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Blown away

A photo of a girl blowing bubbles

It’s been exactly a month since I last posted and the main reason for that has been our move of house, the inevitable break in broadband connection and the equally inevitable unpacking, cupboard-building, hole-drilling reality of shifting a family of five to a new residence.

We’re settling in.

One of the things that has interested me in the last month arose out of our final Sunday with Pip & Jims. The last service was, for us, a lovely occasion in which we said goodbye, people were very generous towards us in their kindness and love. At the end of the day, I saw down with my phone for five minutes, checked Facebook and simply updated my status as ‘blown away’.

We had been ‘blown away’ by our day, by the kindness and love of the people we were leaving behind, their kind gifts to us and just all the things we could give thanks for that have taken place over the last three years.

However, having spoken with a friend, ‘blown away’ has taken on new interpretations.

When this person read my Facebook status, they interpreted it as if I was saying that it was time to leave and the Holy Spirit was now gently blowing my family and I away to pastures new. We arrived in Walderslade knowing that God was with us in this move and this call, and now in the gentle but firm way that God moves amongst us, we were being blown on again once again to somewhere new.

So may the wind of the Spirit of God
blow firm in your heart
and upon your life,
may He raise you to new heights,
and open new vistas,
and may His breath always bring warmth to your soul.

Café Church stations: Holy Spirit

A photo of heart-shaped marshmallows

Earlier this month I was part of was my final Café Church service here in Walderslade before I move to pastures new. I’m not yet sure whether such services will be part of my future ministry or not; we need to do some listening and seeing what’s appropriate to the local community and the churches that I’ll be working with.

So this might be the last downloadable station for a while. I’m not sure, I may keep writing stations for the sake of it anyway, even if I can’t use them personally.

Anyway, in the last three Café Church services, we’ve been following a series on the Creed (driven by friend and colleague Brad Cook) and looking at the Father, the Son and Spirit in turn.

With the focus on the Holy Spirit this month, there are a couple of stations available to download (PDF file) that might be of use either in a similar setting or perhaps at Pentecost time. Lots of flames and fire, so be ready with your health and safety!

The day Giles Fraser got it wrong and exploding pumice

Burning pumice rock

Giles Fraser, Church Times columnist and parish priest, is kind of like my journalistic equivalent of Marmite. You either love what he writes or you hate it. Frequently I find myself from week to week doing both… one week he gives you hope that there is indeed a God, seven days later and I’m wondering about cancelling my subscription to the Church Times again.

I read a column from Giles a week or two back that seemed to contain both love and hate in the same article – ‘Why blogs can be bad for the soul‘. Giles laid into the all-too-common blogs where the comments are so nasty, extreme and hateful that they positively ought to carry a health warning. I have some sympathy. I’ve read a good few blogs and comment threads myself which have been enough to put me off for life. As much as I keep an eye on Thinking Anglicans, Anglican Mainstream, Fulcrum and more for a wide variety of news and views, I very rarely if ever read the comments because I know what I’m going to find and frequently find the same people (often disguised safely behind a pseudonym which seems to give them licence to be extremely rude) letting rip with their usual guff. So I don’t bother. I read the blogs and ignore the comments.

Maggi Dawn has already responded as to why blogs can be good for the soul. I couldn’t agree more. I have a number of people that I’d consider colleagues and friends now because of meeting first on the Internet. There are one or two that I have yet to meet but who I am really looking forward to meeting in person when opportunity allows. It’ll be weird meeting an ‘old friend’ for the first time!

But I’ve also had an object lesson this week in why it’s good to read the comments. Read more