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  • Demographics

    Our church age range is now 0 - 102. 

    This, among many other things, makes me very grateful.

    This, among many things, makes ministry hugely challenging and endlessly rewarding.

    Congratulations to E&J on the safe arrival of baby O (a couple of weeks ago) and to G on your 102nd birthday.

    Thank you God for these moments of joy and celebration.

  • Saying Something

    I posted recently that I struggled to find anything to say in response to the endless succession of bad news.  I shared a response to some word-free prayers that I had found really helpful.  I have pondered the words of those such as Elie Weisel and Martin Neimoller that see silence as collusion, and of other bloggers who feel that it is better to say something, however trivial (and hence open to negative criticism!) than nothing.

    So what do I say?  What can I say?

    If I say, and it's true, that all I hear about are events in the wealthy west, that what causes us to recoil in horror occurs day in day out in places we never hear about, does that mean I care less or deem acceptable such actions?  Of course not.  But it is true.

    If I say, and it's true, that the ever increasing flood of reports of tragedy has the potential to lead to compassion  fatigue, which is also true, do I have a viable alternative?  I don't.

    If I say, and it is the case, that I can't do everything and can end up so paralysed that I risk doing nothing, does that make me somehow a lesser person?  I hope not.

    If I choose not to make some quick response, some knee-jerk reaction, am I colluding with the status quo?  Some would say so.

    So what do I do?

    I continue to pray with countless others for the continued expression of God's Kingdom/Kindom/Commonwealth/Common Wheal (sp?) or whatever people want to call it on earth.

    I continue to practice forgiveness, even when it's hard, even when I am deeply wounded by words, actions or attitudes.

    I continue to be grateful for what is good, to express that even in small ways for small things.

    I choose hope, and love, and faith... and laughter, and kitty cats, and roses...

    Life is not existence, life is a choice... and whether my words are many or few, whether I get it right or wrong or somewhere in between, I do my best to choose life.

    Pray for the world... think global, act local:

    God of all places, may your kingdom come, and may I play my part, however small, in its expression.

  • Remembering...

    As is normal for me on a Friday, I am starting to think about the service to take place a week on Sunday, which will focus on the fifth "I AM" saying of Jesus, "I AM the resurrection and the life".

    Various thoughts are running through my head, among theml something I wrote a little over seven years ago from the perspective of Lazarus.  I've decided not to re-use this poem/reflection/thing in the service I'll be leading, but I do think that it offers some potential for reflection so is worth sharing again.

    Rather than posting the link, here it is in its entirety...


    I feel so weak, so ill – I ache all over and I so long to be well again.

    I feel so powerless –

    No strength to eat or drink, yet my mouth is dry

    I am uncomfortable but I cannot summon the energy to move

    When will I be well?

    I long to be well again, to find my strength renewed, to be made whole and clean and free like all those others…

    I call out for help… and nothing happens

    I cry for healing… and there is silence

    I wait for his coming… and no one comes

    No reply…



    I am weaker still, and weaker…

    Those around grow pale and anxious

    Helpless and fearful

    The light dims

    The effort to breath ceases

    Release comes as I slip into death’s embrace.


    All is still

    No pain

    No thoughts

    No pressures



    The tomb is still and quiet


    Days pass – or is it eternity?

    Time is no more






    Silence and stillness


    A voice breaks the silence

    Crashes through the stillness

    ‘Lazarus, come out!’


    Not a request.

    A command to be obeyed cuts through the stillness

    Shatters the silence

    Breaks through the peace

    And ends the rest.


    I am compelled to action


    Nerve and sinew quicken

    Lungs fill with the stale, dank air of the tomb

    Forced to my feet


    I stand


    Following the voice I cannot see –

    My face veiled -

    My body bound in cloths

    Stumbles towards the sound,

    Feels the heat of the living world,

    Smells the scent of life,

    Inhales clean, vibrant air.


    Voices, deafeningly loud, fill my ears

    Hands reach to tug away the cloth from my face

    Arms steady my unsteadiness


    My eyes, dazzled by the brightness


    And see

    His face


    Amidst the noise,

    The frenetic activity,

    The smells

    Is stillness.



    They guide me home

    To the place where I died

    And there everything is reversed






    Clung to


    Spoken over and about







    Death must be faced again


    But first,

    Life must be resumed


    Is now the time to live differently?

    To do those things I didn’t do before?

    To be more spiritual? More holy?

    Is it a ‘second chance’?


    And must I die again?

    And must I live again?

    And must I pass though the gateway to life

    That is the pathway of death?


    Must I do?

    Must I be?



    Don’t cling to me!

    I am not who or what I was –

    I am not yet what I shall become


    This new life…

    This old life restarted…

    This new expectation…

    This new knowledge of what lies beyond now…

    This status as object of curiosity…

    This being a miracle, no of being a sign

    Is scary, confusing, bewildering


    I had adapted -

    Well almost -

    To death;

    And now I must live

    Give me space and time to adjust


    [time passes]


    It is good to be here tonight with those I love best

    Martha’s cooking tastes so good –

    Did I ever appreciate the subtle flavours and textures she labours over each day?

    Mary’s perfume fills the air –

    Had I ever grasped the depth of love she has for Jesus, the risks she takes to express it?

    And Jesus, eating, talking, enjoying, challenging

    Does he know how lost, alone and abandoned I felt when I called and he never came?

    Can I ever comprehend why having seemingly left me to die he drew me back to life?


    I must face death again –

    Not today, but one day


    I have no way of knowing how it feel

    How it will come

    Who will care for me

    Wash me

    Wrap me

    Bury me


    But now I no longer fear

    For death is as birth

    A transition point in life


    Beyond that final grave a voice will call

    ‘Lazarus, come out!’

    And I will stand and walk

    Not back to this life

    But, finally free, into the life of eternity…