Monthly Archives: March 2010

More Resurrection News

As I mentioned in my tweet earlier today I spent the morning at Irthlingborough Infant School talking to three year 2 classes about how Christians celebrate Easter.

Following on from 42: Resurrection, Brownies and Methodism and Adrian Warnock’s challenge to stress the resurrection I am pleased to report that the kids in Irthlingborough were were very confident and sure of the resurrection. 

We had a great time together which included some foot washing, discussions on exactly how like blood does communion wine look and offers to cut off their ears.

They were all absolutely sure about Jesus dying on a cross (although the phrase “hung on a cross” that some of them had heard before had confused them a bit. I got good questions about why Jesus died on a cross and what it meant.

When it came to Easter Sunday they were absolutely sure that the tomb was empty and why. Lovely to hear.

Resurrection, Brownies and Methodism

Resurrection

I am very sympathetic to Adrian Warnock wanting to stress the Resurrection, especially over this Easter period as per his post Ten day empty grave challenge.

It is interesting though to see concerns that Christians do not emphasise the resurrection enough as in my tradition there is often a concern that we focus too much on the resurrection and skip too quickly over the crucifixion and darkness of Easter Saturday.

Brownies

Anyway, last night I was with the Brownies at Raunds Methodist Church taking their evening which was focused on their "Discovering Faith badge". We did a whole bunch of stuff (games, prayer writing …) but specifically looked through Mark chapters 14, 15 and 16.

In small groups (their sixes) they looked through all the sections of those chapters and chose the ones that they felt were most important. They narrowed it down initially to 8 and then we had a discussion and vote on which were the most important. The results were clear.

The Brownies in Raunds believe that the two most important parts of the Easter story are:

  • The Crucifixion
  • The Resurrection

They were able to clearly say what had happened and why they thought these were the most important. The next most important part of the story for them was the Last Supper.

So Adrian, good news. The Brownies are well ahead of the pack. Through their "Discovering Faith" badge work they already know what the Crucifixion and Resurrection are about and why they are so important.

I had a great evening with a wonderful bunch of people that make up the Brownies at Raunds Methodist Church, another of those times when you remember that you have the best job in the world.

Mary Magdelene

Somewhat a change of pace immediately after as I went to a practice for Mary Magdelene by Roger Jones at Wollaston Methodist Church (note it is safe, honest, I am not singing – just there to help with the projection stuff). 

So all invited to the performance of Mary Magdelene on Monday 29th March at Wollaston Methodist Church starts 7:30pm (and of course this includes resurrection!).

Easter Saturday

We are doing something new and extra this year. Our regular Cafechurch at Costa in Wellingborough is happening on Easter Saturday (April 3rd). Doors open at 7pm, programme starts at 7:30pm and ends at 8:30pm.

The theme this month is "Is life giving you grief?" which fits well with the feelings of Easter Saturday. We hope it will be helpful for anyone who is not feeling like a happy celebration on Easter Day. However, it should be interesting for everyone, we have a guest "expert witness" from the NHS Wellbeing team being interviewed which I am looking forward to (thanks to Sue and Lucy). 

So this is one event where the resurrection is not going to be front and centre, however, I feel that is entirely right and proper for Easter Saturday.

Good Friday

Another time when we will not be specifically talking about the resurrection is on the Good Friday march of witness. A bit of a problem for me this one as it is hard to be in 4 places at one (Thrapston, Raunds, Irthlingborough and Wollaston) all have marches which clash. So this year I'll be in Raunds (we just finalised the programme this morning). The Raunds march starts at 10am at St Peter's and finishes at the Saxon Hall. Strong volunteers are very welcome as the cross we carry seems to get heavier every year!

John Boehner: Health care is NOT a right …

[Update]

I am sorry, it looks like I was taken in and it was a hoax (the twitter account has been suspended].

[End Update]

Quite amazing this:

Health care is NOT a right, it's a PRIVILEGE for those who earn an honest living. If you gangbang&listen to rap all day you don't deserve it

Twitter / John Boehner: Health care is NOT a right ….

This is from the US House Republican Leader. Many of his tweets are surprising in tone even vitriolic. I wished I could believe that this is someone pretending to be him.

I am still taken by surprise by attitudes like this. I can't quite believe that anyone can convince themselves that the millions of people without healthcare (isn't it about 40 million people) all deserve to have no health care.

For that matter I don't understand why people can think that anyone else does not deserve health care.

So very glad not to be a US Citizen and as always very glad we have the NHS.

The proper perspective

I am sitting at home after another WOT (Worship On Thursdays) [this is our local chaotic remodelled version of Messy Church].

I am wondering about perspective.

For years people have been telling me to get a proper perspective on the Methodist Church. Typically the proper perspective has included things like:

  • Leave because the Methodist Church is in terminal decline
  • You won't find any Methodists interested in Evangelism
  • Methodists aren't interested in Mission
  • There are no young people in Methodist Churches
  • Methodists can't/won't change or do anything new
  • Methodist Worship is boring and traditional, it is of no interest to people outside the Church
  • Methodists are boring and have given up.
  • Methodists are silly liberals who don't believe in the Holy Spirit or in Jesus or in anything really
  • Methodist Churches in rural areas and small towns are doomed. You might as well just close them as soon as possible.

I want to thank all those who have shared views like this with me over the years. These views help me keep a proper perspective.

Without this proper perspective I might look at what is happening in Raunds, particularly at WOT and be led astray.

For example I might be confused by the new people, who have never been in a Church before, who keep coming.

I might be confused by the young people who keep bringing along more friends. Without the "proper" perspective I might think that young people enjoy being part of this Church.

It is lucky that I have these "proper" perspectives or I might look at the numbers in the register and believe that just because they keep going up there is growth.

Without that proper perspective I might be confused by the dedication of the Methodists here, by their eagerness to share their faith and to care for others. Without the proper perspective to correct me I might have mistakenly believed that they took you seriously and through the power of your Spirit in them were alive and active as part of your Kingdom reaching out to those who don't know you yet.

OK enough of the sarcasm.

This is want I really want to say:

Thank-you ever loving and living God for the people called Methodist that I have the privilege of serving in the Nene Valley Circuit. The wonderful people here who are eager to praise you, follow you, serve you, tell others of you and show them you through their love.

Thank-you again and again for your son Jesus, our Lord. Thank you for his teaching and example that it is our joy and delight to share with these young people and their families. Thank-you that they find him as attractive, welcoming, affirming and life changing as your people have through the centuries. Thank-you that we are able to share wonderful news that he died on the cross to offer forgiveness, reconciliation and new life to all. Thank-you that new people are receiving new life through your risen Son.

Thank-you for the work of your Holy Spirit among us, bringing us new life, changing lives, challenging and changing us. Thank-you for the wonderful gifts your Spirit has poured out on your people here to use in your service. Thank-you that you have never given up on us.

And as for me Lord I thank you that your perspective is so different to that of the world. I praise and thank you for best time of my life that you have led me to. May my perspective always come from you.

Thanks for the growth of your Church here. Whooo Hooo :-)

Yiiiippppeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Amen!!!!

If this is what being part of a boring, dying Church is like – then can I have some more please :-)

I hate the B571

Today I rode to Wellingborough along my least favourite road.

The B751 from Irthlingborough to Wellingborough (called "Wellingborough Road", "Mill Road" and "Irthlingborough Road") is horrible for a cyclist. For some reason this road seems to destroy the brains of car drivers.

In the section nearest Irthlingborough there are hidden dips on a straight section. Car drivers continually try to overtake with no knowledge of what might be coming in the opposite direction.

In the middle section there are a couple of junctions, one on a blind bend. Cars try to overtake without being able to see, or they overtake and then immediately stop as they wait to be able to turn off across traffic coming the other way. Both happened to me today.

At the Wellingborough end there are a number of right angle blink bends. One of these is particularly nasty when coming back from Wellingborough. You are climbing quite steeply and the road does a sharp left onto the railway bridge, it is completely blind, narrow and there is a brick wall at the side of the road. Today an incredibly stupid and dangerous driver overtook me on this blind bend despite me moving out towards the middle of the road. As he overtook I was totally dependant on luck – was a car coming the other way or not, neither of us could see to know if I was going to be ok or squashed against the wall if he had to swerve to avoid a head on collision. 

I hate this road, it feels like the most dangerous "minor" road in this area yet it is an important route for cyclists. It is a key route from the east and south east into Wellingborough. The others require you to use main A roads with no cycle facilities or ride much further.

No wonder people don't cycle much in the UK,

Cycling against the car culture

An excellent post by a barrister who looks  in detail at specific legal cases and concludes that strict liability would help The Cycling Lawyer: Cycling against the car culture.

The heavier and faster the vehicle you chose to control, the more danger you present to others.  A recognition that this imposes a correspondingly greater duty and, in the event of accident, comes with a burden of proof may constitute one small step towards the shift in culture required

This is why I believe in equality

Great post, with pictures :-) at We Mixed Our Drinks: This is why I believe in equality. Ends with:

This is why equality is important. It's not something to do with wanting to wipe out men. It's not something it was okay to stand for in the 1970s, with no need to stand for it now. Hearing these women speak we were left in no doubt that equality and respect is not something we've achieved. It's something we have to keep on fighting for.

I should have had decaff :-)

Tonight was our 3rd Cafechurch at the Costa Coffee in Wellingborough, this time with yours truly doing a spot of hosting (and being reminded that it is a good job that I am not trying to make a living as a standup comic). See 42: Coffee and other bits for comments on the previous event.

Anyway tonight we had a theme of Fairtrade, it being Fairtrade fortnight, there was a good turnout with new faces. We had two local "experts", Valerie Susan to share experiences and thoughts with us, plus as usual live music (and yes we did note the irony of the theme when Costa do not sell any Fairtrade tea and the coffee is not yet fairtrade by default).

I did make the mistake of not ordering decaff though so am now awake for blogging which is a pity as my first service of three tomorrow is at 8:30 in Wellingborough. My problem is that I like Costas new Flat White Coffee very much but still feel the need to have back to back comparisons with my previous favourite (Massimo skinny latte with extra shot) :-)

Our next Cafechurch is on Saturday April 3rd, doors open at 7pm for a 7:30pm start. Finishing at 8:30pm with doors closing at 9pm. Again all are invited to Costa Coffee in Wellingborough where the theme is "Is life giving you grief?"

In praise of Methodist Homes

Today was a big day for our family. We moved my Mother-in-law to a new home. 

Months ago when we discussed with her our options regarding stationing (for background see 42: Drowning in excitement) she said she would like to move with us but did not want to have her own home again.

So for a few months we have been looking with her at a wide variety of options. In the end she has chosen to move into a residential home from Methodist Homes (see MHA.org.uk). We have visited three times and taken her twice, on one of her visits she stayed for a residents meeting and for lunch.

We were absolutely delighted when the home she had chosen offered her a place, it is a few months earlier than we initially hoped for but the room they had available was perfect (ground floor with a lovely garden view) so we decided to not to wait.

During the past few months we have visited many residential homes near where we will be moving to and the Methodist Home stood out, not just a little better but massively so. 

When we visited the residents all took notice and chatted to us, the staff were very welcoming to us and we were really impressed by the care they showed to everyone (evident in the way the served lunch, they way they listened in the residents meeting, the way they worked as a team and many others). 

While every residential home has an activities organiser in this Methodist Home there are 3 activities every day (and enough lounges that you don't have to go to your room to avoid them). On our second visit they were setting up Mii's for all the residents on their new Wii :-)

When we arrived today we found that not only had they cleaned the room thoroughly but it also had a new furniture: fancy electric chair – the sort that ejects you or provides a foot rest depending on the button you press, wardrobe, drawers, bedside cabinet. It did mean that we brought quite a but of stuff back home as it was not needed :-)

As we had hoped the staff were not just expecting her but were welcoming and ready. So all the necessary stuff like sorting out her medication was handled quickly, efficiently and with personal attention and care.

I had to leave fairly early in order to get the hire van back (and get to our 3rd Cafechurch at Costa Coffee in Wellingborough) but Jane and her sister were able to stay and get the room fully sorted and be sure that Mum had met people and started the process of settling in. I'll see her next on Tuesday when I take a son over for a 6th form interview.

Anyway in summary: A big thank-you to the MHA for providing a wonderful new home for Fay. If you are looking for residential care for someone you love and have found so many of the options depressing I recommend you have a look at the MHA.