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).
In February 2017, General Synod refused to take note of a report by the House of Bishops on human sexuality. I wrote on this at the time: It really is time to choose.
Several years back I wrote about a discovery that the carol, While Shepherds Watched not only fits to the tune of On Ilkley Moor Baht 'at, the Yorkshire folk tune, but that may even have been the original tune.
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.
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.
Yesterday, the Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) released a document they term a "reflection" on the gospel, the church and marriage.
CEEC is an umbrella body for many evangelical groupings within the Church of England that began in 1960. From their "About" page:
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.
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.