28 September 2006

Peacenik Gear

I want one of the Peacenick Shop’s "Who Would Jesus Bomb?" tee shirts.

I know "What Would Jesus Do?" was tedious, but I think it focussed the mind. Equally, "Who Would Jesus Bomb?" focuses the mind, I think.


For anyone who finds labyrinths helpful, there is now an interactive labyrinth on: www.lostinwonder.org.uk

And now for a "Seinfeld moment". Labyrinths. What's the deal with that? I totally do not "get" labyrinths. I don't understand why people find them helpful and I particularly hate it when one gets told that there is "a special surprise for you from God" in the middle.

I don't mean to denigrate labyrinths. I know that a lot of people find them helpful and I think that it's my duty and my job to present people with all sorts of alternatives to praying so that each person can pray in a way that is helpful to them.

It's just that I totally don't "get" labyrinths. About the only bit that I find even remotely helpful - and we're talking reasonably remote here - is actually physically walking them. There is something moderately helpful in walking in a slow and controlled manner. Therefore an on-line version seems totally pointless to me.

I think I'm a grumpy old woman.

26 September 2006


This past Saturday, I had the privilege of marrying my brother. Um, marrying my brother to a wonderful woman. (That linguistic turn of phrase provided one of the sermon's lighter moments too!)

The marriage took place on the very beautiful Island of Catalina, off the coast of Long Beach, California.

Bro is on the right, new sis-in-law on the left. You can see the top of my head just behind the bride. A very acommodating and friendly American priest co-presided to make the whole thing legal.

A great day with no hitches.

May God bless R and R in their new life as husband and wife.

17 September 2006

Link: What is Liberal Theology?

Joel at Connexions has an excellent post entitled What is Liberal Theology? I think I agree with most everything he's said and we even seem to come to very similar theological conclusions.

I have always said that my theology is "liberal in process and orthodox in doctrine". Joel's post points that out, I think, without necessarily using those words. I think his 22 points amount to a "way to do theology" - to a process. And, as he points out, the conclusions can be quite varied. Like him, I'm nowhere near being a Tillichian.

I expect that a lot of theological conservatives would say that having a conservative theological process is the only way to be certain that one will have orthodox outcomes. I disagree. I'd point to the fact that Jehovah's Witnesses, Christadelphians and those who believe in "The Rapture" all use conservative theological processes.
Indeed, one of my bugbears - as many people will know - is that it sometimes seems to me that all you have to do is call yourself a theological conservative and then you can spout any old heresy you like and people will believe that it's orthodox.

For many of us, having "liberal" (as per Joel's post) theological processes, is the only way to be a Christian with integrity. It doesn't help Christianity to blame other Christians for the decline of the church; I think the situation is a lot more complex than that.

Sunday 17 September 2006 - Sermons

Having never before had the courage to publish any of my sermons on the internet, I have rashly decided to start a separate blog for Sunday sermons.

These are not meant to be elegant written prose, although I have turned my notes into text so that the sermons are readable.

Today's sermons are:
* God, But not as we expect
* All need to be saved

06 September 2006

You Could Say That

There are things that people who are considered to be "sound" can say which us liberals - moderate or otherwise - can't get away with saying. Or at least we can't get away with people listening terribly closely.

The post by Ben Witherington entitled
What is the Character of God? is a good example. It's a great piece of Methodist theology and offers a good corrective to the sort of the theology that has God planning natural disasters, famine, drought and war and then demands that Christians name these things as "good" because God allegedly pre-destined them to happen.

Ben has used the "N-word" - narcissist - a word with which I am in wholehearted agreement. To suggest that God's primary focus is self-aggrandizement or self-praise is to totally misunderstand the concept of God's glory.

Anyway, go read Ben's article. He's a conservative and a man, so I rest under the cover of his authority. ;-)


Two weeks ago, I read the following book review in The Church Times (warning: Sally should look away now so as not to add any further books to her wish list): Devotion to God

This article was a bit of a "double whammy" for me. Firstly, at the time, I was struck by the comment that sticking with daily prayer is often more of a "plod of determination" than a "dance of exaltation". This was a great encouragement at the time as I was in one of those plodding places and having someone articulate that determination rather than exhaultation is OK was just what I needed to keep going.

The second thing I was really encouraged by in the article was Richard Giles' comment that most ministers: "actually get paid and housed to do what we would give our right arm to do anyway." This was a good and positive thing to read two weeks before I was about to start a new vocation as a minister.

Well, the first five days have been busy but, at the moment, I feel I can say "amen" to Giles' comment. A friend had previously articulated to me that being a minister was "Having the greatest job in the world to the greatest people in the world" and it feels that way at the moment.

I know this sounds like "honeymoon" stuff and I also know that it is honeymoon stuff! But it's good to feel like a honeymooner at this stage, when I'm supposed to feel that way. I think this post is more for me than for anyone else, but it might be good to look back at it and read it in the future if I need to remember my reasons for respondiong to the call. It most certainly is a privilege to be allowed into peoples' lives and to see God working in the lives of people.

Blessed be the name of God, our incredible Creator.

04 September 2006

Habemus Broadband

Not sure if that's correct - and what's the Latin for Broadband anyway? - but as of 8:00 pm, we're back on broadband! Yay!

Only problem now is that I have a killer week. But thanks to Sally for her broadband prayers. Dang, those evangelists are goooood! ;-)