Church Life

A Few Thoughts on Bullying

Wed, 20/03/2019 - 14:50 -- James Oakley
No Bullying

Earlier this week, our Deanery Synod had an excellent 45 minute presentation from one of the clergy in our deanery, Revd Dr Lorraine Turner. Lorraine's doctoral thesis was on the subject of bullying as experienced by clergy, and her subject with us was bullying.

Clearly, 45 minutes is far too short a time for anything other than the most cursive of introductions, especially for someone who has studied this with the thoroughness required for a PhD. Nevertheless, it was extremely helpful, for reasons including the following:

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Personal Church History

Mon, 25/02/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

It is a great privilege indeed to belong to a Christian church, and so to the Christian church.

This last weekend, I reached the milestone of 10 years serving the churches here in Kemsing and Woodlands, also a great privilege.

That gives me cause to look back on the many churches I have belonged to over the years. Each made its mark in different ways, and the person I am today is undoubtedly shaped by the time spent in those churches.

Sabbath Rest

Mon, 18/02/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley
Image Credit: milinkapoor

I'm taking a 3 month sabbatical starting in May. This is something many Christian ministers find helpful. The Diocese of Rochester, within which I serve, used to recommend this every 7 years (although I see that their guidance now says 10 years).

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Preaching seemingly irrelevant issues

Thu, 17/05/2018 - 10:30 -- James Oakley
Microphone
Image Credit: Jackson Lewchuk

The other day I was asked why we spend time in church (during sermons) talking about issues that may not be relevant for us today.

Unpacking the Question

On the face of it, it's a good question.

If I look out at the church family here, I can think of many subjects that speak directly into needs we know and feel. Maybe there are issues about unemployment, family life, over-demanding employers, ageing and dementia, the housing market, and so on.

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Choosing a Bible Translation for Church Use

Thu, 10/05/2018 - 10:00 -- James Oakley
The Bible needs translating

500 years ago, William Tyndale lost his life in his campaign to give the English people one Bible in their own language. Today, we're spoilt for choice, with many excellent English translations of the Bible. Here's a paper I wrote in 2013 to help us decide which translation we should use in church.

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Till Death Us Do Part?

Fri, 01/12/2017 - 11:19 -- James Oakley
Wedding Ring
Image Credit: Devanath

With the engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, people are discussing remarriage after divorce. Why do some clergy allow this and some not? Does this undermine the teaching that marriage is for life? Let's try and think clearly.

Remembrance Preaching

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 11:13 -- James Oakley
Poppy
Image Credit: Peter Dargatz

This coming Sunday is Remembrance Sunday. Once again, I find myself planning the sermon for Remembrance Sunday. Here is what happens on Remembrance Sunday here, and what I try to do when it comes to a sermon.

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