Posts Tagged "church"

Church: From Members to Attenders…

Posted by on Sep 12, 2017 in Blog | 2 comments

Language reflects the way we think about things, and with that in mind I was struck when someone recently claimed that it has only been in the last 50 years or so that Christians have spoken about “going to this church” or “attending this church”. For the many hundreds of years before that, they would have said “I belong to this church”or “I am a member of this church”. If the claim is true (and I suspect it is) it’s an interesting change – from members to attenders. Think through the implications… Attenders are primarily...

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Protestants, Reformers or Transformers…

Posted by on Sep 5, 2017 in Blog | 4 comments

As the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation draws near (it is usually dated from Luther posting his 95 theses on the church door in Wittenberg on 31 October, 1517), it is worth asking if we are now primarily protestants (from protestors) or reformers. The Protestant Reformation involved both protest and reform. It was a protest against a corrupt religious system, and some of its particular practices, such as the sale of indulgences. Later it was a strong protest against the April 19th, 1529 reversal of the August 27, 1526 German Reichstag decree allowing each individual government...

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Signs of the Spirit’s Presence…

Posted by on Jun 6, 2017 in Blog | 6 comments

I was with the good folk of Mt Hawthorn Community Church this Pentecost Sunday, and being Pentecost, thought it would be helpful to ask if there are signs we can look for that indicate that the Spirit is at work. One of the lovely features of Mt Hawthorn is that they have a Q and A after the message, and it provoked lots and lots of discussion, making me think it would be worth posting my notes on the blog. So with a very light editing, here they are… A number of year ago noted evangelist Leighton Ford asked this question: “If God were to remove his Holy Spirit from the church, how...

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Tradition and traditioning…

Posted by on Jan 10, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

I grant you that most people don’t spend lots of time wondering about tradition and particularly the tradition of the Church, and if they are being true to it or not. But if you have ever had a bright idea of yours shut down with a “It’s not going to happen. We’ve never done it that way before”, or if on the opposite end of the spectum you’ve felt a little uneasy that you might be about to embrace something that humans have only really been doing for the last 5 minutes of their existence, and which doesn’t bear any correspondence with all earlier...

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Church: A snapshot of one congregation…

Posted by on Sep 23, 2016 in Blog | 4 comments

Rosemary and I were in the UK recently and finding ourselves free on the Sunday morning, decided to attend the Church of England service taking place across the road from our hotel. Struggle one was finding the entrance,  though once spotted, it was clear enough. There were about 60 in the congregation, and we had gathered for the sung Eucharist – the only service being held that day. I know nothing about the congregation, but several things struck me… There was a warmth of welcome that was very reassuring. An elderly man at the door immediately said to us, ‘I don’t...

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