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Showing posts from February, 2010

It's Not Just Biscuits...

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A few years ago I bought Stephen Cottrell's book "I Thirst" to study over Lent (indeed I think it was originally written as the Archbishop of Canterbury's official Lent book), but it got supplanted by something else... It came to mind again over the past week as I was thinking of what I would read this year, but I couldn't find it... It's not for me to point the finger at anyone in particular but it may have been borrowed by a certain female in this household... and I don't think that the cat can manage to read...
Anyway, I've got another book on the boil now... But I presume that Maggie Dawn is reading or has read (and suitably indexed) Stephen Cottrell's book, given that her blog today includes the following quote:
“Lent is supposed to be a time when we review our spiritual life, think again about what it means to be a follower of Christ, reset the compass of our discipleship and prepare ourselves to celebrate the Easter festival. But often we …

Putting Two Coffins Together?

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A number of years ago when talk of a covenant between the Methodist Church in Ireland and the (Anglican/Episcopal) Church of Ireland was first mooted, a friend said on the floor of conference that we should remember that "Putting two coffins together doesn't automatically produce a resurrection." He was almost assaulted later by another colleague who believed that such a statement was "anti-ecumenical", although my friend has clearly demonstrated by his actions before and since that he is deeply commited to practical ecumenism.
His statement was by no means original (I read something similar written in a somewhat sneering fashion by "new church" leader Gerald Coates, at the height of an earlier frenzy of ecumenical endeavours), but it is true...
Personally I believe that there is one church (with many flavours), and agree with the ecumenical analysis first articulated 100 years ago at the Edinburgh World Missionary Conference and succinctly summed up l…

Losing it for Lent

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I'm not strong on personal discipline. Indeed, in many ways my personal life (including my spiritual discipline) is a shambling mess. Some people may be shocked at a Methodist minister saying that (indeed I AM a disgrace to the memory of our methodical founder John Wesley)... others who know me personally will know that I am merely being honest. The chaos of my life is a relatively creative chaos (most of the time), but it is also exhausting and and unhealthy, physically, mentally and spiritually. So I continually aspire to some sort of order in the midst of chaos... I've given up on those who offer quick-fix, self-help solutions, but am increasingly inspired by those who advocate a re-examination of ancient spiritual practices as a means of bringing order out of chaos, including Brian McLaren in his recent book "Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practice" (the first in a whole series I am led to believe).
As I have said in the review of this book in th…

West Texas Wisdom

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Again, for various reasons I've been a bit lax in posting recently. I plan to post something more substantial tomorrow (bet you can't wait) but in the meantime, here's a little something that a friend and colleague sent me today. Given it is the week after Valentine's Day, when there has been much reflection on human and divine love, this statement by Butch Hancock, a a native of Lubbock in West Texas and a musician with a group called "The Flatlanders" is quite interesting:

"Life in Lubbock, Texas taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love."

In my experience, you don't have to travel as far as Texas to come across wisdom like that being expounded from pulpits...

Cheers

On the Airwaves...

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I haven't posted for a fortnight (two weeks for those of you on the other side of the Atlantic) as I have been a little busy (understatement) over the past few weeks with paperwork (I love January), funerals (it's the season) and preparing for a broadcast service last Sunday morning on Radio Ulster.

We only got asked about the broadcast mid January... Usually you get a couple of month's notice (didn't ask why they were running so late with their arrangements) but the fact that they were late in coming to us meant that they were a wee bit more lenient on the timeframe for getting the broadcast script finalised and approved. They generally like it a full 10 days ahead, but I actually only finished it lunchtime last Friday...

Saturday night we had the rehearsal then Sunday morning everone turned up more than an hour earlier for morning worship and we went out live at 10.15am. Until next week (13th February) you can still hear it through the BBC's listen again facility