Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Back in the saddle...
Getting back into things today after an excellent week or so of doing not very much.
We spent a week in a nice spot on the border of Dorset and Devon, and even thought the weather was a bit hit and miss, it was great to chill and escape.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

It's summer holiday time, so probably not much action here for a week or so...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Church and age
As "youth" is the focus of my job, its easy to get blinkered into thinking solely about young people and emerging generations, and "the future" .
Several things have made me think wider recently. Firstly working on stuff for my home church's 125th Anniversary has been interesting to see where we've come from, how the church has become "of its time" etc.
Also today I was thinking around some stuff about "all age worship" and the dreaded "family service" when I came across this article (from the excellently named Leveson centre for the study of Spirituality and Ageing). In the article Dr David Isiorho challenges an exclusive focus on "youth" and "urban". I don't agree with all he says, but it provides a helpful counter-balance for a London youth specialist! He is critical of family services suggesting:
"Many so-called all-age worship services are little more than play groups that may include the odd prayer or spiritual song"
He also asks:
" why is so much being invested in the youth and not the experienced members of the congregation?"

I have often felt that with an ageing population more proactive ministry with older people is essential. I know several churches that have seen pensioners come to faith or re-kindle lost faith through such intentional work. Maybe we need "older workers" as much as "youth workers"?


The weekend was filled with celebration for birthdays - primarily my father in laws 60th, but also Becky (Suzie's brother's girlfriend) added another year on, as did my brother.

Suzie has posted more with pics.
It was a good time, and included seeing Wasps win the
Middlesex 7's at Twickenham, plenty of food and fun!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Spiritual Formation
Today on my travels I listened to Dallas Willard teaching on "Spiritual Formation in the ways of Chirst" (from Allelon site, MP3 here).
Good stuff as you'd expect, said some interesting stuff about congregations and discipleship.
Need to think this through some more, and how it impacts youth stuff (maybe linked to some of Kenda Creasey Dean's stuff).

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Praying at Heathrow Airport last week seems very poignant in the light of today's news.
A reminder to continue to pray for peace and safety.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Going Green?
I was speaking at my home church this morning on "the environment". We looked at Colossians1:15-23 and were thinking about Jesus, reconciliation through the cross for the whole cosmos, and the need to keep away from dualism which keeps us from getting involved.
It was interesting to come home and read some provocative words from Jeremy Clarkson in the motoring section of the Sunday Times (article here).
Picking up on the Bishop of London's words about flying and driving "gas guzzlers", Clarkson questions the science of climate change, and the church's percieved stance on homosexuality. Typically he doesn't mince his words:
"Few organisations know quite as much about selfishness as the Church of England. They preach to their increasingly small congregations about the iniquities of homelessness, and then lock up their churches at night to make sure tramps can’t get in and nick the communion wine.
They tell us about the need for tolerance and to forgive those who trespass against us, but won’t let homosexualists into the pulpit because that sort of thing is a sin too. And so is being a woman

It's an interesting rant and it makes you wonder how much his view reflects the wider opinion of those outside the church. And all this in an article about the Ford S-Max.



Thursday, August 03, 2006

Soul 2
Been great to be back at Soul 2 again this year. Birthed out of 2004's Soul in the City mission, a group of churches near Heathrow followed up with a week of stuff last year, and again this year.
The delegates are a mix of locals, plus a good crowd of Brazillians and Koreans.
I was leading worship for their session on Tuesday, and teaching from John 15 today.
Tonight was at St George's Chapel in Heathrow, praying with some of the Chaplains for the airport and surrounding areas. The Chapel is a great underground space opposite the car park to Terminal 2 - check it out if you're flying from there!
I've felt genuinely priveleged to minister to these guys and girls - full on and passionate in prayer and worship, and engaged in mission.
I'm struck by the fact that those communities coming into London often bring a vibrancy to faith in Jesus that some of us sometimes lack!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Preparing for something I'm doing Sunday I was struck by this:

"no part of the creation can be thought of as outside God’s grace and there is nowhere called ‘away’ where things can be thrown"

(from Sharing God's Planet)