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Showing posts from October, 2011

Earth Ball

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Ooops sorry. Been neglecting the blog a little lately (a trend I have noted among fellow bloggers too - has the blogging zeitgeist gone?). Keep forgetting even to post my promised Sunday Psalms... I promise I'll try harder in future... But for the moment here is a wee screen shot of an image I worked up for our Creation themed Cafe Church event last night... It is based on the prose poem “Earth Ball” by Olaf Skarsholt... Selah.

Do it for the Children...

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Normally when I’m doing a review of the week’s news on Downtown Radio's "Dawn Reflections" I’ll use a story that has been grabbing all the headlines or something suitably quirky. This week I focussed on neither… but rather a disturbing piece that I read earlier in the week. It concerned child sacrifice in some areas of Uganda, and there is a suggestion that this problem has developed because of an unholy alliance between emerging capitalist prosperity there and unscrupulous supposed witch doctors willing to kill, mutilate or take blood from a child in order to bring others wealth and good health, by burying the resulting fetishes around the building sites of new developments. According to official police figures, there have been about 25-30 cases of child sacrifice per year recently, but local pastors suggest that the figures are actually in the hundreds, with more than 900 cases yet to be investigated by the police because of corruption and a lack of resources. The sto…

Psalm for Harvest Sunday

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A short responsive psalm for us as a call to worship on Harvest Thanksgiving Sunday, and given that it was pouring with rain as I headed into church this morning the first line is an important remembrance that the rain we moan about is an important component of the fruitfulness of the land we live in:

You tend the land and water it
And the earth produces its abundance.
You crown each year with your bounty,
and our storehouses overflow with your goodness.
The mountain meadows are covered with flocks
and the valleys are filled with corn;
Your people celebrate your boundless grace
They shout for joy and sing.

from Psalm 65

Monument or Movement?

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What do the ruins of Coventry Cathedral, the Provincial Government Buildings in Christchurch, New Zealand, the island of Saint Helena and Preston Bus Station all have in common?
Well, apparently this week they have all been included in the World Monuments Fund's 2012 list of historic buildings in danger of loss… The ruins of Coventry Cathedral and Napoleon’s place of incarceration on St. Helena are at risk because of natural erosion, the Christchurch buildings have been endangered because of the earthquake earlier in the year, while Preston Bus Station is being threatened with demolition… It is one of 3 buildings on the list which are described as examples of British Brutalism, along with the Central Library in Birmingham, and the Heywood Gallery in the South Bank Centre in London… Frankly, I think that the only reason for keeping any of those 3 is as a warning to future generations of what NOT to do with thousands of tonnes of concrete.
This list is produced every year, and we’v…

Psalm for Sunday - Restore your Vineyard, Lord

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Oops... Just realised that I missed out on last week's Psalm for Sunday... Had one all ready for Back to Church Sunday as well... Never mind - I'll post it next year (bet you can't wait)! Anyway, today's one is taken from the Psalm in today's lectionary readings, which all focus on the image of the people of God as a vineyard planted and tended by God ("The Song of the Vineyard" Isaiah 5: 1-7 and "The Parable of the Tenants" Matthew 21: 33-46)... We used this as a Psalm of response after the Old Testament reading.  Restore us, O God Almighty; make your face shine upon us, so that we may be saved.You brought a vine out of Egypt; You cleared the ground for it and planted it. It took root and filled the land; The mountains were covered with its shade. But now you have broken down the walls of the vineyard so that all who pass by pick its grapes. Return to us, O God Almighty! Look down from heaven and see our plight! Watch over this vine, the plant y…

Rihanna Rumpus...

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One of the unexpected upshots of the unseasonably warm weather here (now sadly departed), is that events in a certain wheat field in rural county Down have made it onto the national and international news… It would never have happened had the late September weather here been its usual cold, wet self, but Rihanna’s disrobing and farmer, Alan Graham, stopping the filming of her pop video, has made it onto the front pages of papers worldwide, TV news programmes and radio discussions, whilst video clips have gone viral all over the internet. Was Mr. Graham too prudish? Is Rihanna, a good role model for young girls. Let's remember after all that this isn't the first time that her video's have got Rihanna into trouble. Is this a deliberate embrace of the policy, no publicity is bad publicity? Meanwhile, more seriously, but with much less coverage (no intended irony in my choice of words there), in Saudi Arabia, another woman, called Shema, was sentenced to 10 lashes for breaking…