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Showing posts from April, 2007


I've just come out of a long conversation with the guy from British Gas who came to do a safety check on my boiler. The fact that I live within a theological college meant that the conversation got around to faith. We began by talking about the differences between the different denominations represented here at college. This got us around to Unitarianism, and what is stands for. We stood in my kitchen for half an hour talking. He asked me a lot of questions about Unitarianism, and I did my best to answer him. Then he started talking about his own faith. He was Pentecostal. He asked me for a Bible and showed me some proof texts as he talked about his faith and what it meant to him. He talked in an articulate way about what he believed with gusto and confidence. I fully enjoy such conversations, even though I feel inadequate to express my beliefs. I'm sure God is working in such conversations, but I don't always know what result God is working to come out of the encounter

Found! The third British Unitarian blogger

Someone mentioned to me at GA that Andrew Brown, minister of Cambridge Unitarian Church, has a blog, and so I finally looked it up and found it. It's part of the Church's website, with a format that needs an individual click to read each entry, which is a bit annoying. And there is no commenting facility which means which can't get a dialogue going, which is a shame. But I'm glad our number is slowly increasing. Andrew makes three, in addition to me and Matt at Renewed Hope . Cambridge Unitarian Church Minister's Blog .

Time to Re-Brand St George

Happy St George's Day. Here's an article from Ekklesia : The patron saint of the English should be rebranded and St George's Day should become a national day of dissent, a religious think-tank is proposing. The ideas come in a report published ahead of St George's Day, this Monday 23rd April 2007 - and in an article published on Friday in the Church of England Newspaper. In the report published today (Thursday 20th April) entitled; "When the Saints Go Marching Out: Redefining St George" Ekklesia co-directors Jonathan Bartley and Simon Barrow propose that George once again take his place as the 'people's saint'. The report points out that the original story which dates from the 4th century CE told of St George offering hospitality to a refugee, defending the marginalised, and challenging the persecution policy of the Emperor. This image has been distorted, and replaced by one of a dragon slayer who backs the crusades (religious wars). 'Re-bran

I know that guy!

My friend emailed me the other day and ended the message with, 'Have you seen Johndeep on TV?' I hadn't but guessed at the type of programme she was talking about and looked him up, and there he was on Any Dream Will Do on BBC1. I went to school with Johndeep and so have known him many years. I remember the times when I was getting better parts than him in school shows!! He's been in London trying to break into that ol' acting and singing malarkey for a few years now. And now he's got into this. Good luck to him. I missed the first show but this weekend I'm with my parents and my dad had accidentally recorded it from last week so I managed to watch it yesterday. Tonight is the second show, so watch it and vote Johndeep!

An old photo a friend just gave me

Yes, it is me. It was Halloween.

This Thursday in London: Trade Justice Action

From Pressure Works . The European Union is trying to get former colonies to sign up to the new unfair trade agreements and we've only got to the end of the year to put a stop to it. Come out on Thursday 19 April in the biggest trade justice event of 2007 and send a loud and clear message to EU leaders that you: - Say no to unacceptable pressure on developing countries to accept the new unfair trade agreements. - Say no to locking African, Caribbean and Pacific nations into poverty so European companies can carve out bigger profits. - Say no to Europe undermining jobs, healthcare, education and the environment in developing countries. March in London and in cities across the UK and Ireland to demand the EU stops trying to impose these new agreements. The governments of the EU are pushing unfair trade deals on 75 former colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP). These countries - some of the poorest in the world - are under extreme pressure from Europe as it rushe

GA: Day Four

(Not exactly live anymore, I'm talking about last Friday, but I'm still faster than any other news source, barring the GA Zette, but you have to come along to get that) The last business meeting dealt with the left over motions and the procedural motions, and some more reports. David Dawson gave his address as the retiring President. He said one thing that is worth repeating. He might have said a couple, but I can only remember one now. He recommended we use a different 'brand name' as 'the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches' is rather too long and combersome. I agree entirely. David advocated 'Unitarians in Britain' which is fine. For me I'd want to call us 'The Unitarian Church' or when talking internationally 'The British Unitarian Church.' That's what I've written for my link on the right here. The trouble is of course that some would see it as a rejection of Christianity to drop the word 'Chr

GA: Day Three

I managed to get up in time for the communion service at 7.30 in the morning, which I found sustaining. I did really enjoy the service, but I did have some thoughts about how it was done. When bread was broken and consecrated, it was a loaf, but then it was wafers that were distributed. I'm not quite sure about that. I kind of think what you bless you should distribute. The bread and wine were passed on from person to person to person while we remained sitting. The problem with this was that I received the bread (wafer) long before I received the wine (very alcoholic by the way). It being first thing in the morning my mouth was actually quite dry and so I managed to get the wafer stuck to the roof of my mouth and had to wait a minute or two for the wine to come so I could loosen it. If you're going to use a wafer I think you need to wash it down with wine straight afterwards, especially first thing before breakfast. The Taize song Ubi Caritas was sung during the distribution

GA: Day One and Two

Early afternoon and it's the first time I've got to a computer. There's not a computer room for the GA Zette Office this year so they're using a kitchen. I've managed to get to a computer though so here we are. Minister's Pre-Conference My first! Yay. Hmm. This year the campus (University of Hertforshire, Hatfield) was closed for the Bank Holiday on Monday so the conference had to be at a neighbouring hotel. This increased the expense. Last year I think there were about 100 people at the minister's conference but this year there wasn't more than 40. The most fruitful conversation was about the project now being called 'Future Ministry.' This is partly being implemented because of a sense of 'oh crap, we don't have enough ministers' and 'oh crap, a lot of congregations can't afford ministers and are in decline.' But now the conversation has been widened to include all future issues of ministry. Should we have a system of ha

Rebecca Parker on the Sunday programme

Good morning! Happy Easter! I was just listening to Radio 4 in the shower, as is my manner on a Sunday morning, and there was a piece about atonement/the cross (very theological for 7.30 in the morning) and Rebecca Parker turned up to put forward her theology rejecting substitutionary atonement. Unfortunately no mention of Starr King School or Unitarian Universalism, she's simply an 'American theologian.' Get ahold of the next issue of 'Faith and Freedom' to see my paper on a Unitarian theology of the Cross. Listen again here . By the way, GA is next week, hopefully I'll find a computer and be able to blog. I am the only person who blogs from GA, and this website will have news of what's happening before any other news source. All your breaking news on Reignite!

Chatting about faith

A friend of mine introduced me to a dating website a couple of months ago. It's free and it's quite fun with lots of questions to fill out so that you can waste a lot of time on there, if you wanted to. I haven't got any dates out of it, but I have chatted with lots of people. I've been honest on my profile and put down what I do and talked about faith and stuff. This is more personal than I usually get on this blog, but I'm sharing because it's brought up a very important issue. I've chatted with lots of people, almost all about religion. It seems I'm getting about one message a week saying pretty much the same thing - can we talk about religion? There seems to be this huge longing for so many people to talk about faith and spirituality, but a lot of people are scared to talk to a religious leader or someone who they think might try to convert them. I don't know if it's the nature of the medium (they can cut off the conversation easily if they