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  • Blogroll Housekeeping

    I have just reviewed and updated my blogroll (list of blogs I read).  I have taken off a number that are defunct (though a few near defunct ones remain for now) and added some fresh ones.  The reality is that I follow a lot of blogs either by RSS feed or bookmarking, far more than I ever list here.  Most of the listed ones are by people/groups whose work is, or was, in, or associated with, church.  If you haven't explored any of them before, why not take a look - you might find something that appeals to you too!


    If you are a blogger whose link I have removed, it doesn't mean I've stopped reading your stuff, just a matter of trying to keep the list reasonably lively and interesting!  OK... someone take the spade away from me now...

  • Greatest and Least?

    Today's PAYG was the well known incident where Jesus' disciples were squabbling about greatness and Jesus took a small child, set 'it' amidst them and said - you need to become like one of these.  For two millennia since then, churches have had a complex relationship with children, so much so that I feel a bit tentative posting, and know even as I type this could be misunderstood or misinterpreted.  So, a reminder of the disclaimer stuff - my blog, my mess ups. 

    How do we make churches a place where children discover their inate spirituality and grow in faith?  How do we do this in a way that is helpful for as many peple of all ages as possible?  How do we truly value everyone equally?  I have a suspicion if I knew the answer to that, I could be a very materially wealthy woman! 

    Sometimes it seems easier to work out what we are getting 'wrong' or what is not really helpful than the converse.  Something which, I think, is made more complicated by the fact that the church is out of kilter with a society where childhood has become almost a cult in its own right over the last century or so.  Thank goodness children are now protected by law from exploitation and abuse; that they are educated, inoculated and given top class health-care.  Thank goodness that catch-nets are there for those whose parents cannot cope.  But there is flip side... we have become so cautious that children are denied the simple pleasures that even my generation took for granted, we have teachers fearful of chastising poor behaviour, we have expectations that every (or almost every) aspect of life is totally child-friendly/accessible and so on.  If I am honest, I am not quite sure that if Jesus was in the same situation today, at least in Britain, that it would be a child who symbolised the 'least' in society.  Not that I'm quite sure who it would be instead - possibly a single, homeless, adult male as, top my knowledge, they have the least 'rights' under UK law.

    None of this means that in churches we can get away with ignoring or marginalising children; au contraire, we must work harder to wlecome and encourage them.  But it also means that we have to beware the risk of marginalising some other part of society in the process... people with hidden disabilities perhaps, or people with mental health issues, or single adults in their thirties and forties, or whatever it is.  Part of nurturing children - and adults - is help each come to understand that society is so much bigger than 'me'.

    Jesus took a worthless individual and set 'it' amidst the crowd... unless you become like this, you have no place in my kingdom.

    Children - in

    People with disabilities - in

    People with mental health issue - in

    People who don't conform to societal stereotypes - in

    Whoever I perceive as worthless - in


    So, here I am - trying to work it out, failing miserably, risking being misheard... but willing to hear Jesus challenging me in my attitudes, my exclusions, my evaluations.

    Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

  • October Reminder

    This is my annual boring ranty post... well annual for two years now anyway.  And the one that marks my gesture of turning my blog pink for the month.  October is the month when we are all supposed to alert ourselves to the existence of breast cancer, which means all things pink (I so don't do pink!) fluffy (no disease is fluffy) and naff - silly Facebook status things about bra sizes (mind your own business) fruit equivalents (ditto) which don't really achieve a whole lot imo.

    Scary to think that since my diagnosis, the greater part of of 100,000 more people have been diagnosed in the UK, and are even now coming to terms with that diagnosis or going through treatment.

    So... the annual rant....

    CHECK! CHECK! CHECK!  And if you don't know what you're looking for find out here.

    Get screened if you are of screening age

    Go to your GP IMMEDIATELY if you find anything odd - don't be fobbed off with a two week wait, tell them why you are calling

    If you are male, don't think it can't happen to you, it can.  Every woman I know in the bc world has met at least one man with this disease... check your pecs!


    Spending Saturday pushing myself up a mountain was about a lot of things... it was celebrating life, it was remembering absent friends, it was supporting friends... and it was about the hope (in a broadly Christian eschatological kind of a way) that one day there will be a cure, that one day ranty posts like this will be a memory.

    Cancer, of any kind, is not a ribbon.  Nor is it, by any means, the only invisible disease.  But it is one where we can help ourselves by being alert and acting swiftly.

    OK best stop ranting and do something holy!