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  • Firm Foundations?!

    Alright so I *may* have done some of these characters myself (things like zimmer frames and wheelchairs can be quite intimidating to create from fabric/sewing) but we do now have a complete 'base layer' of figures on our banner.

    I'm looking forward to seeing what sewing lies ahead of me in the next week... it seems a fair exchange if others design and cut out the characters and then I (and maybe others who enjoy a bit of hand-sewing) stitch them in place.

    The clip-art on which the banner is based has another seven figures, so plenty to keep us all occupied over the rest of the summer, and I am genuinely intrigued and excited at the prospect of the completed article.

  • This summer's "must read" accessible Christian theological memoire...

    Between last night's insomnia, and an unplanned, but welcome, reading slot this afternoon, I read Vicky Beeching's memoir (her description) cover to cover in less than a day. 

    It is a courageous, gracious, generous, honest, vulnerable, taboo-breaking book.  It is largely autobiography/memoir but with a generous dollop of theology, church history and Bible study along the way.  It straddles to cultures - British (or English) and North American, and this is reflected in the choice of idiom.

    I started to write quite a long post about what had struck me - then deleted it all because whatever I wrote felt self-indulgent... Instead, I'd encourage you, whatever your faith, whatever your theology, whatever your sexuality, whatever your whatever, to read this book with an open mind and an open heart.  Parts of it are heartbreaking and shocking; parts of it a heartwarming and encouraging - above all it is a story that needs to be listened to, reflected on and allowed to challenge and change the hearts and minds of those who read it.

  • Summer Studies...

    Summer is usually the time I manage to do some reading, or at least reading that's not explicitly or directly linked to some form of worship prep.

    This summer I have set myself the challenge of reading three books...

    Growing Young by Kara Powell, Jake Mulder and Brad Griffin aims to help churches to engage, empower and enable younger people... although from a US context, it comes recommended from UK 'next generation' specialists, so I am hoping it will be helpful... the couple of chapters I've read (but need to re-read) seem very promising.

    Find Your Strongest Life  by Marcus Buckingham, is also from US context, and again comes highly recommended by those who have read it and whose opinions I value.  The subtitle, what the happiest and most successful women do differently, sounds like one of those utterly annoying motivational guides (and the cover design complete with man with cheesy smile doesn't help) but again, having skimmed my way through the first part (I need to read it properly) again it has promise, and the personality types quiz it uses proved surprisingly insightful.

    Undivided by Vicky Beeching, subtitled coming out, becoming whole and living free from shame, is something of a 'must read' for anyone seeking to learn more about the Vicky's story and the wider topic of LGBTQI people and Christianity.  I need to read this to learn and understand, and quite possibly to repent.

    A curious set of titles, but three books that promise much.  Having stated here that I'll read them, I make myself, in some small measure, accountable for so-doing.

  • Joseph ben Israel - A Quiz

    As a 'way in' to our service, we had a little quiz, undertaken in groups where we sat, on the life of Joseph. It proved very interesting (and I think it went down OK).  No Bibles or smart phones were allowed, but as I'm not going to post the answers, you, gentle reader, are free to look in a Bilbe or online!. (Apologies for formatting having fun and games with this platform!)

    Joseph ben Israel – A Quiz

    1. Who were Joseph’s father and mother?
    1. The Bible tells us that Joseph had eleven brothers and one (named) sister, listed here in alphabetical order. It would be a bit mean to ask you to sort the siblings into age order from oldest to youngest, but can you identify the first, eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth?




    Dinah (sister)











    1. How old does the Bible tell us Joseph was when he had the dreams that so angered his brothers?
    1. After Potiphar’s wife had Joseph thrown into prison, whose dreams did he interpret?
    1. How old does the Bible tell us Joseph was when entered the service of Pharaoh?
    1. What dreams did Joseph interpret for Pharaoh?
    1. In whose luggage did Joseph hide a silver cup, and why?
    2. What characteristics do you think Joseph had, both good and bad?
  • Summer Series 2018 - Questions to Ponder - Week 2 - No "I' in Team

    Sunday's services may have seen a rapid re-write of the sermon in the light of national and international news, but I retained the set of 'questions to ponder' about Joseph, so here they are, with apologies for formatting glitches in the upload...

    Questions to Ponder


    1. The story of Joseph and his siblings may prompt questions about ‘nature and nurture’.
      1. From what we know of his story, what factors do you think shaped the young/adolescent Joseph?
      2. How did his early experiences in Egypt affect him?
      3. Once he came to power, had he matured? If so how?
    1. Thinking about your own experience, how did you change as you moved from adolescence into adulthood, or, if appropriate, from young adulthood into middle age, etc.? What stayed the same? What enabled you to flourish?
    1. The story of Joseph’s family is full of terrible stories of dishonesty, selfishness, abuse of power, abusive sexual encounters and more. How do you feel about that? How does it compare with the ‘Sunday School’ version of the story? What additional insights might be gained from the taking the story as a whole?
    1. Redemption and reconciliation are found at the very end of this story. Are there areas of our own lives where these are needed? What will we do about it?
    1. Thinking about our own church, reluctance  is a greater factor than arrogance or boasting. How to we recognise people’s gifts and encourage them to exercise them, both allowing them to make mistakes and enabling them to flourish and mature?