Showing posts from November, 2014

Wakey, Wakey (Again)

This is a little piece of doggerel I wrote for the beginning of Advent, way back in 2008. As such it was actually based on the lectionary reading from the Gospel for that week,  the parable of the Wise Bridesmaids in Matthew 25 and so for those with LOCD (liturgical obsessive compulsive disorder) it is actually over a year late... But we used it in communion this morning as we were exploring the theme of Wakeful Watching and Waiting.
Wakey, wakey
Rise and shine
It’s Advent
The season of coming to…
Him coming to us…
Us coming to him.
Getting ready for the big day.
The time of remembering what is yet to come
And preparing for what has already arrived.
Eternity breaking into time.
Watch out…
Time ticks by
to that point when it shall be no more.
Only seconds to midnight…
Trim your wicks, not just the tree,
So you might see.
Just you wait. David A. Campton © 2008

Advent 1: The Candle of Hope

I noticed from my hit counter that quite a few people have been rootling around in the VM archives to find an appropriate Candle-Lighting Liturgy for this year... Some even trying to find something for tomorrow, proving that I am not, contrary to popular opinion, the worst organised person in the western world... I haven't published anything in advance for Advent this year because I have been a bit distracted over recent months (hence the lack of posts in general), and am largely making use of someone else's hard work this year, namely Rev. Mary Whitson, who produced them for the Canadian Presbyterian Church's World Service & Development Department... You can find the original here (and leave a donation as a thankyou)... But below is the adapted version we are going to be using tomorrow morning:

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.
"The LORD is my portion," says m…

20 Thoughts for Thanksgiving (and any other day for that matter)

After having been introduced to the phenomenon of Kid President by my #1 son, here is one of my favourite pep talks by him... It starts with "Thank you" so I thought it was appropriate for today...  but personally my favourite is No.5...

Anyway... enjoy... And thanks to all of you who have shown kindness to me and mine over this past year, particularly those of you across the pond who are keeping an eye on my aforementioned son...


Pour your Spirit upon us

Just back from a really stimulating day with other chaplains at the Clinical Pastoral Education Retreat to Dromantine. It fell to our group to lead worship at the beginning and for it I wrote the following responsive prayer based on the first part of Isaiah 61 (I came home to discover that Stocki had referred to the latter part of the same chapter in his Surmise today promoting the upcoming Four Corners Festival - it is a truly inspiring chapter of scripture... perhaps that is why Jesus chose to read it to his home Synagogue in Nazareth.) I may have written it for a group of chaplains, but, if the Pope is correct in defining the contemporary church as a "field hospital" for those wounded in the world (a concept which we explored today) then it is an appropriate prayer for all those who are part of the church...
Sovereign Lord pour your Spirit upon us, Anoint us to bring good news to the poor and the powerlessWherever we may encounter them on our journeys:
Send us out to bring …

Harmony, Melody and Musical Musings

Harmony requires that people sing slightly different tunes. Not discordant ones, but different.  In the Methodist Church we pride ourselves on our singing. "Methodism was born in song" we claim... but these days most of the the singing that goes on is in unison... Slowly the four part harmonies that used to characterise some classic Wesleyan hymns are being forgotten even more rapidly than the wider corpus of Wesley's hymns...
And what is true musically is at times true theologically. There is a desire for us all not just to sing from the same hymnbook, but to sing the same parts in a very small range of songs. People singing different tunes or introducing different songs can be made to feel very unwelcome in certain parts of the church... and I am not specifically talking about the Methodist Church, but we are as guilty as any...
However, there is a limit... I was in a church recently where when it came to the chorus, which in our church involves myself and maybe one o…

More Messy Women (and Messy Men) Please

Today, Monday 17th  November, the final piece of legislation allowing women to be appointed as bishops is due to make its way through the General Synod of the Church of England. I generally don't comment on the goings on in sister denominations unless something so outrageous happens that I drop my guard and have pressed the "publish" button before engaging the "grace" circuit in my brain... So I am not going to make any comment except those that might be inferred in the light of the superb event in the Agape Centre on Friday past, entitled A Night with Messy Women.
In this Wendy Johnston recited from memory the family tree of Jesus in Matthew chapter one, before going on to recite the stories of the 5 women cited in that story... all of whom, in the eyes of established Jewish social and religious circles would have been even further down the social scale than "normal" Jewish women... either because of dubious sexual morals (ignoring the dubious sexual …

Half-Baked Reflections on the Cake Case

Please note that all that follows, as always, are my personal rambling reflections on this complicated case, and not the position of any other committee, organisation or group to which I belong/ed.

For a couple of months the British media seemed to be fuelled by copious amounts of cake, as Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood put a battery of amateur bakers through their paces on the Great British Bake-Off. It was, on the whole, good spirited stuff, except when Northern Ireland competitor Iain Watters'Baked Alaska melted, and Iain himself went into melt-down, followed in due course by huge swathes of the Great British public… I did think, at the time, that there was a certain irony in a Northern Irish baker being at the centre of this ridiculously over-hyped story, given that, in the background another Northern Irish cake-based controversy was in the making. I’m sure that most of you know the story by now, but for those who don’t, back in May Gareth Lee, of QueerSpace went into a branch of…