Thursday, 3 May 2012

How exciting is this? Our Jubilee Festival @StMichaelElmwd

Monday, 7 November 2011


What would Jesus do? Or what is Jesus doing? Both good questions. But, for me, the second is more important than the first.

It really comes down to whether you live your life by 'quandary ethics' ie trying to decide what the right thing to do is on each separate difficult occasion. Or whether you focus on building 'character' so that you automatically do the right thing.

I wd argue that sticking close to Jesus, observing what He is doing day by day in everything, even little things, means that we grow in His likeness becoming more generous, courageous, tolerant, self controlled, loving etc. Then, when a 'difficult situation' arises, we will naturally respond the way Jesus would because we have grown in the character of Jesus.

Think for example of a situation where you are asked to give for some worthy cause. You might deliberate on whether this is best use of yr spare cash, how much you shd give, you might ask WWJD? Ultimately you might give and this would be an act of generosity but not the act of a generous person. The generous person would already have given. That's just the way he is.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Swimming lessons for Church..

Every morning for the past year I have been swimming first thing in the morning at the swimming pool across the road from my house. I can't say I enjoy this exercise particularly (just doing it to stave off galloping senility that little while longer) nor am I particularly communicative at that time in the day. So I get changed, get in the pool, do my thirty lengths, get out, get dressed again and go home. I don't stop and chat with fellow swimmers. I go swimming for a purpose and I'm not there, I have to admit, to make new friends.

Nonetheless, it's impossible not to notice that there are a dozen or so regulars who also go swimming daily at the same time as me. I recognise each one of them. And, in an odd way, although we've never had a conversation, I've come to know them. We generally exchange a brief smile or nod, even sometimes a 'Hi' or 'Good morning' but never more than this.

And yet, although I know almost nothing about my fellow swimmers (except they are regular swimmers), there is a strange bond between us - just because we share this same ritual together every day. I'd even venture to suggest that we all feel rather like friends.

All this has made me wonder about those church goers who really like to keep themselves to themselves. It's good to have a team of welcomers at church - most people appreciate the offer of friendship - but maybe we should be more relaxed about just letting alone those who want to be let alone. If we simply come together for the same purpose - to worship God - every week then will we not necessarily become bound together - as I have become bound to my fellow swimmers?

Maybe it's not so much about getting to know each other in a lot of detail and having a lot of conversation. Maybe it's more about remembering why we have come to church and, well, just - being there.

Monday, 12 September 2011

The vulture tweets between his meals...

And that's the reason why
He very very rarely feels
As well as you or I.

His eye is dull, his head is bald
His neck is growing thinner.
Oh, what a lesson to us all -
To only tweet at dinner!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Small is Beautiful by Schumacher

Having read Tim Jackson's brilliant book 'Prosperity without Growth' over the summer, it's interesting to see that Schumacher was prophetically saying many of the same things nearly forty years ago. 'Small is Beautiful' is still very much worth reading.

'The substance of man cannot be measured by Gross National Product. Perhaps, it cannot be measured at all, except for certain symptoms of loss...such as crime, drug addiction, vandalism, mental breakdown, rebellion etc...There are poor societies which have too little; but where is the rich society that says: 'Halt! We have enough?' Where indeed?

Waste Collection Sans Frontieres...

Anyone feel like starting this up?
Having just been travelling in the Middle East, I'm amazed at the beauty of the region, the kindness and warm spirituality of the people and - despite all the recent concerns over security - the great sense of peace and quiet there.
Nonetheless, one of the biggest shocks was seeing so much rubbish both in cities and in the desert and sourrounding country - just piled up everywhere. Our guide was careful to warn us not to drink the local water - 'even the locals drink bottled water,' he said proudly. And the evidence to back up this claim was everywhere - even in the smartest streets and locations. And, of course, in poorer parts of the cities and in the rivers - things were far worse. And no one seems to care.
One night we climbed Mount Sinai (took me over 4 hours - even with assistance of v charming young Bedouin) and the scenery by moonlight was amazing. Coming down again the following morning after sunrise, however, I was dismayed to see that, even on Mount Sinai, plastic bottles were strewn everywhere.
It's not just unhealthy, unsightly and generally demeaning - but none of this plastic can be recycled.
We desperately need to help developing countries get access to clean drinking water on tap and clear up all this terrible mess.

A Life Worth Living

A Life Worth Living is an exciting and practical seven session course that helps people explore our innate calling to live a virtuous life and how this is embodied in the Christian faith.

Each week we will

· Share a meal

· Share feedback from our journals on practice and reflection over the preceding week

· Explore a particular virtue - such as justice, generosity, courage - through a story from one of the books in the Bible that tells the story of Jesus - Luke’s gospel

· Listen to a short talk on this

· Have a time of silent meditation or prayer

· Make notes in our journals and reflect in small groups

· Take away a specific practice to work on over the next week

Is A Life Worth Living for me?

If you would like to learn more about how Christ makes life worth living, then YES this course is for you!

  • You do NOT need to have studied theology
  • You do NOT need to go to church
  • You do NOT need to know anything about Christianity

Where? The Crypt, St Mary’s Church, Upper Street, N1 2TX

When? Wednesdays 7.30-9.30pm from 12 Oct to 23 Nov 2011

How much? The course is free but you will be invited to make a contribution to the cost of the meal

To register Call or text Revd Martine Oborne on 07950 743 878