flagging faith

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Seek the lost

A sermon preached at the Presbyteral Synod of the Birmingham District on 20 March 2019 Why did the lost sheep have to go and ruin things? If you’ve ever watched the shepherds and goatherds going about their business today in the hills of Palestine, you’ll have some sympathy. The terrain is inhospitable at best, water is scarce and, in those days, the night brought with it thieves and wild animals. The shepherds’ task was getting them from one cistern to another whilst keeping as many of the flock as possible - and themselves - alive! Imagine the anxiety and stress when one of little beggars heads off into the wilderness on its lonesome? Anxiety over loss has become the mood music of our time

Stationing Update

So many people have kept faith with Mark and me as we have weathered the vicissitudes of stationing since November. This comes by way of update on our situation and is better news than we have been able to share for a while. It has been a new experience for me to ask for and receive prayer support. I have been one of those Christians who is more comfortable being the strong one, offering a shoulder to cry on and bearing the burdens of others. I have preached about the necessity of mutuality and interdependence in faith, but have practiced it much less. The last seven months have begun to challenge that spiritual arrogance. There have been times when my inability to formulate anything approac

Daring to Speak

It was Lord Alfred Douglas of Oscar Wilde fame, who first coined the phrase: the love that dare not speak its name. His relationship with the Irish writer led to Wilde’s imprisonment in Reading Gaol with hard labour, a punishment that would remain on the statute book in some parts of the United Kingdom until 1982. Like most people who followed the events of the United Methodist Church’s General Conference in St Louis last week, I am still reeling at the outcome. After years of careful conversation within the Commission on a Way Forward, the Conference voted not only to maintain the status quo, but move to enforce it more rigorously. The current official ban on ‘self-avowed, practicing homose

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