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20 01, 2020

The Harbour

January 20th, 2020|

During 2019 I had the very great privilege of being able to take a sabbatical. This is a period of time gifted to me help re-charge, re-focus, re-fresh, re-new and re-flect. As part of my discipline to help enable me to do all this, I had a particular question in my mind and had decided to return to a hobby I’d had as a teenager. I took up doing some art work - watercolour painting and sketching in particular. I have produced quite a number of paintings, each piece of work enabled me to process my thoughts and helped in my [...]

13 01, 2020

Painting our Prayers

January 13th, 2020|

“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit gave them ability” Acts 2:4 (NRSV) I’m currently starting to pack up my family home to move house and I took down a picture I painted for my mum’s 60th birthday.  It has resided here since mum came to live with me and upon her death has stayed up on the wall.  I remember putting all the love and deepest part of me into that painting.  It was an emotional experience.  I remember an artist once saying to me “you don’t [...]

6 01, 2020

Epiphany – the Light of Christ shining in the darkness

January 6th, 2020|

We have just celebrated the feast of the Epiphany when traditionally the church remembers the visit of the three wise men who came 'from the east' to worship the baby Jesus.  Three visitors from a completely different culture bringing varied gifts to the Christ child, reminding us of the diversity of God's creation and of the gifts brought to us by all who come to us as strangers. Epiphany is a challenge to us to be open to different voices and perspectives, but as well as being a challenge, it is a time for delight and affirmation, a celebration of [...]

2 01, 2020

TRANSEAMUS – Today is the first day of the rest of my life!

January 2nd, 2020|

New Year – the time of looking back and forward on the journey of life. Each Christmas we select and keep one Christmas Card from the hundreds we receive  - it may be topical, radically different or just one that speaks to us. This year it is one which has the words of a Medieval carol on it: Leve we all this worldly merthe And folwe we this joyful berthe TRANSEAMUS Transeamus is such a powerful positive and faithful word – spoken by the shepherds after hearing the news of Jesus’ birth  - “Let us travel on!” It could be [...]

29 12, 2019

Jesus is presented in the Temple

December 29th, 2019|

Jesus Is Presented in the Temple - Luke 2: 22 - 38 (NRSVA) 22 When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord’), 24 and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.’ 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man [...]

23 12, 2019

For unto us a child is born

December 23rd, 2019|

As we look forward to another Christmas and the end of a very eventual year … the season of Advent (preparation, longing and praying) will have an additional flavour of a general election and Romans 13: 1 reminds us to “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God.,” The past three years have seen a real breakdown in community and relationships, between countries, families and friends. There has been an increase in the levels of hate crime and the shocking news [...]

16 12, 2019

A time of anticipation

December 16th, 2019|

As I sat with my partner at mass on the first Sunday of Advent (Saturday evening) there was this little buzz of excitement as I watched the first advent candle being lit. A little flame flickered and ignited a very real sense of hope. A little jolt of excitement that told me something very wonderful was happening. A spark of nervous anticipation. There is something about Advent this year which feels different, it feels special, uncertain, and brimming with potential – something is going to happen. It’s the first year, that I am aware of, that I’ve had an awareness [...]

13 12, 2019

Election Reflection by Yorkshire Moderator, Rev Kevin Watson

December 13th, 2019|

“It is not when the Church gathers but when the Church scatters” That’s when the Kingdom of God grows. That’s the rallying cry of political parties to get their workers out with their message engaging with communities. And so it is for the Church, even to be scattered among the political parties, local government, media and economy – that’s when we see the Holy Spirit transforming society. Recently I have been saddened to wonder whether we would in deed recognise the Holy Spirit at work – how can you, if you despise the opinions of political opponents, or not even [...]

11 12, 2019

Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness

December 11th, 2019|

“Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, bow down before him, his glory proclaim.” When we look at a glorious sun-set, gaze across a beautiful landscape, marvel at the intricacies of a delicate flower, or watch in awe at some other wonder of God’s creation (think ‘Blue Planet II’), our hearts can be lifted, and we feel compelled to “Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” But what about those times when we don’t feel like worshipping God? It could be when we look back to those times when our churches were full, especially at Christmas, at Harvest, [...]

2 12, 2019

Unwrapping the layers of Christmas

December 2nd, 2019|

Last Christmas, I bought a set of Russian dolls. However, it’s not an ordinary set of Russian dolls. Each ‘doll’ is a different character in the Nativity story. There’s Mary, Joseph, an angel, a shepherd, a wise man and, right in the centre, baby Jesus. This set of Russian dolls has got me thinking about Advent and Christmas – in more ways than one: First, our Advents and Christmases have lots of layers. Decorations to put up; fine, rich foods to plan, cook and enjoy; lots to drink; presents to buy and wrap; family and friends to catch up with; [...]