Use resources - but carefully

Tue, 30/07/2013 - 12:05 -- James Oakley

Book Shelves
Photo: Germán Póo-Caamaño
Lots of churches have had their summer holiday clubs for children - they do them as soon as term finishes. We do ours the other end of the summer - just after the bank holiday weekend.

(Quick plug: If you live in or near Kemsing, and have children who have just finished a year at primary school, we can probably still fit you in - 4 mornings starting Tuesday 27th August).

I'm looking over some of the resources we've got for the club. Never mind which one we're using, as I'm not wanting to make a point about any resource in particular. As it happens, I think the resource we're using for this year's club is excellent.

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I can't grow plants

Mon, 24/06/2013 - 14:43 -- James Oakley

I cannot grow plants.

It's true that I'm not very good at gardening, or even at caring for house plants. But that's not what I mean. Even if I do remember to water them, put them in the right place, prune them, leave them alone when they need it - I can't make them grow. I cannot turn my care of the plant into cellulose and chlorophyll.

Which is also one of the most humbling, frustrating and relieving aspects of pastoral ministry.

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Is God anti-gay?

Fri, 07/06/2013 - 11:07 -- James Oakley

Cover of the book, Is God anti-gay?I've known Sam Allberry for about 15 years now. I've long appreciated his clarity as a teacher, preacher and writer. I now admire his courage and honesty as well.

Sam has a new book coming out shortly, entitled "Is God Anti-Gay?" That's a good question. Many people assume that the answer is no, by which they mean that God has no objections to someone fully embracing a gay lifestyle. Alternatively, once one says God does have objections to this, you are saying that God is anti-gay.

Sam sets out to steer the reader through this particular minefield. It is his deep conviction that a gay lifestyle and identity is not something that God is content for a person to embrace. And yet Sam also wants to affirm, equally passionately, that this does not make God anti-gay. The Christian gospel is good news, and it is good news for everyone - including those who experience same-sex attraction. Sam has had to think these things through from the perspective of his first-hand experience.

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Beloved, let us love one another

Mon, 19/11/2012 - 09:36 -- James Oakley

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God. (1 John 4:7)

Today, the Church of England's General Synod meets for 3 days; on the agenda for tomorrow is a debate and then a vote on "final approval" of the measure that could see women become Bishops in the Church of England.

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Finding a church

Fri, 16/11/2012 - 14:31 -- James Oakley

A friend recently e-mailed me to ask for advice as he looks for a church to join in a new town that he'd moved to with his young family.

Part of what I wrote back may be of help to others, so I thought I'd paste it here.

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Praying to the Triune God

Wed, 14/11/2012 - 12:26 -- James Oakley

I'm enjoying thinking about the Lord's prayer and the slightly wider context of Matthew 6:7-15 ready for this coming Sunday's services.

In the Lord's prayer we are told who we address (our Father in heaven), then three petitions for matters related to God (his name, his kingdom and his will) and then three petitions related to our own needs.

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BCP Lectionary

Tue, 16/10/2012 - 11:47 -- James Oakley

Many Anglican Churches across the country still use the 1662 Book of Common Prayer for some of their services. That is a good thing. It's theology is not without fault, but it attained a high standard of theology that has not been reproduced in any liturgies written since. A high proportion of all of its services are taken straight from Scripture, with the effect that a great number of Scriptures are read during any BCP service. The BCP takes the Bible, and turns it into a prayer book.

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Consider carefully how you listen

Sat, 15/09/2012 - 17:30 -- James Oakley

Tomorrow, many of those who read this will attend a church service. As part of that, there will be a sermon.

At least - please do attend a church service tomorrow. It's a really good thing to do each week. And, if you are responsible for leading a church service, please do ensure there is a sermon - it's a really good thing to include each week.

Today, I'm doing a number of things, but one of them is marking. I have before me a number of assignments on preaching from trainee Readers in the Diocese of Rochester.

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