Monday, 29 March 2010

nice little song

Banning children from church

My son was really naughty this weekend so we took away his biggest treat. He was banned from this Sundays service and needs to earn his way to coming next Sunday. I'm not sure about the rights and wrongs of this action but how long will church as a treat last?!!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Lets be a bit Christian... maybe.....perhaps

I came back last week from my last council for a while. I really enjoyed it. I get fed there with ideas and thoughts which is good and I appreciate how much effort is put into the agenda and it being a well run series of meetings. Some highlights, low lights and learning points then...

The main issues were around women in ministry and pensions.

women in ministry:-

Council sought to affirm women in ministry err... again. We did this and some of the presentation stuff was good. There was no appetite for in anyway enforcing churches who don't recognise women in ministry to tow the line which is interesting as it highlights how differently we treat minority justice issues. Race - fine, we'll give energy money and prayer to this. Women - we're a bit bothered but not enough to do much. Sexuality - sorry you're out in the cold, at least officially.

We say this is all to do with scripture but it's interesting how much it mirrors societies own stance, not really the stance of the Bible. It's also clear that we are fine for minorities to wait in the sidelines until the rest of us can start to 'feel' OK about it.

The issue of women was on the agenda at all though because there are some strong voices who care a great deal and handled the issue with care and sensitivity. It was a gift to hear some of the stories and there were a few individuals who I really was pleased to hear.

Pensions :- Oh my word. Ask a group of self benefiting ministers if they want a good pension or a really really good pension and try to guess the outcome?! My favourite part was when someone stood up and said that as Baptists we need to protect the weakest amongst us, so we need to look after our ministers in their old age. Mmmm, I reckon the weakest may be those we and society outcast not quite the educated middle class ministers. We have a guy who has stayed at the church and keeps peeing in the foyer. He's pretty weak. Maybe we should look after him first?

What was brilliant. Really really good was how the discussion was run. Really well put together and allowed people, all people to express an opinion. Was great.

One of the evening presentations was about the Bible and politics. Ooo Ooo I thought, getting all excited, we could really shake things up. A college principal led it. I was quite excited. The outcome.... well he said that politics is a bit good and also a bit .. err bad. So we should get involved .... a bit.

That session for me was the biggest let down. There was such an oportunity for engagement and discussion to be provocative and explorative, really, whatever your angle on it and we managed again to be well... flacid. Do we really have nothing to say.

There was a brilliant presentation by Rosemary Kidd. She's doing some good stuff and the Faith and Unity lot gave some helpful handouts. Brilliant, we can all now engage a little, if it's not too much trouble, or it doesn't make too many waves.

Oh deep sigh......

place to chew the fat

I have noticed that most of the things I want to blog about are too controversial. Things happen I would like to post about them but I realise that it may cause too much turmoil. That then begs the question of where in the world do we sit and talk through things. I loved being in religious spaces when I stayed in Israel because people would really go for it. It was OK. In fact it seemed to me that not just religious conversation but most conversations were times of formation.

What of us though? Where can the Baptists take ideas and doubts and explore them. What does it mean if leaders need to tow a line but not explore thoughts? Is it just simply that I am gifted in rubbing people up the wrong way!!!!.....