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Category Archives: Wheeel&Spoke

Thinking about Connexionality

Within Methodism there is the concept of connectionality, that we are all part of the one (much as Paul speaks of the one body), and that as a church we do things locally, but also together. So here is a reflection on that:

 

Together

Supporting and sharing
giving from plenty
to where there is scarcity.
Supporting and sharing
going with skills
to where they are needed.
Supporting and sharing
holding and being
where they are.
Supporting and sharing
many places and people
coming together as one.

 

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2014 in Ministry, Poetry, Wheeel&Spoke

 

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An account of the departing of the people called Methodist who had been gathered together to form the Conference

It was upon the third day in the seventh month that the people called Methodist who had been gathered together to form the Conference did depart, going to all the parts of the Connexion, unto each and every district from whence they had come. They went having connived to confer and consider, matters which where before them laid. Having conferred together on such matters as where duly presented to them, in the Agenda, it’s supplements, order papers, notices of motion – in both the first series; pertaining to the matters presented before they did gather, and in the second series; pertaining to matters presented before them that had not already been presented – and other such matters that emerged from the discussion and where deemed to be acceptable in the eyes of those to whom the task of deeming them so acceptable had been given. And from the matters that had been duly laid before them in accordance with those practices and customs which they held, the people called Methodist who had been gathered together to form the Conference did come to a mind on these issues, as to whether the where minded to give support or to resist those matters laid before them. At times those from among their number who had been called and appointed to the task of making the count of the people called Methodist who had been gathered together to form the Conference, where called upon to count the people called Methodist who had been gathered together to form the Conference, and then to give an accounting of those whom they had counted and how those they had counted where so minded. And all that the people called Methodist who had been gathered together to form the Conference had done, and where minded to have done, that which they commended, directed and encouraged was duly recorded and noted, to be drawn together within the Daily Record, which did record all that the people called Methodist who had been gathered together to form the Conference had done. And from which, with such other materials as drawn from the Agenda, it’s supplements, order papers, notices of motion – in both series, bring the first and the second – along with other materials as needed, would be formed the entry in the Journal of the Conference for that year, to show and give record of what the people called Methodist who had been gathered together to form the Conference had been minded to. So the people called Methodist who had been gathered together to form the Conference did depart from that place whence they had for a time come to dwell in. They did depart to return to the districts from which they had come, to take news of those matters of which they had considered and come to a mind upon to those who had sent them forth. And so that news may also be spread from such gatherings to the wider body of the people called Methodist, and also beyond it. The people called Methodist who had been gathered together to form the Conference did depart and return to being among the people called Methodist, until the time time would come again for some of the people called Methodist to gather as the Conference. And though much was done, much was considered, and from it there would be more to come and do, the people called Methodist as a whole, and those from among their number who where called and sent to form the Conference, knew that they needed to divine the call of God upon them, and know that as they did this they are, and where those to whom, with all others, the grace of God is offered. So in this grace the people called Methodist who had been gathered together to form the Conference did depart from that place whence they had for a time come to dwell, and came once more to dwell in those places from whence they had come out, those places where they had formerly dwelt and did regularly dwell. Thus endeth the account of the people called Methodist who had been gathered together to form the Conference of that time.

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2014 in Ministry, Wheeel&Spoke

 

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Ideas of church, as in size and shape

The term church is used a lot, and it can be difficult to work out what is meant. Is it the building down the road, some giant medieval monolithic organisation or something else. Well I’ve looked at buildings already.

So today I plan to think about structure.

At a resent get together of ministers the question came up how we had all been appointed to our current role.

Now for some it was the appointment of the local congregation, and for others a central appointment, but I think we all had been appointed by the Church.

Now there is another interesting blog that looks at different types of church, Church and the Single Girl and it is well worth a read. But it got me thinking.

For some the local congregation is the church, for others the local is but part of something much wider. And I think we need to see this as both. The local congregation is the expression of church in that place, but it is expressing part of a much wider body, and expressing part of something far beyond this world – God’s Kingdom.

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Seen by the outside, Wheeel&Spoke

 

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Hagiosphere – a posh word for a holy huddle

A friend pointed out this word the other day giving the definition as

used to mean a social ecosystem of like-minded individuals constantly reinforcing their own world-views to the exclusion of absolutely anything that might contradict those views.

And this got me thinking about many churches, that they are often made up of the same type of person. This of course is often the people who live in the area around the church building. However then you get those who go to a church because it had “people like us” in it.

And I have to ask is this healthy? If the church is meant to be the body of Christ, and to respect and contain all parts of the body, then if it is all the same it will stop working. However I do think that this raise questions of what we mean by church {structure / building}. Is it possible to have different expressions of church that are all part of one whole working together? Also what do those outside think, is it a case of “I’m not like them so I can’t go there/won’t be welcome.”

 

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2012 in Ministry, Seen by the outside, Wheeel&Spoke

 

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The church and the Church

This is partly in response to a BBC news report

One thing I think we need to separate in our speaking is the church (the building) from the Church (the people) (O for the use of the word chapel for the building but that’s another thread).

One of the Methodist churches where I have pastoral care celebrated it’s 200 anniversary last year and the 20th of the current building this year; another is about to reach its 10th anniversary and has never had a building in its current incarnation (though the site of the old chapel is now a public garden and had shut 10 to 20 years at least I think before the re-establishment).

What all this is saying in a long-winded form is our buildings serve the church, not the church serving our buildings. If our buildings are no longer fit for purpose, in the places where there are no longer communities, taking all the energy of the Church to maintain and acting as a liability. Well I say close the building. But this is not closing the Church – for some the meetings in that place may come to an end and the preaching place will cease to be a place where the people called Methodist meet. However the congregation the church may as outlined by some examples posted here move to new buildings and new places.

Our forefathers and mothers in the faith built chapels and meeting places where they where needed – often when congregations had grown and developed in a place – many where put up to serve the purpose of the time. Should we not do likewise?

 

 
 

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The idea of the minster and permaculture

Reading on the web today an interesting article about rural ministry. In it the model of the minster is suggested by Reverend Rob Brown in his article “Why the Church needs to return to its pastoral roots: permaculture visions of a rural minster

I think that this is an interesting idea that can be applied to the life of the church, in the idea of a minster that supports the surrounding communities. However along with this I see that there is a need for strong lay leadership in the local to maintain things between visits.

 

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2012 in Wheeel&Spoke

 

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New Blog ideas

Right this is me setting up my blog, in this I have a few ideas, and am planing to use this blog to put some of my ideas together, and engage with others over what I am writing and thinking.

So here is a list of the ideas that I plan to develop:

  • Can different levels of participation in the Mystery be sustained along side each other?
  • Along side this are different levels of participation in the Mystery equally valid expression of faith?
  • Has the “Protestant” drive towards equality pushed more to the margins?
  • Do we need support from a self sustaining core, that then supports wider work? (cf “Celtic Monastic Missions”; “Minsters”; “Town Church & Village Chapel”; “Society & Class”)
  • Does a sense of awe need to be brought back, to develop the idea of Mystery as a metaphor for understanding faith, and recapturing the historical meaning of mystery.
  • Who’s hope, who gives it and who pronounces it? (cf committal prayer and how it works with those who are unchurched)
  • Granting a language to articulate the spiritual and supernatural, where the church lost it’s and “Oc-culture” stepped in

So I plan to develop my thinking around these questions and other. There is an underlying theme of these being theological and in part tied to the role of Christian Faith, as this is where I am coming from, and make a deliberate choice to discus from there. However ideas from others sources are more than welcome.

Also all the views here are mine, and many of the ideas are underdevelopment

 

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