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19 08, 2019

Pilgrimage

August 19th, 2019|

Over the years I have made many pilgrimages to places that are considered Holy and sacred for all sorts of reasons. I have made many pilgrimages over the years to the Island of Iona, a small island in the Inner Hebrides off the Ross of Mull on the western coast of Scotland. Iona was a centre for monasticism for four centuries and was founded by the monk Columba in 563 AD. Although Iona is a relatively small Island, it became known as a centre of great learning. Many important books and documents celebrating and witnessing to the gospels from a [...]

12 08, 2019

“Changing the world, one heart at a time!”

August 12th, 2019|

Recently two truly inspiring people died. One was Jean Vanier (above), who in 1964 was one of the founders of the L’Arche community (taking its name from Noah’s Ark). This Christian community has spread across the world, through establishing homes, programmes and support networks to enable people with learning disabilities to live the fullest and most fulfilling life possible. The premise is that everyone, whatever our disabilities, has the potential to mature into adulthood with the dignity of being their own person, and as a valuable member of community. L'Arche is not run for profit, and is seen as living [...]

5 08, 2019

Being Church in the Community

August 5th, 2019|

At Moldgreen United Reformed Church we have made the church garden in to a Community Garden. Children from the local primary school came and planted bulbs in a raised bed that was built for us by people from a growing project at ‘Support 2 Recovery’ a charity that promotes positive mental health and wellbeing. Then a small group of young people started to come twice a month on a Saturday to garden. We have grown a small but varied amount of produce for the community to share. The two pictures show the children planting and then sharing the lettuces they [...]

29 07, 2019

IN-CAR-NATION

July 29th, 2019|

As some of you know, I love cars! Cars and driving were a big part of my sabbatical these past three months. However, I have come to realise that the more the automobile industry focuses on the future, the more passionate car fans like me celebrate the past. The number of events where people get together to talk cars seems to be growing every year! Which I love, but this also worries me because I have been wary or critical of those with a great fondness for looking backwards, especially in church circles. However, looking back and celebrating that which [...]

15 07, 2019

What does the outside of our buildings say about God?

July 15th, 2019|

This was a question posed by two representatives from the Methodist District Property Committee when my previous church, a Methodist/URC LEP, was considering a major redevelopment of its buildings. It was a question we discussed at our Church Council and I must admit it was a very enlightening conversation for us all. Comments made were that perhaps those who saw our building would think; God is something of the past, God is unkempt, God does not welcome those with mobility issues or prams, God is shut [mainly closed big wooden doors] and worse, God is dead. This question shaped our [...]

8 07, 2019

Difference

July 8th, 2019|

Words and images on the news this last week or so have included the death of a father and baby daughter on route to the Mexican/US border, of US refugee detention centres, with torture-like conditions reported, and the lone man who sadly passed away stowed in an aircraft. These are added to by remembering those who have recently tried to cross the English Channel, and of those who have lost their lives crossing the Mediterranean Sea. All were in search of freedom from persecution or oppression, or for what they perceive as a better life, where they could earn enough [...]

1 07, 2019

The Grace of Jesus

July 1st, 2019|

Psalm 18:2 New International Version (NIV) 2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer: my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,     my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I have often thought about how to tell people about the saving grace of Jesus. What it means to be saved and from what? And how do we get there? How do we bridge the gap? I have always thought that life is better with God, through Jesus, than without Him. However, just saying that has seemed to me to be short selling God… treating Him like a bolt-on extra, rather than [...]

26 06, 2019

Creation

June 26th, 2019|

Romans 1:20 (NRSV) ‘For ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made.’ Interestingly, when I searched for a definition of ‘creation’, the first statement read: ‘the action or process of bringing something into existence’.  The second one read: the creating of the universe, especially when regarded as an act of God’.  For me, creativity as a Christian is allowing opportunities for God’s Spirit to work.  It’s an opening up and making things new.  It gives endless, refreshing and joyful possibilities [...]

24 06, 2019

The Holy Spirit is like….

June 24th, 2019|

... and suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.  Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them and a tongue rested on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit gave them ability.             (Acts 2: 2 - 4 - NRSVA) It’s a ‘thing’ to punctuate language with the word ‘like’ these days!... ‘and he was, like, I told her not to do that...’  ‘we were all, like, going up [...]

3 06, 2019

Inequalities in our society

June 3rd, 2019|

We have recently been informed about the comprehensive review which is about to be undertaken (over 5 years) about inequalities in the United Kingdom. The review will be exploring areas such as economic, political, education, health inequality and the effects of globalisation. All these have come together to raise concerns across all walks of life and the review is meant to try and find ways in which these inequalities can be addressed. I am not sure where the politicians have been over the past 20 or so years (or perhaps they have been distracted by Brexit) but the issues of [...]