Sunday, 31 January 2010

Hymn for today

Not something I normally do and I am not trying to steal Richard Hall's idea over at Connexions but this is a hymn that struck me as being very appropriate given the debate that has gone on this week.

The Church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord,
She is His new creation
By water and the Word.
From heaven He came and sought her
To be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her
And for her life He died.

She is from every nation,
Yet one o’er all the earth;
Her charter of salvation,
One Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy Name she blesses,
Partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses,
With every grace endued.

The Church shall never perish!
Her dear Lord to defend,
To guide, sustain, and cherish,
Is with her to the end:
Though there be those who hate her,
And false sons in her pale,
Against both foe or traitor
She ever shall prevail.

Though with a scornful wonder
Men see her sore oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder,
By heresies distressed:
Yet saints their watch are keeping,
Their cry goes up, “How long?”
And soon the night of weeping
Shall be the morn of song!

’Mid toil and tribulation,
And tumult of her war,
She waits the consummation
Of peace forevermore;
Till, with the vision glorious,
Her longing eyes are blest,
And the great Church victorious
Shall be the Church at rest.

Yet she on earth hath union
With God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion
With those whose rest is won,
With all her sons and daughters
Who, by the Master’s hand
Led through the deathly waters,
Repose in Eden land.

O happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we
Like them, the meek and lowly,
On high may dwell with Thee:
There, past the border mountains,
Where in sweet vales the Bride
With Thee by living fountains
Forever shall abide!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Emotive language

I am often amazed by the emotive language that is sometimes used on the various blogs I read but then I recognise that some of my fellow bloggers are quite passionate about the items they blog about and can understand it. I also realise that one lot of emotive language will often generate some more, especially where folk have opposing views.
Much is being said at the moment about a paper that is going to the Methodist Council and it has generated much comment in a number of places including South Africa on Steve Jones' blog.

I have read the report and can see that it is very much the sort of policy my employer has for staff and we subscribe to without any difficulty at all, I think too that the important thing here may be that it is for paid employees of the church more than rank and file members. I do wonder how you could possibly police or enforce these guidelines should they become rules and while people may say they are just guidelines there is always that possibility especially if they are being interpreted by a jobsworth!

I have noted the questions that were asked over on Connexions of Toby Scott from the communications office and was interested to read that he checks 20 Methodist blogs each day and wonder who they all are as I have never been able to find that many British Methodist blogs - perhaps readers might be able to point me in the right direction as I would like to widen my reading. Toby also says he is glad that no one said John Wesley would be using blogs and other social networking sites but I am not sure why as I believe John Wesley would use the tools that were available and appropriate for spreading the gospel and there are many tools that we ignore almost at our peril.

I suppose this discussion will continue for a while and will continue to watch it with great interest.

Vestry Prayer for Ordinary 4 year C

Loving Lord we come together today as your people to bring our praise and adoration to you. We pray for this time together and ask Lord that you would bless N...... as they lead us in worship and bring your word for us today.
May it be Lord that we will see love shared among us as we think upon your word and as we remember that three things remain: faith, hope and love.
We pray that you would strengthen our faith, increase our hope and help us to love as we remember that the greatest of these is love.
We come in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Vestry Prayer Ordinary 3 Year 'C'

Gracious heavenly Father we gather this morning as the worshippers of old gathered in the synagogue. We come as they did, in expectation that you may speak to us through the reading of your word and the message that our brother/sister brings to us.
We pray Lord that your spirit would be on them this morning and that you would enable them to announce the good news to the poor, and proclaim that today God’s time has come.
Help us to see you in our act of worship and to be encouraged in our journey with you.
We ask all these things in the name of the one who was indeed the word made flesh.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Vestry Prayer for 17th January 2010

Heavenly Father we come into your presence today as the guests that gathered at the wedding feast in Cana. We ask Lord that as you were present at that wedding you will be present with us in this act of worship.We ask Lord that our time together will be a celebration of the new life we have through your love for us. We pray Lord that you will be with our brother/sister as they lead us in worship this morning and may it be that their words would speak to us, that your spirit would fill us and renew us as the water was renewed and changed into wine. We ask all these things in and through the name of Jesus. Amen

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

School's Out.

Much has been written and no doubt said in the past few days about the closure or non closure of schools, and I am sure there have been many comments along the lines of 'In my day the schools never closed'. I know too that in our office comments have been made about the fact that we have been in whatever the weather has thrown and in fact one of our senior managers sent an email to us saying it was 'Business as usual' which created some comments.
The Vicar's Wife has posted on this topic and it is worth reading both the post and the comments which give some interesting insights.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Election fever!

I feel it has already started - election fever - the only thing we don't know is when the General Election will take place only that it will. I have always voted in every election since I was first able to and this will be no exception, and as usual I will be urging other people to vote.

I have always believed it is important to exercise our right to vote and I fail to see how people can complain about the government of the day if they can't even get their backsides in gear to go out and vote.

This will be the last post on the topic of the election as due to the surfeit of sites, blogs and other commentators I have decided to declare this blog and election free zone, an oasis of none election talk or comment.

Great time today.

I went to preach at Pheasey Evangelical Church this morning and had a great time - the service leaned towards the Pentecostal Church style with the breaking of bread and the preaching of the word. The service did not seem to be structured in any way and no one knew what I was intending to preach on and yet everything seemed to fit together remarkably well.
I was asked if I could play the piano when I arrived and very willingly did so as they have a very nice baby grand piano at this church but no one to play it. There were two other musicians there, a guitarist who I was aware of and a saxophonist who I wasn't because they were sitting at the back. Both of them played very well and I was surprised to find that the saxophonist had played by ear and made a very good job of it given that the one hymn was in a very difficult key.

Thank you

Thanks to all my fellow bloggers for their congratulations on our 28th wedding anniversary and also for comments about my return to blogging after almost a month off.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Keeping up with the Joneses

Steve Jones over in South Africa has picked up on my earlier post about the Bishop of Lichfield's initiative to recruit young people into the ministry - it is worth a read.

Methodist Recorder Revamp!

I was quite surprised on Thursday when my Methodist Recorder arrived as the front page looked more modern that is usual for the Recorder. I opened it to do my usual skim through before going to work and was quite pleasantly surprised to find the inside had changed as well. On first impressions I would have to say it looks quite good but I am reserving judgement until it has been running a few weeks.
I have commented elsewhere that my cynical side says I wonder if it is a ploy to bring in a price increase. On a page count basis this must be the most expensive piece of reading material that I buy and often I wonder why I continue to buy it especially on the weeks when there is an 8 page supplement that reduces the 'Methodist' content by the same amount. At least the supplements in my local evening paper are always extra pages and do not rob the remaining items.

28 years ago today!

Well folks I can confidently say that 28 years ago today the weather was worse than it is today. I remember on that day an hour before our wedding I was shovelling snow off the church steps and my wife to be arrived at the church in jeans and Wellington boots.
She cause the organist some difficulty because she came into church by a different route and he ended up playing bits of the wedding march he had never seen before.
It was a great day though and around 100 people turned out so it was quite pleasing given the weather.
This morning is very reminiscent!!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Vestry Prayer Sunday after Epiphany Year C

Lord of the years we thank you for a new year, for the opportunity to make a new start and to re-commit our lives and ourselves to you. As we gather today to bring our worship to you and consider the beginning of your ministry, may it be that we will be enthused by those events and reminded of the words of your Father.
We ask that you would be with our brother/sister as they lead us in worship and bring your word, bless their ministry to us today and may it be that as Charles Wesley wrote we would be 'moved by thee'.
We bring our prayers in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Young and looking for a job?

If this is you then the Bishop of Lichfield has a solution according to the Express and Star. There is a campaign to encourage the jobless to think about getting a 'job' as a vicar - young people will be sent to theological college and trained to become curates and deacons according to the article. Now it might be me but there are a couple of things that bother me about all this - firstly when did being a vicar become a job rather than a vocation? Secondly there appears to be no suggestion that those expressing an interest should be Christians which I would have thought should be an essential requisite for anyone thinking of entering the ministry.
I have to say I do think it would be good to bring in some new blood but surely not at any cost.

Is there anybody there?

Not sure if any one has been thinking that as it has been some time since I posted anything. I notice there are one or two regular visitors according to sitemeter and I am also picking up quite a few from the next blog thing at the top of the page. I have done a bit of clicking on this from time to time and found some interesting stuff there.
Any way there are no excuses for not posting except I haven't really had anything that has made me thing I must write something on my blog - I have been commenting on others thought so not been totally quiet.
I suppose if you were looking for an excuse as well it would have to be the busyness of the last few weeks as we prepared for Christmas. I have already started preparing for this year as I bought a music book last week for only £4-99 with 49 well know Christmas songs in it - not sure if that could be said to be sad!!