23 October 2009

Personal Update

This is a holding page for a "personal update" post.

You can see some more nice photos of autumn in our Ohio town by clicking here.


OK, It's November 5th and I'm going to try an update.

I've been hesitating to write an update as it's hard to find words and my brain is telling me that I don't have a lot to say.

Wonderful Husband and I have settled in to our new town pretty well. As you can see from the photos, the town itself is lovely. (By the way, in the two weeks since these photos were taken, almost all the leaves have dropped off the trees! I forgot how quickly the seasons change here.) The contrast from the town we just left in the Midlands in the UK could hardly be greater. But there are many ways in which I feel a fish out of water here. For one thing, as a "socialist", neither WH nor I fit in with the largely Republican environment here.

But let's be honest. What I'm personally finding most difficult is the fact that I have not be able to find a job; as I wrote on Facebook and Twitter "This being laid aside for you lark isn't all that easy". I suspect that some other bloggers could write eloquently about their feelings on the matter. For all my love of analysis, I'm not particularly the sort of person who likes rehearsing such feelings over and over. For me it just leads to negativity and I prefer to simply put my head down and plow forward. But I think that's why it leaves me nothing to say!

I've had a bit of success in being offered a part-time volunteer position with Americorps. The position also offers a small living allowance equivalent to the minimum hourly wage. But because the particular position I applied for involves working with vulnerable adults, Americorps has to do an FBI check on me. I was finger-printed three weeks ago and Americorps are still waiting to hear back; they will not even train me until I'm cleared. (John Menuier, I think this is a good example of where a semi-colon works better than a period. *grin*).

We are lucky that Wonderful Husband was able to get a position with the same retail company that he worked for in the UK. However, he moved from a full-time position at a very good hourly rate to a part-time position at the US's beginning hourly rate. Still, it's a job and jobs are very difficult to find in this part of the Midwest. Seeing WH's job offer with the benefit of hindsight, I don't think we realized at the time that he received the offer that it was indeed a miracle. A very noticeable percentage of people in the congregation I'm currently attending have lost their jobs and Ohio has three of the cities in the US's top ten unemployment chart: Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo.

I've had two supply preaching appointments since I've been in the US and the sermons can be found on my sermon blog. It was good to preach and I'm currently "missing" the fact that I don't have any further preaching appointments in the foreseeable future.

Evangelical Universalist?

My friend Will Grady writes a really thoughtful post on the subject of The Evangelical Universalist.

The bit of the post I found most helpful was Will's pointing out that the final hope of the Christian is not that we "go to heaven" as disembodied individual spirits but rather that God has promised that he will bring about a New Creation into which all people will be resurrected.

From this, Will concludes:
It is to this new creation that Christians point, and in doing so we, by the Holy Spirit, bring God’s new creation in spots around the world. Mission, then, is the work of the Holy Spirit bringing in bits of what God will do definitely when Jesus returns at the final resurrection. Mission is spreading the gospel (good news) that Jesus is the world’s true king, and that announcement does in some since divide the world into those who would accept it and those who won’t.
A really good post and well worth a read.

16 October 2009

No one comes to the Father but by me

Craig Adams is back blogging and writes an excellent post on a Methodist view of atonement.

no one can come to God the Father except through the grace & mediation of Christ! And, of course, this is true. There is only one source of light and grace for all people. From Jesus these words can be taken to mean: "there is no access to God except through my mediation." Modern evangelicals commonly take it to mean: "there is no access to God except through consciousness of Christ." From this misconception, the question arises: well, what about all the people who lived before Christ, what about the who were killed in OT times, what about those who have never heard of Christ, etc.

The older Methodist writers did not get into this tangle. They believed that God's grace was for all and that Christ was the one and only source of salvation and life for all. The more we know of Christ the better off we are.

09 October 2009

A Star is Born

My brother was on TV. :-)