Friday, June 30, 2006

people change

So last night at our huddle - whilst talking about many deep and meaningful spiritual things - Nelly Furtado came up in conversation. What is up with that girl? She's gone from "I'm like a bird" to "I'm like a prostitute". The evidence for this (as Chris has pointed out - he's just showing concern for his compatriot) is that her new album is called 'Loose', her last single was called 'Promiscuous' and her current single is called 'Maneater'. Something ain't right in Furtado-land.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


I guess that most people who read this blog will know this already but for the sake of the one or two others it's time to announce to the world that Pippa and I are expecting our first child.
The due-date is, wait for it, ....Christmas Day. Can't believe it. So obviously it will have to be called Yeshua Immanuel Noel as a result. It's a sign. Poor kid. I feel sorry for it already.
Pip and I are now waiting expectantly for the parental feelings to develop.
We will definitely not be getting one of those 'Baby on Board' signs for the car though. "oh, ok - you have a baby on board, I didn't realise...well, I guess I better not crash into you then in that case".

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

does anyone know the name of the film...

I'm sure I've seen a film involving an army unit that hasn't heard that whichever war they're fighting is over and so they are still fighting it. They're out of communication with their base etc. I know it sounds a little like Apocalypse now but it isn't that. Does it ring any bells with anyone? I'm preaching on Sunday morning for a church in town and I'd like to use it as an illustration.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

summertime vibe

a modern day St Francis

It's been a pleasure to have Travis from Church of the Apostles, Seattle, with us the last couple of days. I met Travis when we visited COTA after Easter. He's currently spending a month on 'placement' with Moot in London. Anyway, he's one of the most pastoral people I've met. We could do with some people like him in hOME.
Anyway, yesterday morning Travis and I were just chilling out in my front room when we heard our little cat come through the cat flap with a bird in her mouth that was still alive and struggling (and occasionally succeeding temporarily) to get away. We managed to get the cat away from the bird and then Travis got the bird on to our dustpan and he took it out into the garden (I told him to kill it!). I, meanwhile, stayed in the house trying to stop the cat getting back outside through the cat flap.
I eventually found the thing you can slide into the cat-flap to stop the cat getting through it and then I went out to see whether Travis had completed his executioner duties.
He was stood at the end of the garden blessing the bird! I saw him make the sign of the cross. It was a vision of a modern day St Francis!
The bird was injured but not so badly that we felt justified in killing it. But it wasn't flying off and we couldn't leave it in the garden cos the cat would have got it. So I suggested we put it in a box and sent it down the river. We found a little cardboard box, put some grass in the bottom of it, put the bird on top of the grass, and pushed the box out onto the water and watched it drift off downstream.

This morning I suggested to Travis that perhaps someone was sitting by the riverbank yesterday watching the river drift by only to see the bird in the box drifting past them and wondering how on earth the bird had managed to build a boat for itself and launch it.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

TV Theology

I think you can tell a lot about where someone's coming from theologically by whether or not they leave their TV on standby.

Monday, June 19, 2006

US Anglicans elect first woman Presiding Bishop

So the General Convention of ECUSA (or just 'The Episcopal Church' as it's now called which sounds a bit like they've forgotten about the rest of the world - not something Americans are often accused of ;-)) have gone and elected a woman as Presiding Bishop for the first time - Katherine Jefferts Schori, formerly Bishop of Nevada.
Not being someone who opposes women becoming Bishops (looking forward to the day it happens here) I don't have any problems with it per se. It's definitely going to stoke some people's fires though and it's quite amusing that just when the conservatives thought the fight was on another front (i.e. the gay thing) the focus has shifted to another contentious area.
are there any American readers of this blog who have an inside word for us on this one? is she cool?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Little and Often

ok - I really want to be a better blogger. I have decided to adopt a 'little and often' approach to blogging for the next little while. That's also my approach to prayer right now largely due to Phyliis Tickle's fantastic volume - The Divine Hours : Prayers for Summertime - which is helping me stumble towards four times a day prayer.
Pippa and I are up at my parent's place in N Wales right now (really glad my mum decided to get wireless broadband a little while back). Many of you will know that my dad has been very ill for some considerable time now so it's good to be up here for Father's day.
Looking forward to hOME tonight. We have been blessed by Kyle Potter's presence amongst us as a community over this last academic year while he has been in Oxford - a long way from home which for him is Lexington, Kentucky where he is part of The Vine and the Branches Community with Alan Creech et al. Anyway, tonight is his last night with us before returning to the States and he is going to lead the discussion on the lectionary texts for today. We will miss him.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Trinity Sunday - participating in God

[UPDATE : The podcast link is now fixed. Apologies to the many, many frustrated people who were unable to download it!]

After the drama of Easter and Pentecost (loved our Pentecost service - we had sparklers and everything!) Trinity Sunday marks the start of the rather curiously named 'Ordinary Time' (BTW I found Alan Creech's comments on this title very helpful).
I led the discussion on the Trinity on Sunday night - and, after some preliminary theological groundwork, tried to focus in on how we relate to the Trinity.
For years I heard it said in church that the Christian life is about us asking/inviting God into our lives - these days I find it more helpful to consider that God invites us into HIS life.
The image used by the Cappadocian Fathers for this was that of Perichoresis - the dance of the Trinity (one of beautiful mutuality and interdependence) - and us being invited to join the dance (thereby becoming 'partakers of the divine nature' (2 Pet 1) - i.e. divinization).
But the problem is we are poor dance partners and we don't know how to dance. So the Christian life, the Spiritual life, is about us learning how to dance - learning the rhythm of God as it plays out in all aspects of our lives.
If anyone is interested the podcast is here (and is also available through iTunes - search for hOME).