Monday, June 30, 2008

The Gaffer speaks up about Gafcon

Rowan Williams has responded to the statement from GAFCON with a statement of his own. It is a very thoughtful, respectful yet convicted piece of writing. It acknowledges the fair aspects of GafCon's statement, points out its weaknesses and proposes ways forward. It's a statement that demonstrates to me again why this man is where he is:

"I believe that it is wrong to assume we are now so far apart that all those outside the GAFCON network are simply proclaiming another gospel. This is not the case; it is not the experience of millions of faithful and biblically focused Anglicans in every province. What is true is that, on all sides of our controversies, slogans, misrepresentations and caricatures abound. And they need to be challenged in the name of the respect and patience we owe to each other in Jesus Christ.

I have in the past quoted to some in the Communion who would call themselves radical the words of the Apostle in I Cor.11.33: ‘wait for one another’. I would say the same to those in whose name this statement has been issued. An impatience at all costs to clear the Lord’s field of the weeds that may appear among the shoots of true life (Matt.13.29) will put at risk our clarity and effectiveness in communicating just those evangelical and catholic truths which the GAFCON statement presents."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Getting Anime-ted about Jesus

Tim Abbot pointed out a new project to bring the Gospel story to anime. The video below is a taster (not in final version) which they creators would like some comment on here (if English is your first language - there are 30 languages available). As well as the video below they've rendered a still in five different styles for the survey. Anime fans, go comment so they can get it in a way that will appeal to as many as possible. I'd love to see this Gibli-fied! I think the Grave of the Fireflies style would be really good for it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

My own trumpet and the blowing thereof...

Ok, so I thought our new dog Eddie was excited when I came home today after a long but fab day visiting "me colleague" Craig in Blackburn Diocese. Yet his jumping up and down was nothing to my delight when I opened the post and discovered the latest edition of the Journal of Youth and Theology from the IASYM which includes three book reviews by yours truly. Pathetically proud of this small elemnt of being in printness but still smiling (even despite the typos I've spotted which are probably mine not the editor's!)

If you're in full time youth work but not yet a member of the International Association for the Study of Youth Ministry, you should consider it. They produce this publication and host a conference which I am hoping to attend next year in Cambridge (though the current site seems to be stuck in the year 2007!)

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Originally uploaded by Sarah Brush
What does YFC mean to you? For those in youthwork it often means Youth for Christ (for those in the southwest it might be Yeovil Football Club!) yet in Worcestershire and other rural areas it is of course the YOUNG FARMERS CLUB.

This display of street art comes from the fabulous tent full of displays from Young Farmers from Worcetsershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. There are some fabuolous flower displays and - a personal favourite, vegetable animals - on my Flickr site. There were also some great "pimp my tractor" entries. I found myself explaining what that was all about to the people with me and a few others who were nearby!

I was also lucky enough to meet the youth worker for the YFC and make links with More Than Sport, a local group working with young people.

That was all after a marvellous morning being taken around the show by some farmers who showed us the cattle lines, lamb carcass inspections, ear tag displays, the blue tongue presentation and answered all our ignorant "townie" questions. I thought I might come away knowing more about the rural community and I have but of course, as Socrates would be proud to hear, I came away realising how LITTLE I knew.

I did learn;
  • Bluetongue is going to be very serious for sheep, deer and cow farmers as is African fever which will affect horses.
  • Sheep farmers pay more to shearers than they get for the fleece and some have to pay to have the fleeces taken away as hazardous waste
  • Many farmers face the choice of selling up in order to get a pension and leaving the farm to their children and having no provision for their retirement.
  • The Show used to be midweek and for the rural community but since it moved to the weekend it has become more of a "countryside" show with commercial stalls and the like.
  • One of the farmers who led us round has a farm which produces some GORGEOUS icecream and I had a taste when we got to the Bennetts Farm stall.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ready, Eddie, Go!

So yesterday we went to collect our new cohabitor. Eddie is an 8 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier who has been in a rescue home nearby. We went along to a Happy Staffy open day and met this very happy chappy who really doesn't seem as old as eight but he is very well behaved already and settling down nicely with only a few hiccups here and there. He was a little nervous last night settling into his new home when it came to bed time and he did keep checking we were still there which was rather endearing (at first!). So here are some pics of our gorgeous pup!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

If I could talk to the animals..

We had a really WILD weekend. First we tried to tame the garden and discovered not only a blackbird nest in the plant growing over the arch in the garden (yes, I know an ARCH... we inherited it!).

Then we discovered these little tiny heads poking out of the pond. These turned out to be NEWTS! They are so cute. I'm thinking a round of wonky donkey springs to mind... Well it turns out newts are fairly common in Worcestershire and we don't think we have any crested newts but it's hard to tell with the amount of weed in the pond we've inherited. We did still manage to set up our new firepit but it is due for expansion as it is rather smaller than our last one.

Well to crown our explorations into the animal kingdom we went to visit an open day at the local dog shelter and met a little fella called Eddie - a 9 year old Staffy who has been in a loving home with children and cats but for various reasons he's ended up in the kennel. Eddie is going to be joining us soon. This is a new venture for me but M is an established dog owner and long-standing staffy-lover. We're not yet sure how our regular visitor (the 3-legged cat from next door) is going to think about a resident dog!

And in other news... it's tax return time. My lesson from last year is that taking people out to coffee as part of work REALLY ADDS UP over the year!

Thursday, June 05, 2008


50999 was the number on the hit counter this morning. I missed the clock going round to 50000 as it was when I moved house so - wow! past the 50000 mark for Deep Thought!

The number also made me think of a rather less joyful event. Hubby and I were out shopping a little while ago now and came across a rather tragic site of a elderly man who had fallen and was being treated with CPR. I rushed over to assist as I know how tiring CPR is in practice (it's nothing to the real thing, I can tell you!). It turned out the person didn't actually know CPR properly but had been trying what they'd seen once, so I stepped in. Now I'd love this to be a story of great joy and heroism but I did what the training tells you to do. I gave some rescue breaths and proceeded to CPR until another lady came who was from the British Red Cross and then the ambulance came. Sadly, there wasn't much hope. It was a rather shocking experience and one of those things that puts life in perspective.

It's also one of those things that, when reflecting on it, you really wnat to find some great deep wisdom about it that you can pass on. In fact I think the thing I'd pass on is about the reality, value and joy of life and our call to live it to the full, thanking God fort he joys and seeking God's strength in the tough times because the "fullness" of life includes joys and tragedies. Being a Christian doesn't insulate you from life, it calls you to engage with it in all its twists and turns, in those things which bring a joyful resolve as well as in those things which are left hanging.

So often in life we want everything to be sewn up and rounded off, completed, ticked and done. Life doesn't work that way. Again I find myself returning to Paul's Letter to the Philippians
"Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal;
but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own...but
this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what
lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God
in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12-14).

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Lambeth and all that jazz

The daily thought on the Taize website today made me think of the Lambeth conference as well as the Church of England's own issue with the consecration of women as bishops:

'In the middle of the twentieth century, there appeared a man named John, born in a humble peasant family in the north of Italy. When he announced the Second Vatican Council, that elderly man, John XXIII, pronounced words that are among the most crystal clear imaginable:

We will not try to find out who was wrong, we will not try to find out who was right, we will only say: Let us be reconciled!” (Discourse to the Pastors of Rome, February 1959)'