I don't normally post lots of links. But I seem to have loads of tabs open in my browser and no time to blog about them. So her are some links to things I have read that I think are interesting.
For starters this is not something I write about often but in case it interests you we have: How to have sex (sustainably and ethically) – Green Living – The Ecologist. (seems very odd to me to mention ethical sex without any reference to who you have sex with. So I'll add that for me ethical sex includes one partner for life in a loving, relationship of mutual support and care).
If it were me I would want to insert something about the Holy Spirit and Scripture near the top.
I also want to strengthen "desirability" in point 6 as I believe that the Bible, particularly the New Testament is very clear on this.
I want to change focus a bit in point 7 to refer to other forms of injustice beyond current spending cuts. I am not against all cuts just against unjust ones and I think there are many other forms of injustice that we need to tackle (Banking, Trade as well as all the hateful injustices related to gender, sexuality and culture/ethnicity/nationality.
Here we go again.. another Royal Wedding to delight the masses. Forgive me if I can't get that excited about two highly privileged people who have decided to do what thousands of other people are not yet allowed to do by the laws of this land – regardless of how much they love one another.
You need to read the rest of her post as well. All good stuff.
This is probably the only reference I will make to this particular wedding as it holds almost no interest at all for me
I love his suggestion for dealing with these embarrassing incidents:
In my mind I’m beginning to compile a liturgy for the healing of embarrassing incidents. Examples would be read out, and then the congregation would respond with ‘Dear me, that is embarrassing!’ or other appropriate words. I’ve not got far with it as you can tell. If it turns out to be any good I’ll submit it to the people at Common Worship and see what happens. Or I might take it along to Synod, loiter in the corridors and see whether I can get any bishops to endorse it. To tell the truth I haven’t really looked into how one goes about these things.
It would be churlish to point out that Methodists (among many others) are free, willing and eager to use new liturgies without the need for Bishops to approve them. On the other hand maybe that means we have more embarrassing incidents to deal with.
Yesterday morning was quite different for me, in fact a first.
Linda (Curate in Rothley) and I were leading a remembrance day service just for young people with their parents allowed in.
The remembrance services in Rothley have outgrown the Church so there are two ecumenical services. The first at the Parish Church with the British Legion there and the second at the Community Centre with all the young peoples uniformed groups (and standing room only in the big hall).
It was good to have spent time preparing the service with Linda and it seemed to go reasonably well. Keeping a service running to time is one of my least favourite tasks as I am much more comfortable with freer forms of worship. Still we managed it.
One of the nice things was to introduce a new hymn for those there, one of my favourites by Bernadette Farrell "Christ be our light", which is a fantastic replacement for some of the sub Christian hymns used for Remembrance Day.
I have included the following in full. I think it is an excellent statement and very important that we share these views from the Christian Muslim forum widely. So much that is inaccurate is said about both Muslims and Christians. How appropriate that I read this today (11/11/10).
As the Presidents of the Christian Muslim Forum we condemn the attack on the Syriac Catholic Church in Bahgdad on 31 October which resulted in the deaths of at least 46 worshippers, including priests. We strongly emphasise that any attack on Christians or any innocent people is not condoned by Islam, the Qur’an or the example of the Prophet Muhammad. In fact, Islamic teaching safeguards the rights and security both of the innocent and of places of worship. The terrorists who committed these murders do not act or speak for Islam and should not be seen as representing Islam in any way. We also condemn the threats of suicide bombing by ‘The Islamic State of Iraq’ (an al-Qaeda affiliate) against the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt.
We also support the faithful presence of the ancient Christian churches in Muslim countries in the Middle East. These indigenous Christian communities predate the arrival of Islam in Iraq, Egypt and other countries and they have lived and worshipped alongside Muslims for nearly 1400 years. This faithful coexistence is the shared and valuable legacy of all Christians and Muslims and we strongly support their continuing presence.
We acknowledge that the good values of religion can become lost, or hijacked, at times of war, suffering, inequality and oppression and that it is the role and responsibility of religious leaders, people of faith and all people of good will to emphasise what is best in all our different traditions and world-views in order to build peace. This is the task and commitment that we have taken on through our leading roles in the Christian Muslim Forum and in other areas of our professional and religious responsibilities.
1.Urge all people of faith and goodwill to see beyond hate, hostility, extremism and terrorism and not judge any religion, especially in this case Islam, by the violent and destructive acts of those who claim allegiance to a religion but deny it through their actions. 2.Draw attention to the resources Christianity and Islam have in their traditions, scriptures and wise, courageous and gentle leadership to bring peace rather than war. 3.Ask all who associate religions with hatred, bloodshed and war to look deeper into their all-pervading messages of peace with God, neighbour and the stranger. 4.Commend all genuine peace-building and inter-religious initiatives as antidotes to extremism, violence and terrorism and pray that the example of friendship and peaceful living together is seen as more ultimately more powerful than acts of hatred. 5.Ask the governments of Muslim countries to make every effort to protect their Christian communities where they are threatened by terrorists and extremists 6.Ask our own Government to recognise the legitimate case for asylum of Christians fleeing oppression, persecution, death threats and terrorism in Middle Eastern and other countries
The Christian Muslim Forum is currently planning an event, with Muslim and Christian partners, bringing together Christians and Muslims from the West, Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries to explore joint action to support minority Christian communities and their peaceful Muslim neighbours in Iraq and elsewhere.’
Just back from a really good Stewards meeting at Syston Methodist Church and following their instructions I have just ordered a huge bunch of the new Methodist Publication: A gift of Christmas:
A new booklet that celebrates and reflects on the story of Christmas. Including Bible passages, stunning images from the Methodist Collection of Modern Art, prayers and reflections, the booklet is an engaging resource for churches to use in their communities. Download here or order from Methodist Publishing, ref PA619-CT-10 at £5 for 50 (inc p&p). The Methodist Church of Great Britain | Books and Publications.
Still coming to grips with all that happens at a much larger Church so am so delighted to have such a strong team of Stewards with so many great lay people with bucket loads of commitment and love.
I don't quite know how we have done it but in the next plan (Dec through Feb) I have managed to arrange to be taking many more services at Syston without feeling I am neglecting Rothley or Queniborough (and still be able to preach around the Circuit). That should be really helpful in getting to know people better.
I also love the fact that we have some great series coming up on Sundays. In Advent we have a set of blessings that the Circuit have written and which we will be giving out so that people can bless others.
In Syston we are following that with our Back to Church Sunday (we think that fits pretty well with the end of Just Walk Across the Room).
Then in Lent we are going to be following the #bigread on Sundays as well as in ecumenical groups during the week.
That will be followed by the whole Circuit engaging with BibleFresh for the rest of the year.
I just love the way that people all over the Churches are excited about all this.
But it does not stop there. I may have mentioned before that at Syston we have three people on the year long Mission Shaped Ministry Course. That is wonderful, but even better is how enthusiastic the rest of the Church is about this.
Over the years I have written about the advantages of our SunRay thin terminals. They are now 5.5 years old and still working perfectly with no complaints about speed or new applications not working.
The new house is showing more advantages of having thin-clients. We have installed proper Cat5 network cabling with two wall ports in each bedroom plus lounge and dining room. They all connect to a patch panel in the utility room by the server.
This makes life so easy. For example providing wired connections for Xboxes or Wii's to the boys bedrooms.
However, the SunRay thin terminals are so easy to setup that everyone in the house is able to do their own. Jane had managed to clear a desk in our bedroom and so took a SunRay up, connected all the cables including from the patch panel herself. When she took her smartcard from a machine she had been using and put it in the one in the bedroom her screen was exactly as she had left it downstairs (mouse in the same place, same window with focus, same keyboard state).
Imagine how long it would have taken to add an extra PC and put all the applications and documents on it.
Plus of course who wants a noisy big PC in your bedroom when you can have a silent (no fan even) SunRay.
Sadly since Oracle bought Sun it looks to me as if any developments of these fabulous thin clients for homes are unlikely. That is a real pity as with modern broadband performance it is perfectly practical to have a server somewhere out on the internet supporting thin clients in hundreds of homes.
Anyway now that Ubuntu 10.10 (The Maverick Meerkat release) looking stable I'll be upgrading the SunRays soon, sadly it does look as if sound may be impossible on these when using Ubuntu for a while. Seems that the Sun Ray Software Server is not keeping pace with Linux standards for sound.
However, we will get newer versions of OpenOffice as well as all the other packages we use and it will still all be free