Thursday, April 28, 2005

Still feeling sleepy!

Well the long awaited day has come and gone. I had my op today in and out in 4 hours home now feeling very uncomfortable but still as they say its all up hill from here or is that down hill!

Caroline how did you manage in one of those places for so long, still I see what you mean about the painkillers!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Blah Blah Blah.............

Went along to Blah Manchester last night where the speaker was Jonny Baker. Great night was had, high quality snacks and a decent red wine! That however was not the main purpose of the evening, the theme was Probes: Getting Under the Skin of the Emerging Church. The link takes you to Jonny's site where the idea is discussed in greater detail.

It was a good night that provided lots of thoughtful discussion and challenging issues, that the church is all to often reluctant to talk about. I do worry however that in the current arena of emerging church and in the discussion around new expressions of being church we are just going to create a new one size fits all. The ideas we had last night were bold, exciting, the conversations led down all kinds of interesting avenues, however (and you new there was one coming) it was all a bit middle class and intellectual.

Sadly this seems to be the case with all working examples of new and emerging churches(that I have seen). I have seen other examples of what some would claim to be emerging church but they just look the same as other or "normal" church i have seen before. Perhaps another debate we should be having is what does define emerging, is it important what label we apply anyway if it is working (how do we define working, I'm digging a hole).

The models of intellectual church I have seen so far are great for those living the "city life" (although a friend of mine said he was not sure what was so new it was the same as normal but without hymns)but I am not sure it would engage with those living in the estates of South Manchester where I have been working. Many of these both young and old are just as disengaged with church as those who are currently trying the new expressions emerging from the cafe bars of the city centre.

Despite having seemed to critique all that is being done I do want to support it fully. The emerging church movement is managing to make or has arisen out of a need for the church to look long and hard at the way it is in a new and apparently constantly changing culture. For me personally this has to be encouraged and we all need to start looking at how "we are church" wherever we are. So I pray for guidance and that the spirit will lead us all into new and exciting ways of sharing and living the Gospel.

Before I go just a funny observation (at least I think so) Jonny last night told us how he thought preaching was regarded by the church as something to be held onto when really we should be having small conversations and discussions and if someone was to speak it should be for about 10 mins. He then went on to preach sorry I mean speak for 45 minutes!

Liz he said to say hello to you and hoped you were ok he said he had expected to see you. I explained you had changed your sex and started calling yourself Ashley!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Who will you vote for?

Go on have a go it surprised me:
Who Should You Vote For?

Who should I vote for?

Your expected outcome:

Liberal Democrat

Your actual outcome:

Labour -22
Conservative -81
Liberal Democrat 100
UK Independence Party -29
Green 45

You should vote: Liberal Democrat

The LibDems take a strong stand against tax cuts and a strong one in favour of public services: they would make long-term residential care for the elderly free across the UK, and scrap university tuition fees. They are in favour of a ban on smoking in public places, but would relax laws on cannabis. They propose to change vehicle taxation to be based on usage rather than ownership.

Take the test at Who Should You Vote For

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Its Good to keep in Touch!

Liz was only recentley commenting on how whilst enjoying a meal in the Punjab the staff in there called her one of the family. Indeed this was impressive to be held in that kind of esteem by the staff of your local curry house and it has to be said no ordinary curry house but one so exellent. Well whilst Liz's story may be impressive I think I can go one better. There I was watching some trashy DIY program when the phone rings. "Hello" I say rather disgruntled that I have been dragged away from my evening of trash telly. "Oh hello mate" comes the reply "Punjab Tandori Restraunt here we were just ringing to check you are ok as we not seen you for long time".

Now granted we were going in on a regular basis until my waist line increased and bank balance decreased but still! Well Liz beat that still its nice to know that in an age where milkmen are declining, postie's to busy to notice at least your local indian restraunt is there to make sure your not rotting away in your lounge.

Its been a busy few weeks with Easter and all that. The lent group went well and everyone thanked me and said how sad they were to see it finishing. I left them with the challenge to ensure something else started up to replace it as I will only be there for a few more months.

From here on in its eyes down and full steam ahead into assignments I have 21,000 words to write between now and June. Writing the words is not a problem making them have meaning, well that could be the hard part. I have all kind of interesting subjects to cover: The practice and theology of ordained ministry, Ministry in a secular context, The bible in a historical context, Apologetics, Forming creeds and doctrines. So if my blogging becomes even more irratic (would you even notice) then you will know why.

I'm still up as Karen is preparing for a roadshow she is doing tomorrow. She is working as the administrator for Greater Manchester Community Chaplaincy Team which is a charity that helps ex offenders reabilitate themselves into the community. This and the treatment of offenders in prisons is something we have both become passionate about. I suppose the work we are both doing makes you engage with the debate on whether prison is punishment or rehabilitation or indeed both. I almost hope our local conservative candidate knocks on the door so I can engage them in the debate on how locking up more people will solve all our problems. Mind you around here calling might even be a waste of time in what is a staunch Labour seat.

Well Karen is finshed and i'm done in for the night, oh Sally I have started to answer your questions - Honest!