Showing posts from 2010

Christmas Eve

I heard the bel l s on Christmas Day Their old familiar carols play. And wild and sweet the words repeat Of Peace on earth, good will to men. Peace on earth, good will to men. I thought how as the day had come The belfries of all Christendom Had rolled along the unbroken song Of Peace on earth, good will to men. Peace on earth, good will to men. And in despair, I bowed my head: 'There is no peace on earth,' I said, 'For hate is strong and mocks the song, Of Peace on earth, good will to men.' Peace on earth, good will to men. Then pealed the bells more loud and deep; 'God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, With Peace on earth, good will to men'. Peace on earth, good will to men. For so long now my default “go to” carol over advent has been “O come o come Emmanuel”. I’ve appreciated its element of lament, the great theology in it,  the cry of the hurting human heart “O come!”, and the reply of heaven, “Rejoice

Silent Monks Singing Halleluia

I hope you enjoy this as ,much as I did, an early Christmas pressie!

Blue Christmas, 21st December

This year we're adding an extra service in to our Advent programme. Blue Christmas is a time and space to explore the reality that for some people Christmas is a tough time. Family breakdown, redundancy, bereavement, illness, loneliness and other pains of life can leave us feeling quite "blue" whilst everyone else seems to be having a jolly old time. On December 21st (the longest night of the year) we'll be meeting for an hour to pray together, sing some appropriate songs, listen to and respond to some scriptures and share communion. It'll be a time to be real, to remember, and to reach out for comfort and hope. If you'd like a quiet and prayerful space to reflect on the pain of life this Advent, then you are most welcome, whether you have faith or not.

New blog added: Baptileaks

A couple of days ago I was sent a link to a new blog. It looks promising, so I thought I'd give you a heads up. I'm not entirely sure who's behind it, but I have a good idea... Take a look at  Baptileaks

Please bless Wolverhampton

A Wolverhampton school has made it through to the final of Berol's Win a Minibus competition. Now they need to get as many votes as they can. Please, click on  this link to Berol's site.  Find the August entry, which is from Dunstall Hill Primary School, Wolverhampton (next door to our church building) and vote for it. It will only take a moment, no registering needed or anything like that.

Sunday Nights @ Broad Street

We've begun our series of seeker events on Sunday evenings, where we're partnering with Saltmine and the Church @ Broad Street. This week Jon Turner from Saltmine will be speaking on Expectation and Surprise in the Christmas story. Jon Bruton playing guitar, and joined by some talented vocalists from Broad Street. We're starting at 7pm, finishing around 8pm then having refreshments. Do come if you're around.

Partnership with Saltmine and Church @ Broad Street

Last night saw the formal beginning of the partnership of Church @ Broad Street, Saltmine and Tabernacle Baptist Church, Wolverhampton. We're working together to ensure the continuance of Christian ministry at Broad Street. Here are the words we used last night, closely sourced from Gathering for Worship. Introduction We have gathered to mark the beginning of a new phase in the life and witness of the Church at Broad Street, Tabernacle Baptist Church and Saltmine. We come to affirm our belief that these churches and organisations have been led by the Spirit as they have explored the possibilities of shared ministry together here in Wolverhampton. Because of that, we make this mutual commitment to each other, and to the city. Today we have come to witness the beginning of a season of collaboration and exploration, of hope, of challenge and of renewed commitment to Christ, and his growing Kingdom. As representatives of Church at Broad Street, Tabernacle Baptist Church and Saltmine

Africa United Trailer - Africa United Movie Trailer

So, here's the trailer for Africa United, it's on general release in the UK from 22nd October. See you there?

Taking a minute

A Pastor from Beverley, East Yorkshire, a membership of 155, deacons meetings agendas that include issues around the timing of Sunday evening services, provision for elderly members, the needs to engage with the local community in both mission and evangelism. Excitement about growth, questions about the suitability of the current building, the needs of young people rising up the agenda, and structures being changed to make the most of opportunities given to Tabernacle Baptist Church. Sounds familiar? This is us today. But not just today. I’ve had the pleasure of looking through some of our archived minutes today, and in 1952 this was a picture of where the church was at. It’s a discovery that has had me smiling (what are the chances I’d not be the first pastor from Beverley here?), delighted there have been some great moves forward (a stipend of £350 wouldn’t quite work) and also questioning why we’re dealing with such similar issues today. Maybe it’s because every generation has to

John Boy's response to burning questions

I remember an episode of “The Waltons” that had quite an affect on my then rapidly developing sense of justice and morality. It was set in the late 1930’s and the local reverend had arranged a good old book burning, telling folks to bring all their German books for the fire, it would be an act of rejecting that evil Nazi philosophy, of cleansing a community from the very words that would lead to such dreadful warfare. I remember John Boy protesting, and the crowd shouting him down, until he pulled a book from the fire that hadn’t caught yet and asked if anyone spoke German. A little elderly lady steps forward, a German immigrant if I remember, a woman who’d been ostracised by the town. She reads the beginning of the book in German, then translates it; “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth...” This scene impressed itself upon me, and is probably what formed in me lasting unease about censorship, and a sense (not unquestioned) that free speech, access to literature a

World Cup 2010 Football Song - There May Be Glory

Loving this - my personal choice for World Cup Anthem. We want another star on the shirt!

Tuesday 27th April, a day of prayer and fasting

We’ve taken the unusual step of calling the church to a day of prayer and fasting on behalf of the leadership team in the church. The reason for this is that a significant number of the leaders have been struggling and suffering recently (indeed a number of people in the church have been struggling greatly). I wouldn’t normally rush to a conclusion that we’re under some kind of spiritual attack, however there have been just such a large number of the team who have affected recently that we are made more mindful of Paul’s teaching in Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (TNIV) What does this attack look like? For some it is the recurrence of chronic and painful illness, for others it’s a sense of being overwhelmed by the pressures of life, for others it is close friends and family members who’ve been taken

Nowrūz Mobarak

Every week I lead a class for small group of people who are recent followers of Jesus. We use some excellent material from All Nations college (SEAN Courses) that I highly recommend. The group meets at the home of an Iranian family, who are part of our church, and this week, instead of our usual study, we celebrated together the Iranian New Year ( Nowruz ). Part of this celebration is to look at the Haft Sin table, a place where seven items that begin with the letter S ( Sin in Farsi) and have symbolic meaning are placed. Here is their Haft Sin table: On this table you can see several items, each with a symbolic meaning. For the Christian couple these are used prayerfully at the start of the year to ask God's blessing in key areas. The traditional  Haft Sīn  items are: sabzeh  - wheat, barley or lentil sprouts growing in a dish - symbolizing rebirth samanu  - a sweet pudding made from wheat germ - symbolizing affluence senjed  - the dried fruit of the  oleaster  tree

David Kerrigan reflects on Baptists and Women in ministry

The following article is reproduced with kind permission of David Kerrigan from his blog Thinking Mission . David is General Director of BMS World Mission, and I reproduce this as I consider it an excellent statement and reflection from a Baptist leader. the limits of dissent [A personal view - not an official account - of one aspect of Baptist Union Council this week.] I returned from BU Council on Wednesday, feeling that this had been three days well spent. Recent Councils have been excellent in grappling with substantial issues in ways that restore your confidence in the principle of the gathered community discerning the mind of Christ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I commented on this in relation to last November’s Council here . These last three days have had a major focus on “Women in Leadership among the churches of the Baptist Union of Great Britain”. This wasn’t a debate about whether women can exercise ministerial leadership. That was established back in th

Book Review; Building a Multi-Ethnic Church by Linbert Spencer

Following recent European election wins for the BNP, the mini-pogrom against Romanian immigrants in Northern Ireland last year, and concerns about immigration issues and the increased appearance of the BNP this comes as a timely read. This book is accessible and comprehensive. Beginning with a biblical reflection on diversity in the Church, Spencer argues a strongly biblical and missiological case in favour of multi-ethnic congregations. He then very helpfully goes on to give an analysis of the current situation, and the patterns of migration that have led to where we are now. Something very valuable in dealing with and defining both a distinctively Christian, and positively truthful response to many of the claims and lies made around this subject. This is also a very practical book, with a section on terminology that will be helpful to many, and with chapters offering valuable advice on developing diverse memberships, and planning mission in multi-ethnic contexts. From here in

Bible for Spiritual Seekers

John Drane (over on 2churchmice's blog ) has linked to this excellent online resource . It's called "Awaken the Spirit" and is being released over a period of time. It's a great way of exploring and entering into the scriptures, and well worth a look.

Retreating or conferring?

I'm not sure which it is I'm meant to be doing, so I'll just do both... I’m currently staying at Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick and attending the Heart of England Baptist Association’s (HEBA) annual Ministers’ conference. Some things have changed since I was last here, such as the breakfast (which used to be a highly unsatisfactory affair) which has improved tremendously, as has all the food. It’s such a shame I’m on a diet! The other thing that has changed is the layout, it’s been modernised in the downstairs of the main hose, and looks all the better for it. So, what does one do at a Ministers’ Conference? Well, I arrived yesterday evening (after conducting the funeral service of our oldest member, may she rest in peace and rise in glory) just in time to hear Elaine Storkey speaking on 1 Peter. She was good, as always, mixing both the theological study and the very practical application, something she continued this morning in our worship and teaching time. I al