Sunday, September 30, 2007
Why do so many people find church irrelevant and boring,(and the pub soo much more interesting)? This is a question which has been asked in Christian circles a lot lately and with good reason. It appears that congregations are depleting as the older generation die and the younger generations (who used to replace the church going population), no longer see Christianity as relevant to them. In our visual, excitement and pleasure driven culture, church is hardly the kind of experience modern people would enjoy....or is it?
One of the things which I think most people mourn the loss of is true community. They like the trappings of modern life provided by wealth and material possessions, but dislike the insularity of a day to day existence which focusses on working long hours and caring for the immediate family. Gone are the days when the community knew one another and helped one another. This is why 'feel-good' drama on TV is so popular aand also why 'not so feel-good drama' such as soaps are so important to so many. They provide the gossip (albeit rather dramatic and over exaggerated) and community feel which used to be a part of real life.
It is my opinion that churches can and should be providing this sense of community which is so lacking. It is a community which is clustered around the person of Jesus. He is to be worshipped by us and we should want to deepen our faith whilst we study the Bible, but we are also a church 'family' and should behave like one. All too often we focus on the worship and teaching which is such a central part of our faith but neglect the social contact which is so important to human beings and is a necessary part of their humanity. How many functional and loving families do you know who don't have fun together? But so often we see having fun as Christ's family as an irrelevance, not getiing on with living for Christ etc..Little wonder people don't find Christianity attractive.
Meeting together, sharing a coffee or a pizza, dropping into the pub, having an evening out at the snooker club, organising a girls night in or a bottle of wine around a good film may seem 'secular' but they provide much needed chill out time. They can also open doors to deeper conversations. Community is about caring and spending time with one another. If we don't, then we'll never get to a point when we can work effectively as a team when it really matters. Mission and evangelism is something that works best when meaningful relationships have been created.
Let's try being s REAL Christ lead community. One who cares for one another, one who reaches out to others and one who enjoys being together whether what we are doing is meaningful theologically or just being happy with one another. Be hospitable, love others for themselves and not what they can bring to the church and don't be surprised when they begin to ask what it is that is different about the church because they want to be part of it..
Friday, September 28, 2007
We have also started rehearsing the latest church play, a pantomime version of Moses no less!! As usual I get to write and direct it, so I've cast myself as narrator so that I don't have to add line learning to the many other jobs it will create! Rehearsals have so far been great fun and as ever, bring people together in a unique way...can't beat a bit of dramatic bonding!!!
Friday, August 03, 2007
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
We are all off on our Parish Weekend away soon. The speaker is none other than Adrian Plass of whom I am a MASSIVE fan!!! I hope the rest of the church get his jokes and therefore the point of what he is saying as he is actually very astute indeed.
I have always gained a huge amount from his writing because it really exposes the stuff in the church which is unecessary (that which is of our own making and not of Gods). Sadly, there are alot of aspects of the wider church which fall into this category. Why? I have observed that many are only there because congregations feels safe and secure with them in place and not because they actually help anyone to grow spiritually. In fact, I think some of the traditions and practices which we hang on to so dearly can get in the way of spiritual growth.
I am not just talking about 'Traditional Anglicanism' or traditional practices in an old fashioned sense, but am equally concerned about the reliance I have seen by more modern forms of church on a particular way of worship, version of the Bible or type of musical expression to be allowed or encouraged.
I for one believe that it is not 'how' we worship God which counts, (each of us are individuals and will express ourselves differently,) but why. Each of us must be focussing on God amd our relationship with him when we worship. In simple terms it is what goes on on the inside that really matters.
Hopefully the spiritual experience of our chuch this weekend will be edifying to God, meaningful to each individual and tangible evidence of true communion with one another.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Is there anybody there???
It appears from my cluster map at the bottom of the page that a small but select (?)group of people out there in cyberspace are reading this blog! This surprised me and spooks me just a little.
Who are they?
Are they human? (Sorry I've been watching too much Dr. Who!)
Do I already know them?
Will they ever leave a comment????
This last question is the most interesting. So far I have had one viewer who has taken the plunge...anyone else???
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Pictures to follow....
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Saturday, January 13, 2007
The whole family has been out church cleaning this morning. I must admit it is an event I've ducked out of at times in the past when I've had 'more important' things to do... However something I read on another blog essentially sums up how I now feel about prioritising the less glamorous jobs in church and this one in particular.
"When he became Bishop of Birmingham (or Bishop FOR Birmingham, as he preferred to call it)John Sentamu (now Archbishop of York) made a big deal of replacing the part of the service where he should have gone and sat on his "throne" with a ceremony in which he washed the feet of 12 local schoolchildren, gave each of them a rather splendid theatrical crown to wear, and got THEM to sit on the throne one by one. In his sermon, he said that he believed in servant leadership - and I can vouch for the fact that even when he wasa lowly Vicar he was to be seen just as often as anyone else mopping the floor or washing the dishes. He never allowed the music group or any other "profile" ministry group to escape their turn on the cleaning rota. If you won't clean for the Church, he said, you have no right to minister to them."
This ties in with an extract from one of my all time favourite bible passages: Philippians 2
" Have this in your mind, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, didn't consider it robbery to be equal with God but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant."
Cleaning may not be glamorous but it is a servant ministry and what could be better than emulating Jesus in a small way by taking the form of a servant? That said it was also great fun. We had a great laugh and some fabulous conversations whilst we got on and did the necessary....next time I certainly won't seen it as a chore but as a privilege!
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
You scored as Chalcedon compliant. You are Chalcedon compliant. Congratulations, you're not a heretic. You believe that Jesus is truly God and truly man and like us in every respect, apart from sin. Officially approved in 451.
Are you a heretic?
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Well, that's a relief!!!! Burning at the stake isn't my preferred option for shuffling off this mortal coil!!!