Showing posts from March, 2009

What a week!

Busy, worthwhile, rewarding, hard work - all very appropriate descriptions of the past week. Again and again I am struck by the privilege of being here, and also recognising just how much there is to do. Admittedly, some of it is stuff I have chosen to do, but there is no end of things I could choose to do on top of what I am already doing, there is so much going on in these villages! One of the things I have chosen to do is to lead these Lent talks, some of which have taken quite a lot of time to prepare and put together, including this week! Text is available at New Kid Deep Stuff as always, and here is a taster, just in case you fancy a little bit of Theology to keep you thinking.... Lent 2009: The Apostle’s Creed Session 4 I believe in Jesus part 2 I want to begin tonight’s thoughts by restating a couple of things which I perhaps didn’t make completely clear last week. I have spent some time thinking about the nature of these evenings and some of the discussions that have co

Sunshine state & being looked after

Thursday was a good day. After Morning Prayer at Shute Church I went down to the seashore at Seaton and sat on the beach with my latest addiction ( handpresso portable espresso set ), my notes for my talk and the sun and sea. A couple of hours later my first revisions were made, and having driven to the beach via some of the beautiful rolling valleys of the Coly river and Umbourne brook, I drove home via the Axe Estuary and spent the rest of the aftenoon tidying up the talk and making various phone calls and doing admin (with the occasional foray into our lovely garden for a quick coffee and a bit of photosynthesis). I then led the evening session, the next step of our Lent course, which brought about some very interesting conversations. Friday was less good, still beautiful and I would have loved to be outside making the most of my day off, but had to try to get to grips with seriously overdue expenses which are causing us some financial concerns at the moment. It is all entirely

Apostle's Creed part three!

I Believe, part 3 Part Three comes with another confession, as well as the opener! I wrote much of the substance of this talk for Greenbelt Arts Festival a few years back, then adapted it for a previous series of Creed talks in the Papworth Team Ministry and for an evensong at Emmanuel College Cambridge (MP3 of that talk here ). So, this talk is based on previously published talks, though it has been amended for this set of talks (which took a few hours in itself :-) ) Lent 2009: The Apostle’s Creed Session 3 I believe in Jesus part 1 I have to begin with a confession – that this evening is probably the reason I wanted to do this series of talks on the Creed in the first place. Tonight’s thoughts come under the general theme of ‘Incarnational Theology’ – and it is Incarnational Theology that made me truly fall in love with Theology in the first place! It was in studying the early Creeds and particularly why the Church said what it did about Jesus, that I really began to grasp th

Mission Community thinking

I mentioned in a previous post that I had been on a helpful day thinking about 'Moving On with your Mission Community' - a day of considering this new category of parish organisation in the Diocese of Exeter . Mission Communities are groups of parishes, as in our case, or even single parishes working with a focus on shared ministry, and in restating and reconsidering our Mission objectives in the context of the local church. For this group of parishes which I am privileged enough to lead that means reconsidering the way we work together, refocussing on our calling to reach out to those beyond the Church, pooling resources where appropriate whilst still working to maintain the particular context of each Church fellowship. In the case of these five Devon villages that means working with the unique makeup of each Church and community, not trying to subsume them into a homogenous lump, but using the shared identity of a Mission Community to support the individual characteristics

So very, very true

Your Thinking is Abstract and Random You are flexible, adaptable, and creative. There's many ways that you can learn - and you're up for any of them. You relate well to other people, and you do well working in groups. You can help people communicate together and work with each other's strengths. You don't work well with people who are competitive or adversarial. You prefer to work toward a common goal... not toward conflicting goals. What Kind of Thinker Are You?

This week's sermon

This week's sermon - and yes, some of you will have read some of this before as it is a rewrite from a few years back! No point in letting my old jokes go to waste... Lent 3 (2009) Year B RCL Principal Exodus 20.1-17 1 Corinthians 1.18-25 John 2.13-22 Angry Christians I have an excuse this morning to tell my favourite nun joke, the excuse being the readings for today, I hope you will make the connection, otherwise this is just a blatant excuse to tell a joke at the start of the sermon…. Two nuns are driving through Transylvania when a vampire jumps on the car. The nun whose driving turns to her companion and says ‘what do I do?’ the second nun says ‘show him your cross, sister’ [more]

Busy - not stressed!

Looking back over various posts, twitters, fb updates and all the integrated social media stuff I do I am slightly concerned that I give the impression that I am over-busy.... Yes, I am busy, and keen to let people know what ministers do, and that we have plenty that keeps us occupied, but I realise that I am implying by my postings that I am stressed out and overworked. I'm not. I have days where I work ridiculous hours, I admit, when from getting up in the morning to getting to bed late I seem to be doing stuff for Church. But I also have days where I spend a lot of time at home, I get to do some reading, be with my wife and family, get a bit of admin done (a chore but not too painful) and have the evening at home in front of the telly, or whatever. I try to get some balance in my life, and I am enjoying the place I am and the ministry i have the privilege to exercise a huge amount. There are also some significantly rewarding parts to the role which I perform, people who mak

About last night :-)

As promised, the text of last night's talk... There are a couple of spots where the grammar might not be all that it should, so if there is anything hard to understand it's likely to be my writing rather than your reading that is at fault, apologies, I hope it makes sense overall.... Lent 2009: The Apostle’s Creed Session 2 I believe in God I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I hope those of you who were here have recovered from last week’s excursion as we grappled with some major philosophical concepts and theological idea in our short time together. I realise that a lot of last week’s session involved me talking to you and leaving you with lots of ideas and questions which there wasn’t a huge amount of space to discuss, so I will encourage you to interact a little more this week – make the most of it though, it may not happen again…. I was intrigued whilst doing some research for this evening’s talk to read a reformed theologian’s reflections

Quite a week

I have had in the back of my mind to blog for the past few days, but sitting down and committing thoughts to paper, or ether, has been an elusive process for me. Thank you for birthday wishes, it was a very good weekend with some pleasant surprises - particularly some of the friend's lovely wife invited for the celebrations. Good party on Saturday night, the local pub did us proud, with a smaller, very pleasant, meal out together at a pub on the blustery seafront at Lyme Regis on Sunday. I can recommend the Harbour inn (apart from slightly grumpy restaurant manager, but I think Maitre D'Hotel's are meant to be like that, tradition or an old charter or something). Monday saw a day 'conference' on the title of 'Moving On With Your Mission Community' to which I went (late, due to Assembly commitments with the local school) with two 'Lay Leaders' from the local Churches. It was a day which talked about the difficulties and joys of learning to work i

Celebrate good times, come on

Today is my fortieth birthday and I am enjoying a day with the family followed by a party at a local hostelry with friends new and old. My wife hasn't told me who is coming, so I am looking forward to seeing who she has invited. I do know some Cambridge friends are coming so I am very excited! But I must say, the prospect of a day with the family is the most exciting thing.... The children are high as kites, and seem to be enjoying daddy's birthday as much as me...I know they are looking forward to playing with the scalectrix I got as much as I am! So I doubt I will write much more today. Two things that have struck me, one is that this social networking business can really make you feel special, the number of birthday wishes I have received is quite overwhelming. Secondly, if a person is judged by the quality of their friends, then I must be pretty incredible :-) Enjoy your weekend!

Believing & belonging

This evening saw the start of our Lent series of talks, for which I have prepared talks on various aspects of the Creed. The audience/congregation were very good, they engaged with the material and, I hope, got something from the evening. I was somewhat concerned about the format, ie that I spoke to/at the group then gave them some time to talk about the issues raised amongst themselves, and I am sure that some would have preferred more discussion, but for the purposes of this evening I wanted to throw some ideas out and start a process that may well continue in a different way in weeks to come. So here is the introduction to this week's thoughts, the theme being the Creed! I believe Congratulations on making it to the first of our talks for this Lenten period as we grapple with the Apostle’s Creed. As it was my suggestion that we follow this series over these five weeks it is also my responsibility to say why I think, or even ‘I believe’, this is a good idea, and what I hope

Been Thinking

The title of this post is quite a lot to do with what's been going on since I last posted! I've not really been up to ambling around the blogsphere, mainly because I have not had much time when I've not been occupied and when I have had time I have taken it to think, chill, pray, read and be with family. Not a bad use of my spare minutes! But blogging and most other things online have been rather neglected. Over the past few weeks I have been finding the same question come up again - why do we do this? By which I mean "why do we do x or y in the church?", "why are things the way they are?", particularly with regards to structures and traditions within the church. As part of this I have been putting together some articles for the Parish Mag (called the Parishes Paper, which goes out to the Five Alive Mission Community villages), the first of which can be found here , I have also found myself in various situations discussing the reasons we do things