Showing posts from November, 2006

Can't un-learn!

Having read: and really enjoyed it, thought it was nicely written, down to earth style with wit, humour and warmth, accessible, a few things i wouldn't agree with regarding the way he thinks about details of Christian belief, but overall definitely a good to very good book. I thought i would try: Now i can't decide whether i like this or not, it has the same style, but seems to be trying to be clever in a more self-conscious way and (i think) fails - particularly when it comes to Biblical Critique, the idea that the pentateuch and Job was all written by Moses seems to me to be a rather clueless approach to Biblical authorship (though i may well upset some folk by saying this). Anyway, with regards to the book, i still like much of the style, and there are sublime moments in the chapters, particularly the one headed simply 'Jesus', there are still bits to be enjoyed and savoured and there are moments where Miller's turn of phrase is perfect, and he says somethi

Yesterday's sermon

seemed to go down well, though i am not sure it's one of my best, at least written down - it seems to go better when i speak it, as a number of people mentioned how 'enthusiastic' i was, or even 'passionate' according to one member of the congregation... Christ the King (2006) Year B RCL Principal Readings King of All Today is the last Sunday of the Church’s year . Officially the Church year begins on Advent Sunday. But on this last Sunday of the year we have a theme to crown the year, indeed something which brings our focus back to the central belief of Christian faith. Today we celebrate the feast of Christ the King. So what is this feast? Why do we celebrate it? What difference does – indeed what difference should – it make? In a way it is a celebration that echoes Ascension Day, which marks the end of Eastertide. This long period that we mark as the Sundays after Trinity in the Prayer book and in our lectionary – we call ordinary t


Rumours is a weekly email list which sends stuff out about the readings for the next week. That sounds really boring, its not, it is funny, thought provoking and well worth getting, all you need to do is sign up and you will get Ralph Milton's thoughts for the week, a joke or two, a look at the Psalm for the week, some funny stories, and a variety of bits and bobs which are far more interesting than the usual blurb in the electronic mailbox! Here's his instructions for joining and leaving: To Subscribe: * Send an e-mail to: rumors-subscribe[at] * Don't put anything else in that e-mail To Unsubscribe: * Send an e-mail to: rumors-unsubscribe[at] * Don’t put anything else in that e-mail I've put [at] instead of the usual symbol to keep those ever present spambots from picking up the address easily... Thanks to moog for that tip... The other thing to remember is make sure your spam filters let rumours in! If you want to see a copy of rumo

Posada for advent

Posada is a tradition of taking figurines of Mary and Joseph home for a night over advent - we're trying it with the kids in our Church fellowship this year, but there is an electronic twist to the tradition being offered this year by Andii Bowsher over at Nouslife blog, sign up for a chance to take part in the first (as far as I know) e-posada ...

Christian Bloggers

Just been asked to join Christian Bloggers, worth a look at...

Greetings and thank you

My sitemeter registers very few details about who comes to this site (you will be glad to know) mainly only numbers, time you stayed and whereabouts you come from - and I'm always glad to see the diversity of visitors, and the different places you're visiting from. It's great to have people from all over the world who take some time to browse these thoughts, I've not travelled much, but I've learnt plenty from all the international friends and colleagues I've had over the years. So greetings to you all wherever you're from and thanks for stopping by. And if I've not had the chance to update things for a few days please do feel free to mooch around, there's plenty in the archives, even some pictures! Mi casa, si casa (or however you spell that!) Oh, and do leave a comment if you have a mo...

A quote

My 'Rural Theology Association' conference on Saturday was excellent, because it was all concerned with Mission... I know that 'Mission' is the in-word in British Christian circles at the moment, but there was a great reminder from the Bishop of Exeter who (quoting someone i can't remember, so anyone who can attribute this please let me know) said 'It's not that the Church of God has a mission, but that the God of Mission has a Church' Apologies if i got that wrong, but the gist of it is clear...

Busy again

Remember how i said in the post about the discipline of 'slowing' that i would probably be posting in a couple of weeks about how busy i am, well this is it. But i thought it worth posting about some of the stuff i've been caught up in doing because i had the interesting and valuable experience of going into the local primary school this morning (on top of visits, meetings etc as usual) and talking about 'death and funerals' with a group of ten year olds. It was interesting to observe how kids get a handle on death in a way that adults don't necessarily manage. They were concerned about what happens to someone when they died, and keen to share what had happened to grandad's or auntie's ashes after they were cremated or where so and so funeral's took place and what happened. I never ceased to be amazed with children's capacity to learn and to deal with things - of course for many the reality of death hasn't yet really 'come home'

More thoughts for this Sunday just gone

As part of our Sunday evening series on 'Jesus and....' - an attempt to get back to basics with looking at what Jesus said and did, i ended up covering for a poorly colleague who was unable to speak on 'Jesus and the Law'. It wasn't a subject i planned to speak on when i chose the titles for the series, in fact I thought that it would be an interesting talk to listen to - but as you'll see in the text below the fact i had to prepare this was quite rewarding in itself. Unfortunately because of other pressures i had to eat into time spent with my friend at Hook over the weekend, and with some of my time with my mum in Devon. In the end, though, i thought what was said came out OK, and the work it took to get it to this stage was very rewarding. Comments welcomed... Been a bit short of comments lately, so here is some incentive to get involved folks! Team Evening Worship Jesus and the Law Two things struck me in preparing this evening’s talk - firstl

Why is faith important?

or should that be 'why faith is important!' ? Well it's certainly not because of 'religion', or 'tradition', or beautiful churches, or singing hymns, or small groups, or even Christians - although all these things have a place in the tapestry of what it means to be a Christian. Following on from my thoughts in the 'labels' post below - it comes back to Jesus... So here's a sermon on the theme, from yesterday morning: Readings Hebrews 10.11-25 Mark 13.1-8 Jesus, holy and disturbing one Great honour to be invited as guest speaker, thank you to Chris for allowing his old Team-mate to come and be a part of worship here in Hook. Also something of a risk, as the most boring sermon I have ever heard in my life was a guest preacher at my college, who having been asked to preach specifically on one thing started on a different tack altogether and proceeded to disappear off for a very long time on a journey that very few of us managed to keep u

One enjoyable part of my weekend

There were lots of enjoyable parts to my trip away, but i enjoyed my Friday morning when i had the chance to meet with someone who reads my blog and who happens to be my mum's boss! To sit and talk about faith and theology for an hour or more was a real joy (some readers may be slightly bemused by this concept). As an elder (I think, apologies Henry if I've got this wrong) and part of the leadership/ministry team in an Independent Evangelical Church Henry has very different experience of church and church structures to myself, yet it was great to be able to talk about things which are important in faith and not feel there were ecclesiological barriers, more a concern about what it means to be and do Church for the benefit of our communities. Very refreshing. I also got a brief conversation with his son who has some exciting hopes for mission and ministry in the town of Exmouth, near where i grew up in Honiton - in fact we lived in Exmouth for a while! I hope this conversat

where was i?

Didn't have time to post before going away so some folk may have thought i disappeared off the face of the earth! Went off on Thursday to Devon, to see 'me dear ole mum' and to attend a Rural Theology Association Conference. Then on Saturday up to the outskirts of London to stay with a clergy friend who used to live in the very house i now live in, who is now Vicar of Hook in Surrey and to preach in his Parish on Sunday Morning at the two morning services... Then a dash back to Cambridgeshire on Sunday afternoon to speak at our Team Evening Worship service on the theme of 'Jesus and the Law' I suspect both sermons/talks will be posted here very soon. Very enjoyable time, though very tiring. Circumstances back here in the parish meant that i didn't get all my preparation done before going away, so had to take a laptop and books and get some writing done whilst on the move, as it were. My only disappointment is that the 'Big Blue Beastie' - ie my M

labels - who am i?

One of the things which attracted me to Brian McLaren's book 'Generous Orthodoxy' was the subtitle ' Why I Am a Missional, Evangelical, Post/Protestant, Liberal/Conservative, Mystical/Poetic, Biblical, Charismatic/Contemplative, Fundamentalist/Calvinist, Anabaptist/Anglican, Methodist, Catholic, Green, Incarnational, Depressed-yet-hopeful, Emergent, Unfinished Christian' I have had various times in my life when taking on a label (Charismatic, fundamentalist, Evangelical, Liberal, Catholic etc etc) was a way of giving myself an identity, usually expressed by what i wanted to disassociate myself from rather than what i actually believed. On the whole, though, my choice of labels has been a divisive action rather than a uniting one, an exclusive rather than an inclusive act. These days there is one label i won't compromise on, Christian, and the rest don't matter. If someone wants to know about what i mean when i say i am a Christian i won't resort to

Some thoughts on remembrance

I didn't want to post a Remembrance Sunday sermon again this year - but thought i would post my thoughts which i wrote for our local parish magazines to offer a little food for thought... Remembering Some would say I have a brain like a sieve, but my memory is pretty good, I think. The problem is that I try to keep too much in it. Like the cartoon of the little boy at school who raises his hand and says ‘please may I be excused, my brain is full’. So I have discovered an excellent way of helping me to do the things I need to do – lists. That may seem obvious to most people, but my character has never been one which likes lists, and it is only in the past couple of years I have discovered the joy of crossing things I’ve done off a list, and knowing that I have come back from shopping with everything I set out to get. And it is important that we write things down, so that we remember. Those who wrote down and kept the stories and prophecies, hymns, histories and te

So much to say

And no time to say it! Life has been a whirlwind of late, and i am very aware that blogging has dropped in my priority list, so apologies for those of you who do find anything of interest on this blog and have almost given up on me. i should be honest that pastoral situations in the Team have meant that my novel writing has gone out of the window pretty much, though i plan to bash out a few thousand words at the earliest opportunity... This past weekend was particularly busy due to Remembrance Sunday, not sure what the equivalents are of that worldwide - veteran's day in the US? We remember all those who have died in the conflicts of the 20th Century and up to the present day - civilians and service personnel - and we pray in the hope of peace. It can descend into a kind of unquestioning patriotic nostalgia fest if we don't take care over it and though i am very much a patriot and grateful for the freedoms we enjoy thanks to the sacrifices of many over the past years, I do

A busy week, an amazing evening

As you can see, posting hasn't happened this week - apologies to those of you who check regularly - i know who you are (actually, i don't, but some people from certain providers in certain countries come back regularly, i don't know exactly who though) It has been a busy week, with a poorly daughter as well, which has meant any time not taken up with Church business has been family time (which for a whole load of reasons has been good despite the illness of my much loved offspring). So, no novel writing happened, ho hum, and no blogging, ho hum once more. But here i am now burning to blog because i have just had a great evening in the company (along with a few hundred others) of show of hands , some overwhelmingly talented singer-songwriter-multiinstrumentalists from my part of the world (Devon, in the Westcountry of England) who were slick, incredibly musical, funny, and basically brilliant. They also had a support act previously mentioned on these pages called Martyn


forgot to add the bit about 'mind' in the sermon below, or rather it got edited out as i tried to format the post, its now been added to the post in italics... And whilst admitting boo-boos i just want to say that if i could edit out the spaces in 'which superhero are you' i would, but i don't seem to be able to find how they got in there in the first place, they don't seem to be in the html code...

ha ha ha

Sometimes you've got to do these tests just because they are fun.... Your results: You are Spider-Man Spider-Man 80% Superman 75% Robin 55% Green Lantern 55% Iron Man 55% Batman 50% Catwoman 45% Supergirl 40% Hulk 40% The Flash 40% Wonder Woman 30% You are intelligent, witty, a bit geeky and have great power and responsibility. Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

Today's sermon

I only got two responses to this morning's sermon, both from the same person - could we have shorter sermons please was the first thing and the second was that we need tradition because that's what people want at church I would have thought that was obvious by the hoards fighting to get in to our traditional services.... ahem So, thanks Gillian for the positive comment below, at least my thoughts may have done some good ;-) I will probably say more about this tradition stuff another time...

A sermon

I don't think anyone in my Parishes knows this blog exists, so i feel confident that posting this sermon the night before won't be giving any sneak previews... My offering for this week... 4 before Advent (2006) RCL Year B Principal Changes, Chances and keeping our focus I expect many of you have heard of the seven last words of Jesus from the cross – they form part of our Holy Week services as we think of the deeper meaning of Christ’s final thoughts – ‘Father forgive them’, ‘It is finished’ and other such phrases. Well there are the seven last words of the Church too – or at least according to one of my theological lecturers there are The seven last words of the Church – that is, the words that often come before the death of a Church – are this BUT WE’VE ALWAYS DONE IT THAT WAY I hear that quite a lot – there’s a variation on the theme in that if something is done once in the Anglican Church it’s an innovation, if it is done twice it’s a tradition. We are very

What's it all about?

Thanks to melodrameric for the comment on my last post - asking what the novel is all about. What can I say? I couldn't do deep (as offered by melodrameric in my last request for ideas) in a month, and the advice for us beginners is 'write what you know' so, guess what, its about a Vicar, who's a biker, and who writes. It's meant to be funny, bit of romance perhaps, bit of a reflection about this odd life that ministers are called to, but who knows, it's all coming out at random at the moment and like most things in my life it is unplanned and pretty well unprepared, i just want to have a go at it. Still stuck at 1000 words, not because of any kind of block, but because time is limited at the moment. Got an hour now, though, so need to get on with it... here we go

And We're Off

National Novel Writing Month has begun and i have made a start, a pitiful, vague and almost unreadable start, but a start nonetheless... so 1000 words down and 49000 to go - er um Don't expect to see a huge amount of me over the coming weeks... You can always email me, or leave a comment (which will then be emailed to me) or go and visit and hear my dulcet tones as i spout about all sorts of things but don't make much sense on our podcast over there... see ya