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Tag Archives: Christian

Intentionally doing church, intentionally being Christian

Thinking about how we do and be church, how we be Christians. One main issue of this is the intentionality of what we do, the practice of doing things and intending to do then. Setting out to do things with a purpose and an intention to do, and knowing why it is been done.

I would say this is as true in personal life as it is in the communal life of the church and of individual congregations.

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2017 in Ministry, Spiritual Vocab

 

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Christian values in the UK today…

Every so often there is a call in some of the press about the UK being a Christian nation, and that we should have Christian values. But then again there is also the saying to be careful for what you wish because you might just get it.

So at the end of a week when there is what I can only see as a created controversy over the inclusion or not of “Easter” in the name of some events. We have on the one hand those who say that it is all bad because some lumps of chocolate (wrapped in foil with pirates, robots and princesses on) that are hunted for don’t have the name Easter associated with them. As Mark Steel puts it “Theresa May is right: if we let someone drop ‘Easter’ off an egg hunt, we may as well hand Britain to the jihadis

But of course this is in the same week that the Churches raised the issues of child poverty and the effects changes in the benefits system on this. Of course this is not new, as the the item from the Joint Public Issues Team highlights, there have been a number of reports and items raised on this. Going back to 2015 there was the Enough campaign. And even further back the church has been raising such issues. What also surfaced for me this week was a piece in the Guardian where (the then) Victoria Coren defended the Bishops of the Church of England for standing up for children in the befits system – and this was back in 2012.

 

So what are Christian values, to me the latter set of standing up for the poor, the oppressed, being a voice for the voiceless. As it is put in the letter of James

26 If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

and then there is continual call in Deuteronomy about how we care for the widow, orphan and stranger, with just two examples below.

1018 who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them with food and clothing.

2417 You shall not deprive a resident alien or an orphan of justice; you shall not take a widow’s garment in pledge.

So for me once we have sorted out what can be seen as core Christian values; as come from Jesus him self, and of course he then goes on to explain who a neighbour is

25 Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ 26 He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ 27 He answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.’ 28 And he said to him, ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’ (Luke 10:25-28)

And for who is my neighbour – Luke 10:25-37

 

Then we can try for the minor things like chocolate eggs…

 
 

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A Living History: Recovering The Beauty Of Liturgy

A Living History: Recovering The Beauty Of Liturgy.

An interesting view of things, and one I tend to agree with

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2014 in Ministry, Mystery, Spiritual Vocab

 

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The point of church

After Lord Carey made some comments the following has appeared by A N Wilson in the Telegraph, now I don’t quiet agree, and this is why:

I’d have to say the article misses a big point in the whole focus on “sex”. That in the medieval period and before the Victorians, many people lived together unmarried, had children and so forth. This was a norm, and they would wait for the priest to turn up and then maybe get married.

I’d say the issue here is the need to re-evaluate the Victorian morality that we have inherited. Go back to the approval of monogamous committed relationships – and the encouragement to come before God and people to celebrate this.

As to the second point of rational thought, then I don’t buy this ether. I know many rational people who believe, the bigger issue is the language gap between “church and world”. That people don’t know the stories and thus the model we work in does not cope well with this (it still works in general on people having a background understanding). Also may people will be more willing to listen once they see things happening (the Frances effect).

Also I am reminded of something that Anglican Memes came up with.

 

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2013 in Ministry, Seen by the outside

 

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Cyflwynwyd i eisteddiad y synod o Synod Cymru 20 Ebrill 2013

{For the English Text Please see here}

Cyflwynwyd i eisteddiad y synod o Synod Cymru 20 Ebrill 2013

Parch. A. James Patron Bell

Ac wrth fynd o ddoe i’r ‘fory newydd draw

gad I minnau afael yn dy law (Caneuon Ffydd 800)

Wedi cael fy galw i’r weinidogaeth, mi nes brwydro yn ei erbyn. Ond dyma ni yn dod i ymgeisio ac nes sôn am hyn yn fy Gwasanaeth Tystiolaethu yn Canolfan St Paul, Aberystwyth ar nos Iau y 16 o fis Mai. Ond beth yw’r profiad ar ôl cael fy derbyn. Dyma ni yn mynd trwy’r coleg, ac cael ei danfon i’r penodiad cyntaf yn Llanbed.

Dyma profiad braf i’w fod yn weinidog ar brawf. Mae hyn yn cyfnod o dal cael ein profi, ac gweld os ydym yn teilwng am y gwaith ac i fynd yn mlaen i cael ein hordeinio. Dyma angen gwneud astudiaeth pellach, ac gyda hyn ddod i ddysgu ac arfer hefo yr gwaith weinidogol.

Ond wrth wneud y gwaith hyn roedd angen myfyrio ac ystyried ar ein gwaith fel Capeli. ac fel Capeli Fethodistaidd. Nawr gyda hyn y cwestiwn syn codi ydy beth i’w ein dyfodol, ac beth i’w ein galwad.

Mi ydym wedi ein codi gan Dduw yn rhan o’r Eglwys Sanctaidd Catholig cyffredinol, ac yn cael ei gweld yn rhan o’r traddodiad ehangach. Ac wedi ein codi i lledaenu Sancteiddrwydd Ysgrythurol.

Ond sut ydym am wneud hyn? Mae agen cyntaf gofyn: Beth i’w yr beth syn gosod ni arwhawn? Beth ydy’r beth unigryw am y Fethodistaidd? A oes genom ni rhywbeth i gynnig? Mae rhaid mi ddweud bod genom ni rywbeth, ac bod galwad arnom i edrych yn mlaen. Mae hyn yn gallu cael ei weld pam rydym yn dweud be syn cael ei alw yr “Four All’s” yn Seisnig:

  • Mae pob un angen eu hachub

  • Gall pob un gael eu hachub

  • Gall pob un gwybod ei bod wedi eu hachub

  • Gall pob un gael eu hachub yn llwyr

Dyma datganiad canolig o’n cred fel Eglwys Fethodistaidd, ac mae gofyn i ni holi ydym dal i credu hyn. A gallom rhannu hyn ar byd o’n cwmpas? Mae gofyn i ni cynnig y ffydd Cristnogol fel ydym yn ei gweld hi, nid fel ffordd gwell na neb arall. Ond fel un ffordd i Dduw. Ac o hyn mi gododd ei cyn Tadau a Mamau, ei llefydd pregethu pam daethant at ei gilith mewn nifer fawr.

Mae gofyn camu yn mlaen i pethau newydd, i darganfod beth ydy’r pethau newydd hyn. Sut rydym am cyd fynd ar byd modern. Mae pethau wedi newid o ein cwmpas, ac mae galw i ni darganfod ffyrdd o cyd ymwneud a hyn. Mae galwad – ac mae hyn wedi bod yn rhan o’r taith fel weinidog ar prawf – i ni ceisio y pethau hyn. Mi fydd galwad i ni cael ein trawsnewid, ond nid i’w hyn hefyd yn rhan o ein galwad fel Christnogion? Mae’n posib defnyddio ein hadeiladau i hyn. Cynnig lle i grŵp rhieni a phlant bach cael cyfarfod. Ond mae hefyd angen gweld fod rhai o’n hadeiladau yn anaddas at y diben, ac angen cael ei trawsnewid.

Mae gofyn fynd i cyfarfod a pobl lle mae nhw, ac mewn dull ac ffyrdd syn dealladwy i nhw. Rydym bron a bod mewn lle tebyg i’r sant Celtaidd, gyda rhan mwyaf o pobl yn dallt bron i ddim am ein ffydd. Mae’r galwad hyn yn codi ofn. Ond gallwn camu yn mlaen hefo gras Duw.

Os gallwn edrych ar emyn 801 yn Caneuon Ffydd, gwelwn yma ein galwad, ar gwahoddiad i camu yn mlaen gyda Duw, ac ddod i cyd camu gyda Crist. Yn nerth yr Ysbryd.

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2013 in Ministry

 

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Submitted to the sitting of the synod of Synod Cymru April 20, 2013

{For the original Welsh language text please see here}

And it’s from the old I travel to the new;

keep me traveling along with you.

Having been called to the ministry, I fought against it. But here we come to candidate and I spoke about this at my Testimony Service in St. Paul Centre, Aberystwyth on Thursday the 16 in May. But what is the experience after having been accepted. Here we go through college and get sent to the first appointment in Lampeter.

Here’s a nice experience to be a minister on trial. This period of our call still being tested, to see if we are worthy of the job and go on to ordination. There is required further study, and with this come time to learn and practice with the ministerial work.

But in doing the work of what needed to reflect and consider our work as Chapels, and as Methodist Chapels. Now with this the question raises is what is our future, and what our calling.

We where raise by God as part of the universal Holy Catholic Church, and are seen as part of a wider tradition. And we have been raised to spread Scriptural Holiness.

But how do we do this? The first ask: What sets us apart? What is unique about the Methodists? Do we have something to offer? I must say that we do have something, and that calls on us to look forward. This can be seen which is why we are saying what is called the “Four All’s” :

  • All need to be saved

  • All can be saved

  • All can know they are saved

  • All can be saved completely

Here is a statement of our core belief as a Methodist Church, and we need to ask do we still believe? Can we share this world around us? We are required to offer the Christian faith as we see it, not as a better way than anyone else. But as one way to God. And from this our forefathers and foremothers, raised preaching places when they gathered in large numbers.

It requires stepping out into new things, to discover what these innovations are. How we want to get alongside the modern world. Things have changed around us and call us to find ways to relate to this. The call – and this has been part of the journey as a minister on trial – to try these things. There is a call for us to be transformed, but not this not also part of our calling as Christians? It is possible to use our buildings for this. Allow a parent and toddler group to have a meeting in the space we have. But we also need to see that some of our buildings are not fit for purpose and needs to be transformed.

It requires us to go meet people where they are, and in a manner which is understandable to them. We are almost in place similar to the Celtic saints, with a sizeable part of population understands almost nothing about our faith. The call is scary. But we can move ahead with the grace of God.

If we can look at hymn “Will you come and follow me”, we see here our call, and an invitation to step forward with God, and come to a walk with Christ. In the power of the Spirit.

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2013 in Ministry

 

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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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