Thursday, May 29, 2008

Can we get some Unitarian videos up?

As a member of the Foy Society I got an email directing me to a video of one of the workshops at General Assembly here.

I think it's using the same site where the Anniversary Service sermon was up last year.

Unfortunately I can't work out if there's a way to browse for similar videos. I have no idea who puts these videos up here, or if there are any more. Does some official Unitarian bod makes these videos and upload them? If so, why isn't it more heavily publicised? Are there lots of videos from our Annual Meetings? How can I find them??

Last year I only knew about the video because I knew the Anniversary preacher (although it was later mentioned in the Inquirer) and this year I've only been directed to it because I'm a member of the Foy Society. I don't know why it all seems so secretive.

Today I noticed that the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement has a section on YouTube. Is this something that British Unitarians could do? I'm not an expert on these things, but it surely isn't that difficult. A link from the official website to a series of videos on YouTube could be a good outreach tool, without taking up a huge amount of resources. Is it possible?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Birmingham... it's my kinda town

It has... roads.... and everything.

I love this.

School worship

If I had my time again, and could go back and live my life with the confidence and knowledge that I have now, I would do a few things differently. One thing I would do differently is be much more of an awkward sod at school.

I went to a Church of England Comprehensive school and was always profoundly uncomfortable with enforced "worship" in assemblies, and, every other week, in the local Anglican church; especially as the school student population was 60% Muslim. But I was never confident or clear enough in my reasoing to stand up and say "I don't want anything to do with this nonsense." I really really wish I had.

Ekklesia has reported that a new Parliamentary report has recommended that children of ‘sufficient maturity, intelligence and understanding’ be allowed to withdraw from school worship. The British Humanist Association have applauded this, so do I.

If I had my time over again, I would have withdrawn from worship, and encouraged others to do the same. It always seemed like a violation of the rights of children to me, and a denial of the nature of worship. I couldn't have put it better than Simon Barrow:

"Mandating common worship is inappropriate for public institutions made up of people from different world views and faith backgrounds. It is also a misrepresentation of what worship actually is. Worship is a freely offered act of faith arising from a believing community. It is not something that can be imposed or required of everybody."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Our mission project (and my book) in the news

We have an article in the Bolton News about the night cafe at my church-to-be which is running as a pilot scheme this summer.

My book also gets a piece.