I have a confession to make..! Just before I went off on holiday I wrote my Magazine article for the September issue. As I was writing I spoke to Judith on the phone and told her I would send it through when it was finished. I saved it on my computer and thought I had sent to Judith. Returning from holiday I discovered that I had done everything but send it – I had forgotten to email it through. Some might describe it as a “senior moment”. They say that as you get older you remember more about the distant past and less about the immediate past.
Life is full of changes, some large and some small, and quite a lot in between.
Some changes are huge: I’ve watched my friends’ lives turn upside-down and change forever when their first baby comes along.
Some changes are annoying: I’ve been on the end of the phone when a computer upgrade changes someone’s computer and they no longer know how to use it.
Some changes are achingly sad: I’ve lost loved friends long before their time.
As Area Dean of Alcester I was recently asked to write something for the July edition of the Coventry Diocesan Prayer Diary which is published throughout the diocese and encourages everyone to pray for the churches, schools etc. in our deanery. As a group of parishes the diocese (including at the services in the Cathedral) will be praying for us on Friday, July 24th, while our schools will be prayed for on the 19th (Studley) and 20th (Mappleborough Green) The diary can be downloaded from the Diocesan website or if you would like a copy just ask me and I will print on off for you.
We all need encouragement! Not just when things are difficult but even when things are going well we need those around us who support, encourage and pray for us. On June 11th the church celebrates St Barnabas and he is one of my favourite New Testament characters. His real name was Joseph, but people called him Barnabas which means “Son of Encouragement”. He was an encourager.
When we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the world pauses to celebrate Christmas with us. When we celebrate His resurrection, most of the world recognizes Easter as a very special day on the calendar. But when it comes to Pentecost, hardly anyone outside the church realizes it. Yet, it is really important, because Pentecost is the birthday of the Church.
As the long eventful first Easter Sunday was drawing to a close. Two of the disciples were heading home from Jerusalem. One was named Cleopas; we don’t know the identity of the other. Luke chapter 24 says “that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem.”
At our recent Church Council meeting (on February 4th) we unanimously agreed to change our pattern of Sunday worship services. The changes will take effect from the Sunday after Easter (Sunday April 12th).
It is something that we have been discussing for a long time and we felt that the time had now arrived for action. When I arrived in the parish, nearly three-an-a-half years ago, I wrote in my first magazine article about the need, felt by many, to update the pattern of services across our group of parishes with a view to reducing the number of services.
Lent begins this month (Ash Wednesday is February 18th). As we travel through Lent this year, we might take the opportunity to think about life’s big questions.
Where do people look for the answers to life’s big questions? Paul’s wrote about how “Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom” (1 Corinthians 1:22)
I’m sure you’ve noticed that each year almost all the major newspapers put out an issue with special sections recalling people and events that made news during the previous year. They also include articles by experts predicting what they expect to see happening in the years ahead. Some even go so far as to make predictions covering ten, twenty, or more years into the future. In the past, a few of these predictions have proven amazingly accurate, while others couldn’t have been more wrong. Continue reading “January 2015”
We are told that, as a society, we are much more open and tolerant, and in so many ways that’s true. But it seems increasingly that we are only tolerant up to a point and sometimes, it seems to me, we tolerate everything except people who dare to disagree with us.
I think this is particularly evident on internet forums and blogs. They give people opportunity to exchange views – which is great, but it is also clear that they give opportunity for an increasingly nasty kind of intolerance. For some, it seems that if someone expresses a view that is in opposition to their own, they feel they have licence not just to disagree but also to heap the most vile abuse and threats upon their opponent and in some cases their family and friends. We have seen several high profile examples of this in the press recently.