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  • Just for fun...

    This has done the rounds a few times, and I may have posted ithere before, but it's worth sharing ... especially to those of us whose cats keep us humble!!

    Adam and Eve said, "Lord, when we were in the garden, you walked with us every day. Now we do not see you anymore. We are lonesome here and it is difficult for us to remember how much you love us."

    And God said, "No problem! I will create a companion for you that will be with you forever and who will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you will love me even when you cannot see me. Regardless of how selfish or childish or unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourselves."

    And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam and Eve. And it was a good animal. And God was pleased.

    And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and Eve and he wagged his tail.

    And Adam said, "Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and I cannot think of a name for this new animal."

    And God said, "No problem. Because I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him DOG."

    And Dog lived with Adam and Eve and was a companion to them and loved them. And they were comforted.
    And God was pleased. And Dog was content and wagged his tail.

    After a while, it came to pass that an angel came to the Lord and said, "Lord, Adam and Eve have become filled with pride. They strut and preen like peacocks and they believe they are worthy of adoration. Dog has indeed taught them that they are loved, but perhaps too well."

    And God said, "No problem! I will create for them a companion who will be with them forever and who will see them as they are. The companion will remind them of their limitations, so they will know that they are not always worthy of adoration."

    And God created CAT to be a companion to Adam and Eve.

    And Cat would not obey them. And when Adam and Eve gazed into Cat's eyes, they were reminded that they were not the supreme beings. And Adam and Eve learned humility.

    And they were greatly improved.

    And God was pleased. And Dog was happy.

    And Cat didn't care one way or the other.


  • "Mothers' Day" Docu-drama

    Last night I watched the ninety minute docu-drama for which this is the trailer...

    The date, 20th March 1993, is one of those etched in my memory.  Warrington had become my 'adopted home town' the place I assumed I'd spend the rest of my life (got that one wrong!), a people I had come to love and a delightfully obscure northern market town that no-one much had heard of.  Then, on one day, and for a few weeks afterwards, that all changed.

    Quarter of a century on, this docu-drama explores aspects of the story through theeys of two couples, the Parrys, whose son, Jonathan, died as a result of his injuries, and the McHugh family in Dublin, moved by these events to question their own position and to campaign for peace.

    It's not an easy watch, and for anyone who lived in Warringon, Belfast or Dublin around that time there will have been strong emotions, I'm sure.  It was decidedly strange, watching the cut-in newsreel to see a face I recognised... a man who was an 'altar server' at the Anglican church where I was a GB leader.  I wondered where he is now, and how life has worked out for him.

    I thought of the children I knew from Irish and English backgrounds whose lives were directly or indirectly affected by those events.  I thought of the friends with whom I'd spent that day enjoying ourselves in Manchester... and of the reality that a week earlier or later I'd have been there.

    If someone had told me back then that in the next quarter of a century I would make homes for myself in Manchester, in Leicestershire and in Glasgow, that I would leave my 'fishing nets' to become a 'minister of the Gospel', that I would lose any real sense of rootedness yet discover a sense of global citizenship, I'd probably have thought they were bonkers.

    At the moment, Warrington is still the place where I have lived the longest (11 years) and in a few weeks Glasgow will move into second place (because I lived in two distinct places in Northamptonshire, one for four years, one for nine).

    Since that date there have been many other defining moments in my life - some of great joy, others of deep sadness - all of which contribute to the person I am.  Overall, I was grateful for the opportunity to be reminded of, and to reflect on, the events in Warrington, and impact that was made by those most closely involved who made the choices they did.

  • A Good Morning marking our New Beginnings

    The best bits about church this morning...

    People Stuff:
    * Three young adults leading communion, reflecting the diversity of our church... gay and straight, white and non-white, female and male
    * Commissioning lots of people who serve our church week by week
    * Visitors from overseas and nearby

    Practical stuff:
    * Needed more chairs
    * Ran out of communion glasses

    Holy and Spiritual stuff:
    * The sense of community
    * The wonderful music and choir-led moments
    * The sense of affirmation and commitment expressed
    * The sense of being in the presence of a God who welcomes everyone

    ♫ ♫ Take, oh Take me as I am,
    Summon our what I shall be
    Set your seal upon my heart
    And live in me... ♫ ♫


    I love 'my' church, and am very privileged to be part of it.  Celebrating, affirming and encouraging the diversity that makes us who we are is challenging and sometimes frustrating... but the joys always outweigh the struggles, and I delight in daring to think that God delights in us.