male praying hands sculpture... looks like David Beckham."  Nuff said.  (I was looking for a large praying hands decal (sticker)...)

  • Welcome...

    Today we used the Roots 'Gigantic Welcome' material as a basis for our service.  It was the first of our 'new format' services so it was not without some trepidation that I stood up to lead.  It is a complicated theme, and I'm not sure I did it any justice whatsoever... my sermon was still not the greatest despite five attempts, and I think that's perhaps because I was trying to juggle too many balls.  People were gracious and generous in their response - even those who are not entirely convinced this is the way to go and the closing activity 'responding all together' seemed to work well as we made 'welcome bunting' for the church.

    More than forty hand-crafted 'flags' which I have just threaded onto string (perversely I'm relieved a lot of people were away - the usual congregation would have meant double that!) assisted, or is that hindered, by a black and white furry fiend friend.  A few photos to give just a hint of the kind of thing we made... just as thy were threaded along, so systematic selection I can assure you!



  • Of the writing of sermons...

    I love writing sermons, well most of the time.  I love the surprises I get as I work with a text or texts.  I love the new insights into familiar tales.  I love the challenge of discovering what it is that emerges as this message for 'this week'.  I also love the fact that by dint of the Holy Spirit, somehow people hear something irrespective of how ham-fisted my endeavours.

    Just occasionally, I have a real struggle to disocver the sermon hidden in the thinking, preparing and praying.  And often those are the ones that, once formed, seem to say something important.

    Even more occasionally I write a sermon, quite serviceable, quite appropriate and yet...  I think twice in my life I've woken up on a Sunday morning and known I had to chuck away my sermon and write a knew one.  And each time it was 100% the right thing to do.  Exactly once I've abandoned my script and just spoken 'off the cuff' and that was right too.

    This week I have had two (or three, depends how you count) goes at my sermon, and what I have doesn't quite cut it.  So, rare event, I am going to be sermon writing on a Saturday.

    That doesn't mean the exisitng sermons were wasted, nor that I was out or tune with God, rather that somehow in the iterative process of writing and revising, and thinking and praying, God was guiding me to something that is not necessarily 'better' as measured by standards of intellect or style, but closer to what is needed at this time.


    Bit of a blog break ahead - after Sunday I have a week or so of leave at what, in Gorton parlance, is referred to euphemisitically as the Hame'lldoo Hotel at Ayrgate (i.e. I'm staying at home and having days out).  To ensure I get my break the laptop will be switched off, packed away and hidden from view!

  • Another Sermon Lived...

    This morning my plan was to write the sermon and finish preparing the interactive bits and bobs for Sunday.  As part of this I needed to print some stuff on the colour laser printer.  Which jammed.  Which meant I had to move a load of stuff to gain access to it.  Which meant I then decided it was high time I moved to it a location where this wouldn't be the case.  Which meant devising a cunning system of leverage using prayer books and spare Bibles to raise it to a height where I could slide it onto the desk as it is way too heavy for me to lift.  Which meant stuff all over everywhere AND the need to reorganise the desk.  Which meant a major clear out and tidy up of the vestry (now almost done!).  Which meant that the visual aids are still only half done and the sermon not started.  But I have a vestry nearly fit to lend to next Sunday's visiting preacher.... and once I've cleared the floor of eventually completed stuff it will just fine.

    All of which makes me chuckle because the theme for Sunday is 'Gigantic Welcome' and one of the Bible readings is Luke's take on Mary and Martha... so what is important in the grand scheme of things?

    Off now for a picnic in the park and to listen for the voice of God in the sounds of the city.