As a family we do enjoy a visit to a farm. My daughter’s favourite animals are the pigs and, at our local farm, the owls. I’m a fan of pygmy goats, they are bouncy and fun with a lower risk of harm than full sized goats. It’s always particularly enjoyable to visit a farm in … Continue reading My Sheep Hear My Voice
A dissertation submitted to The University of Manchester for the degree of Master of Arts in Mission (Unpublished) in the Faculty of Humanities (Cliff College: 2020) Abstract In 2004 it became a legal requirement for reasonable adjustments to be made to public buildings, including places of worship, to make them accessible. Access is just the … Continue reading What is the Face of the UK Church to Adults with Disabilities? (A Critical Investigation)
The church is dead, long live the church! It is possible you have heard the phrase “The king is dead, long live the king.” It is a pronouncement made upon the death of a monarch where the succession of the new monarch is automatic. I suppose at some point we will hear the words “The … Continue reading The Church is Dead, Long Live the Church
There are two accounts in the book of Genesis that describe God’s creation of humanity. Genesis 1:26-31 speaks of God creating people in God’s image to have dominion over the earth whilst Genesis 2:26-31 says that God first created man and subsequently woman to provide companionship as they tend and care for the garden. These … Continue reading Made in God’s Likeness
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.