Wednesday, 15 July 2009

it must be sabbatical, there's time to read the news!

There’s no doubt about it, the Church of England still make the news – in a way I personally don’t believe Baptists should ever aspire to (so many of the seeds of our decline can be traced to our desire to rise up the classes!) I'm thinking about the call to reduce the number of Bishops, although I realise it's not exactly reported in the most helpful manner. Certainly, I cannot imagine a call for there to be fewer Regional Ministers to reach the columns of the Daily Mail (Telegraph maybe!). The issue it raises is a good one though in a generation where we have to think more seriously about the connections between local ministry and regional/national etc - anything which helps us engage more usefully with our missional context. 
I notice FIFA are trying to clamp down on the Christian Brazilians footballers and have re-stated their rules:

FIFA rules say: “Players must not reveal undergarments showing slogans or advertising. The basic compulsory equipment must not have any political, religious or personal statements.”

‘Pants’ to that! I love the translation in ‘The Message’ of Matthew 10:9 where it states ‘you don't need a load of equipment - you are the equipment!’. It seems the life we’ve been given is ‘the basic compulsory equipment’ and no one has ever produced a rule-book which has succeeded in silencing those which speak for Jesus. Of course, many have and will continue to try.

Hey - thanks Paul for the link to yesterday's news on the BBC website 'degree in rhetoric to be launched'. Very interesting development. My hunch is the big wide world beyond the church will increasingly become more taken with what has become a dying art and then, guess what, the church will suddenly discover preaching to a congregation is sexy again. Call me a cynic if you like.

A fun day yesterday (aren't you supposed to be on sabbatical I hear them cry). Well, Maggie had a day off so we did some research into working class social groupings and went to 'The Big Pit', across the border, with our friends Gerry & Val. The most stunning part of this World Heritage Site is it's free - Welsh Assembly money I guess, but it's a terrific insight into the mining culture. Our guide, Pete, was another great example that rhetoric has not been entirely lost. I wouldn't dare put him up front in church though.

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