Showing posts from September, 2010

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