Showing posts from 2012

Midnight, Christmas Eve

Light shines in the darkness And the darkness cannot overcome it For the shepherds, given the lowliest job. Marginalised, under appreciated, poorly paid, the butt of every joke, light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it For the wise men, those who seek genuine spiritual truth, the new agers, the tarot readers, the searchers, those who look at the world and see the hand of a creator, those who look at the dark skies for signs, light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it For Mary, unsure of her future, like every mother wondering what world her child is born into, what her baby will grow up to become, for every father who fears for his daughter's future, for every parent who has to trust their children, with all their successes and failures, into the hands of an unseen God, light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it For Anna and Simeon, those of old age, who had longed to see something later in their lifeti

Blue Christmas 2012

I'm so grateful to Maggi Dawn for flagging up the growing number of churches offering Blue Christmas events. Wolverhampton's third Blue Christmas will happen at on December 18th at 7.30pm

25 Things for Advent

A friend of mine, Andy Goodliff, has drawn together a group of people to reflect on advent in a different way, offering thoughts and activities that will help us engage with advent more deeply.  25 days. 25 things to do (or in some cases not do). 25 things to do to mark the season of advent. 25 things to do that don't celebrate christmas, but get us ready. 25 things to do that teach waiting and patience. 25 things to do that help head, heart and hands be generous. 25 things to do that shape a life in a Christ direction. I Invite you to take a look at 25thingsforadvent Today's entry just happens to be mine...

A coffee break treat - Rend Collective Experiment - Movements OFFICIAL

I know of folks who are struggling, fighting to hold onto faith, resisting the temptation to fall into despair, or battling with doubts about their futures, their pasts, their identity, their fertility. Job is recorded as saying, "Even though You slay me, I will trust you O Lord". That's a statement that has intrigued and inspired me at many times. It's a rare and beautiful faith that recognises the cost, the pain, the suffering and yet pushes on to the goal God has for them. For sure, their reward will be great. Elizabeth said to Mary, "Blessed is she who believes that what the Lord says, He will accomplish". Enjoy this, let it speak to your soul, as you replay it and join in may it be like deep calling out to deep. I wanna soar with You Up on wings like eagles But I'll crawl with You too When the dark and lonely questions come I wanna stand true No matter what's new or comes through I cant stand still Whatever hits I'll keep making movements

Casino Concern

Our local authority has been receiving bids to open a new casino in the city. A planning application has been received from Casino 36 Ltd to turn the former Beaches Nightclub on Temple Street into a casino, directly across the road from All Nations Christian Centre.  I'm  aware that our city centre needs regenerating, but I am concerned that not all regeneration is good for the city. I also think that if we had to have a casino (and the council do seem set on this) then this is in an inappropriate area. If you're in Wolverhampton, then please would you join with me in expressing concern about this? I invite you to write to Licensing Services,  your local councillor, or to Nick Edwards, Assistant Director for Regeneration (details below). We want the best for our city. I'm pretty sure this isn't it! Notes on writing to make your views known 2         When and where to write BY 27 Nov :                                            OR in the next few w

Baptists on Twitter part 3

And a few other Baptist tweeters, including more from Scottish Baptists Assembly Richard Littledale (Teddington BC, Middlesex) @richardlittleda Martyn Link (Central BC, Dundee) @martynlink Llanishen Baptist Church @LlanishenBC Ashley Lovett (Socketts Heath BC, Grays, Essex) @AshleyJLovett Michael Shaw (Devenport Community BC, Plymouth) @mikepcshaw Joel Schofield (Purley BC, Surrey) @SchofieldJoel Yvonne Faddes (Leslie BC, Fife) @vonnythemainman James Faddes (Leslie BC, Fife) @JamesFaddes John Burnsy (Scottish Baptist College grad, now?) @ScruffyBaptist Ruth McCaig (Cornton BC, Stirling) @RuthBoA Tom Vernon (LarkhallBC) @tvmovietom James Tait (Shetland) @bigtonview Kenny Roy (Central - formerly Morningside - BC, Edinburgh) @KAROY Smoffi O'Leary (Tabernacle BC Wolverhampton) @_Smoffi_ Mike O'Leary (Tabernacle BC Wolverhampton) @SheepOfJesus Jon Bruton (Tabernacle BC Wolverhampton) @jonbru Jon Bishop (Croxley Green BC, Watford) @therevbishop

Baptists on Twitter, part 2

Thanks to those who've been adding their details either in the comments here or on twitter using #BaptistTweeters Here's the next batch, with tweeting from the Scottish Baptist Assembly helping the search very much: Rachel J Lewis (Amphill BC, Bedfordshire) @Rachel_J_Lewis Barbara Carpenter (Stoke St Gregory BC, Taunton) @MrsCorny Ami Martin (Green Lane BC, Walsall) @am1mart1n Mark Thomas (Prison Chaplain, South Wales) @ReverendMark Paul Lavender (Mount Pleasant BC, Northampton) @paul_the_organ Shine Like Stars (Children's ministry, Stockport) @shinelikestars1 Chris Priddy (Youth Specialist, Swindon YFC) @chrispriddy Geoff Cook (Faversham BC) @revgeoffcook Judy White (Mission Development Co-ordinator, BUS) @wayfarersinc Martin J Clarke (Hillview Community Church, Aberdeen) @martinjclarke Steve Holmes (Lecturer, St Mary's College, St Andrew's) @SteveRHolmes DanielSturgeon (Ayr BC) @prophetmargins David Fraser (Alva BC) @RevRunD Jon Magee (Lochgelly B

Baptists on Twitter, part 1

Here's the first instalment of the list of Baptist Tweeters. We're starting with the UK, which should take some time, then we'll add some international Baptist tweeters too. If you're in the UK, and a Baptist Tweeter, please comment on this to add your name and twitter handle. It's be helpful to know where you're from too. My hope is that folks will use these lists to connect more with fellow Baptists, to hear together and from each other what's happening across the union and the nation. Here's the first 50, the links have all been tested, more to come soon! Keith Osmund-Smith (Madely BC, Telford)  @TelfordChaplain Ali Boulton (Whichelstowe, Swindon)  @RevAliBoulton Marcus Scotney (Dumfries BC) @marcusscotney David Kerrigan (BMS World Mission) @DavidKerrigan3 Neil Roberts (Chelmsley Wood BC, Birmingham) @CeolmundW Juliet Kilpin (Urban Expression) @JulietKilpin Keith Tarring (Camrose BC, Edgeware) @KeithTarring Steve Chalke (Oasis/Fait

Valuing life, and true dignity in death

What Value Life? Last week I had the most unexpected but insightful exchange of viewpoints with Robin Ince (comedian, writer, columnist and broadcaster), the new patron of Dignity in Dying. You can read that exchange in the post immediately before this one. After a few days Robin posted a well written, longer reasoning behind his decision to become patron of that group ( you can read it here ). There are some things he’s written that I’d heartily agree with, some that because of our very different starting places we’d understandably come to different outcomes, and some things I just profoundly disagree with. He very kindly pointed readers of his blog to the post that detailed our exchange, and there was at least the hint of an idea that we might converse again at some point. I wish I had half his skill with pen, word and wit, and I fear my much longer response might be less exciting. Nevertheless, here it is. So here I want to lay out some of my own reflection

Conversation with Robin Ince on Assisted Dying

The following is a conversation I had yesterday with Robin Ince who has just become the patron of Dignity in Dying, a campaigning group that is seeking a change in the law in the UK to permit assisted suicide. It happened on Twitter, and I was delightfully surprised when my response to his tweet announcing his patronage was met with a reply, and a long conversation. Such is the nature of Twitter that these tweets could easily be lost in a few days, so I've attempted to repost them here as a record of that exchange.  Because of the pace of the conversation, I've sought to arrange tweets in order of their response, rather than simply chronologically. I hope it makes sense.  I'd love to hear your comments. Robin Ince   ‏ @ robinince have just become a patron of this enlightened campaign Dignity in Dying. here is Patrick Stewart voicing the campaign … Jonathan Somerville   ‏ @ baptistjon @ robinince  it