Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Focusing on the Poor...

A bit more Nouwen to chew over...

Like every human organization the Church is constantly in danger of corruption.  As soon as power and wealth come to the Church, manipulation, exploitation, misuse of influence, and outright corruption are not far away.   How do we prevent corruption in the Church? The answer is clear:  by focusing on the poor.

The poor make the Church faithful to its vocation.  When the Church is no longer a church for the poor, it loses its spiritual identity.  It gets caught up in disagreements, jealousy, power games, and pettiness.  Paul says,  "God has composed the body so that greater dignity is given to the parts which were without it, and so that there may not be disagreements inside the body but each part may be equally concerned for all the others" (1 Corinthians 12:24-25).  This is the true vision.  The poor are given to the Church so that the Church as the body of Christ can be and remain a place of mutual concern, love, and peace.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Loving the Church ....

Some obvious and challenging words from Henri Nouwen

"Loving the Church often seems close to impossible. Still, we must keep reminding ourselves that all people in the Church - whether powerful or powerless, conservative or progressive, tolerant or fanatic - belong to that long line of witnesses moving through this valley of tears, singing songs of praise and thanksgiving, listening to the voice of their Lord, and eating together from the bread that keeps multiplying as it is shared. When we remember that, we may be able to say, "I love the Church, and I am glad to belong to it."

Loving the Church is our sacred duty. Without a true love for the Church, we cannot live in it in joy and peace. And without a true love for the Church, we cannot call people to it."

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Buechner on Time

"We tend to think of time as progression, as moment flowing moment, day following day, in relentless flow, the kind of time a clock or calendar can measure. But we experience time also as depth, as having quality and well as quantity - a good time, a dangerous time, an auspicious time, a time we mark not by its duration but by its content." Buechner, F (2005:38ff) Faces of Jesus

Life everlasting... fullness of life... salvation...?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

William Booth Speaks

With a growing emphasis coming our way on being fit for mission, I thought the video highlighting the words of William Booth were apposite! Making heaven on earth is our business! Probably a good place to start.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AA0pCYKGbYI&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Nice spot Jonny!

Friday, October 05, 2012

Religious Blunder...

"One of the blunders religious people are particularly fond of making is the attempt to be more spiritual than God..."

Buechner, F. (1973:43) Wishful Thinking. Harper & Row

Monday, October 01, 2012

The Royal Ballet School End of Year Defile 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkvRIuslOMc&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Eryn's end of school performance at the opera house - blink and you miss her, actually don't blink and you'll miss her anyway. But for the eagle eyes, she is far left as you look at the stage with about 15 secs to go. Also she is in the first section in pink! Trombones particularly notable throughout!

New Understanding of Mission...!

'WCC statement invokes new understanding of mission...'

Whether it is a new understanding is open for debate, it seems to me that it is more a realignment to what we should see as God's mission as incarnated in the life, message and motive of Christ. It is exciting to see a unified move towards understanding mission and perhaps away from the layers of interpenetration that have built up over the centuries.

Some interesting points and affirmations in quite a extended document, here are some edited highlights!
  • A denial of life is a rejection of the God of life. God invites us into the life-giving mission of the Triune God and empowers us to bear witness to the vision of abundant life for all in the new heaven and earth.
  • The church is a gift of God to the world for its transformation towards the kingdom of God. Its mission is to bring new life and announce the loving presence of God in our world.
  • Life in the Holy Spirit is the essence of mission, the core of why we do what we do, and how we live our lives. Spirituality gives deepest meaning to our lives and motivates our actions.
  • God did not send the Son for the salvation of humanity alone or give us a partial salvation. Rather the gospel is the good news for every part of creation and every aspect of our life and society.
  • Evangelism is a confident but humble sharing of our faith and conviction with other people. Such sharing is a gift to others which announces the love, grace and mercy of God in Christ.

Read more here