I share this story as a simple lesson in unconscious bias. As pastors in training we demonstrated our own prejudice. No doubt we demonstrate such prejudice every day without thinking as we did in the comfort of our classroom. Prejudice is sin; prejudice is a deep rooted sin in the church and we need to reflect, acknowledge and repent of our sin.
I will admit I can find it somewhat pretentious to talk about the prophetic. I think it comes from the experience of preachers claiming to be prophetic, having prophecies or claiming a title of Prophet and making bold claims that God is speaking to them about specific issues of the future. Frequently these claims are broad brushstroke type claims that really say very little and come across a bit like a horoscope. The prophetic church empowers the disempowered, speaks to the places of power and acts with integrity and humility for and with those who are powerless because these are the ways of God.
A few years ago I was doing some research about the eucharist or communion for my own understanding of the different beliefs people have about what happens. The different beliefs lead to a variety of ways of sharing the bread and wine, who is authorised to serve the elements and who is permitted receive them. … Continue reading A Vision for Church: Inclusive
It is fairly common to refer to the church as a body. This stems from the writing in the New Testament attributed to Paul which refers to the church as the 'body of Christ' (Ephesians 4:12). The church is a body. It is not perfect and nor should it be. It is broken and it can be beautiful when we accept its gifts, diversity, fragility, disabilities and scars.
At the start of the year I have been pondering the significance of Advent, Christmas and New Year celebrations. There is so much anticipation, busying ourselves with preparation for a couple of dates that rarely live up to the hype of expectation. Having seen shops advertising Christmas since the summer it all comes and goes … Continue reading Unrestricting Voices