As today is Pentecost, I thought it would be appropriate to think about the Holy Spirit. For many years I have had a bicycle that I have been meaning to fix. It started off living in our shed, but as the years passed the space was needed for other things and the bicycle found its … Continue reading The Day of Pentecost had Come
“I’m not sure what I believe.” There was a pause and I assured her that this was okay. She went on, “I mean, we have been taught about God in church but we have been taught all this other stuff in school that makes sense too. Evolution makes sense. So, I don’t know if I believe in God or not.” I could tell she was nervous saying this and other faces suggested they were interested to see and hear my response. Again, I assured her that this was alright. I appreciated her honesty and I think it’s better that we are honest about what we believe than to pretend. One after another the group all backtracked on their previous answers. It was liberating.
This week has been unusual to say the least. The world as we have known it has altered. So, today we can and should observe. Like others, I fear for our little church community, but I hold this small glimmer of hope. When I look at that hope it appears quite beautiful. I think that hope may just be the Spirit of God. "Be still and know that I am God." ~ Psalm 46:10
Over the past few weeks a couple of events have been on my mind (Holocaust Memorial Day & a planned UK Tour by evangelist Franklin Graham). They are completely unrelated and yet both leave me with the resounding message of the importance of loving our neighbours, of not 'othering' those who are different from ourselves.
There is a fairly common expression of Christian relationships that speaks of three dimensions - Up to God, In to the church, and Out to the unbelieving world. I think this provides a useful summary of Christian community which I hope to unpack in future posts; but I have come to realise at least one axis is missing.
I know it could sound either big headed or like a pipe dream, I mean who really believes they can change the world? I say I believe in the all creating, powerful, mysterious God and that I love adventure but then I play it safe. I want to learn how to take real steps of faith to live out my faith in such a way that my world is changed and therefore the world for others is somehow better.
Do you remember science classes in high school? Other than Bunsen burners and the Van der Graff Generator, me neither! One thing that you learn in biology is about life. All living things apparently have 7 life processes that indicate that they are in fact living. Perhaps you recall MRS NERG... (Movement, Respiration, Sensitivity, Nuitrition, … Continue reading A Vision for Church: Journeying
My wife and I enjoy making up stories about people. We might be out for coffee, sitting on a train or walking through town. Just based on what someone is wearing or how they present themselves we imagine a whole back story to their life, relationships they have or don't have, and what they are … Continue reading A Vision for Church: Listening
'In the beginning God created...' (Genesis 1:1) How did the church become so bland? Look at historic church buildings and they are incredibly intricate, ornate and beautiful. People will travel for miles simply to visit a church building because the architecture and the art are incredible. Over the years the church has influenced music, not … Continue reading A Vision for Church: Creative
In a conversation recently a fellow pastor seemed to be interested in some of the things I was saying about racial, disability and gender justice. He asked to take my details so we could arrange to meet in order for him to learn more about the 'justice agenda'. Of course I am more than happy … Continue reading A Vision for Church: Just