It’s that time of the week again when I share some of the stuff that caught my attention over the last week or so. I want to begin with a fantastic TV programme that my partner and I are huge fans of. Ride upon the storm is a Danish series set around the lives of a Lutheran priest’s family in Copenhagen. Like most of the television emerging from the Nordic region, it is devastatingly honest and open in its portrayal of the entangled lives of the characters. This is definitely not The Vicar of Dibley; it's not even Rev.! At the centre of the family is Johannes, a deeply complicated man for whom the burden of tradition, both receiving it and passing it on, is crushing his soul. Those closest to him become collateral damage in this battle between him and his sense of vocation. This is the best depiction of life in ministry I think I have ever seen.
The second thing that's grabbed my attention is a document prepared by our local URC Moderator, and some of his colleagues, discussing the current crisis and prospects for the future. Ready for the New Normal is an accessible and challenging document that helps church members to reflect on how church might be different as a result of the current lockdown. It does not offer easy answers but instead chooses to pose difficult questions, questions that most congregations should have faced some time ago but were happy to avoid whilst normal life was continuing. You’ll also find tools to reflect on how this time away from our premises has changed our thinking about being church in another section of this website and I encourage you to have a look and get in touch.
Lastly for this week, I want to recommend again the Susanna Wesley Foundation site. The Foundation has been trying to continue its work of helping the church to reflect on its place in wider society by listening to the learning emerging from other disciplines. Two new recent conversations have started, one of which is some from my colleague, Dr Emma Pavey, There’s a hole in my bucket list She reflects on the ongoing lockdown in the light of th theory of ‘anti-structure’. The other is my own contribution about being Laid Aside. I'm encouraging contributions from all different kinds of people in all sorts of forms and media about their experiences of being forced to stay at home for this long. Do get in touch if you have something to share!
I hope I've given you something to think about or, even better, a new box set to stream as we enter the third month of lockdown. Enjoy!