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Showing posts from June, 2014

Grand Plans & Ordinary Living

Grand plans and ordinary living.These are the two things that have struck me the most over the last month or so.I have had the delight of being in annual General Church Meetings, reading reports of the many and varied different groups that the churches have.Reading the highlights, hearing the profound stories that go with them, and at the same time the ordinariness of what happens week by week, almost unnoticed apart from by those who engage.
If, we ever set out all of these activities as a Grand Plan for any church right from the beginning, I am sure we would have been told amongst many other comments you can imagine, ‘That’s too adventurous … That’s a bit risky, what if no one turns up … Just who do you think would be willing to give up their time for this, or that …?’ Yet, we do.And they continue to be valuable expressions of our discipleship, activities concerned with our mission and ministry.
These Annual meetings offer us an opportunity to review the year and the life of the Churc…

Jars of clay in Blackpool?

I spent three days last week in Blackpool, attending the Anglican Missioners’ Conference.   We were four Methodist Mission Enablers, with a couple from the Church of Scotland, and about sixty Diocesan and Deanery Missioners from the Church of England.  Amongst others we heard from George Ling, of the Church Army, author of the recent report ‘From Anecdote to Evidence’, and Phil Potter, the new national Missioner for Fresh Expressions of Church, both offering a mixture of challenge and encouragement in the task of shaping the church to be relevant and effective in today’s culture. A word Phil used often, supported by George’s statistics, was ‘blend’.  He spoke of the need to move on from a distinction between, on the one hand, ‘inherited’ or ‘traditional’ ways of being church , and, on the other, new, or ‘fresh’ ways, a distinction where the models seem to oppose each other.  Rather, we need to strive for a blending, where those doing things in new ways don’t lose touch with the wider …

Listen carefully..... Reflections of a duty minister

One of the joys of ministry is the diverse and rich range of conversations one has during a week.
Over the last seven days I’ve spoken to someone just back from visiting Pakistan, and another person who hasn’t stepped outside her home in months.
I’ve talked with an elderly lady in preparation for her husband’s funeral, and a young mum preparing for her daughter’s baptism, both conversations evidencing the complexity of human relationships.
I’ve been part of a meeting considering the future of a church which meets in a listed building and is struggling to fund the maintenance, and in another heard of a new fellowship forming around a kitchen table.
I’ve visited a lady in hospital showing great courage in the face of a scary diagnosis, and a gentleman whose fortitude in the light of major disability is amazing.
Today I’m going around the shops local to one of our churches, taking the church’s offer to pray for the concerns of shopkeepers and customers, and later will be meeting with pe…