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Showing posts from August, 2006

Greenbelt

So prompted by Scott I thought I should share my experiences at Greenbelt (I got back on Tuesday and went to see my ministerial mentor yesterday [which went well] so this is the first chance I've had to blog). One other Unitarian was there who I met up with sporadically but I failed to get a big group to come with me, so I went down with a friend and made some friends there as well. Here's some brief notes: Talks: Jim Wallace was good, but nothing really new said. Ibrahim Hewitt , a Muslim convert, was interesting enough (I missed the other talk on Muslims in the media). It was interesting to hear Norman Kember interviewed, but I had already heard most of it in a radio interview a few months ago. The outstanding talks I heard were from Clive Stafford-Smith and Sarah Jones . Both were very funny in dealing with serious issues. Clive Stafford-Smith is a lawyer who's represented a lot of people on death row in the US and is currently representing people in Guantanamo

I want one!

Wow, I think every household should have one of these, order now! Christianity well never be able to purge itself of homosexuals while it continues to produce kitsch like this.

Unitarians on Staffordshire TV

Click here to watch a video of the Newcastle-under-Lyme congregation on BBC Staffordshire TV. I was part of the conversations that led to this short video, though I wasn't there when it was being made. Local TV is a service that's been running as a pilot scheme in the Midlands in an attempt to be more local that the regional news programme can allow. It's only available on the internet and through Sky Digital TV service. It should be rolled out nationally next year. Faith producers are happy to do a little film like this one with anyone who approaches them so it's something that a congregation can easily do to raise its profile. I'd be interested to get anyone's thoughts on the video. I think I'll save my thoughts for a later post.

Please Help the Gay Police Association

From LGCM: A few weeks ago the Gay Police Association placed an eye-catching advertisement in the The Independent (a UK national newspaper) citing evidence of a 75% rise in homophobic incidents which could be linked to religious belief. A massive campaign to try and discredit the advertisement has been organised by the religious right who clearly don’t like the implication that homophobic crime can be generated by distorted, hateful religious values. We know they can be. LGCM is asking you to write an email or letter TODAY please to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, via the GPA, who is dealing with the complaints on behalf of all police forces across Britain. The Gay Police Association appreciate our offer of assistance and we have been working closely with them over recent weeks to provide support. They are under a great deal of concerted, well organised pressure and need people like us more than ever to stand with them. In your response please mention some or all of

Authenticity

Ron Robinson has got a couple of interesting posts here and here . As someone who wants to marry the emergent church and Unitarianism, I find what Ron is doing very inspirational. The one thing that struck me from his notes was this trend: 'boomers [i.e. people older than 40-ish] focused on excellence, busters and mosaics [younger] on relevance and authenticity.' This made me think about something I read in the GA Annual Report. The Worship Panel states that its Aims are this: 'We are committed to fostering worship of the highest quality wherever Unitarians gather.' Something about the phrase 'highest quality' made me really uncomfortable. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but Ron's post made me see it. I want authenticity not quality, not excellence. I have seen an amateur pianist and an amateur singer creating music in a church basement because they are members of a church plant and that is the ministry they offer. And I have seen a profession

Take Action To Save Lives in the Middle East

From Christian Aid: Dear supporter, Civilians are bearing the brunt of the latest crisis in the Middle East. More than 400 Lebanese, 40 Israelis and 80 Palestinians have died since the current violence began. Hundreds of thousands more have lost their homes and had their livelihoods destroyed. The UK government has failed to use its influence to bring about an immediate ceasefire, an end to hostilities and full compliance with international humanitarian law by all sides. We need your help to put pressure on Prime Minister Tony Blair to call for an immediate ceasefire. Write to him today. Email Tony Blair now Christian Aid’s Middle East crisis appeal Christian Aid has launched an appeal for the crisis in the Middle East. With your help our partners in the region will be able to provide water tanks to affected areas, distribute food or medicines to the poorest families and rebuild communities. Please give generously. Donate online here Thank you.