Swedish Liturgy

On the retreat a reminisce about Abba turned into an attempt to write a prayer that contained song titles from the Swedish super-group.
Abba Father,
You know that Life was slipping through my fingers and that my only focus was Money Money Money, there was only room for Me and I. But thank you that you heard my S.O.S and through your grace decided not just to take a chance on me, but to lay all your love on me.That moment was like an Angel passing through my room, your Arrival made me as good as new. It turns out I have been waiting for you all along. I give my love, my life, and in return I’m in a place of knowing me, knowing you. Thank you for this liberating chance to move on..

I think that’s 13! Voulez vous un aller?


Just got my marks back for my first M.A essay and ….. *drum roll* I passed! (phew). I clearly have a WAY to go as the feedback was critical of my structure and of my grammar but nevertheless I am a citizen today of Big Grin City.
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Can Church be Missional?
“The question is an interesting one given that theologically the church is birthed in God’s missionary imperative. The church is the body of Christ, imbued by the spirit, and tasked with the continuing mission for which the Father sent Christ, and then Christ sends the church . The book of Acts records that unfolding mission, telling the story of how the redemptive work of Jesus spreads throughout the Roman Empire as the ecclesia are driven outwards; by the spirit, by obedience to the ‘great commission ,’ and by persecution”
…. and then I ramble on for a few pages, arguing that the answer is that mainstream church in its inherited mode is not ‘mission shaped’ in its ecclesiology.


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This is the week of the DEPTH retreat that my colleague and I run at the beautiful and welcoming Douai Abbey. Today is a day of lists, preparation, and assembling the ‘stuff’ that enables some useful collective retreating.
If you are coming could I remind you to bring stout (and more importantly, waterproof) footwear in case you would like to partake of a gentle wade in the Berkshire countryside!

Quelle horror

In the home of the Tribe called Macdonald we use all sorts of phrases borrowed from other languages, mainly German, but we’ll borrow anything useful and/or funny. One of the expressions we use (although I had to look up how to spell it) is, ‘c’est un désastre!’
The glorious thing is the Haddon picks up a lot of these sayings and uses them … with gusto (despite his speech difficulties) but not always with accuracy . I’m loving his interpretation of the above French phrase, I often hear him call out,

“Certain Disaster!”

A question of attire

I had a spam e-mail from a supplier of clergy shirts!! Most amused … is it a sign? Does spam e-mailing prove an effective marketing strategy for suppliers of clerical and liturgical wear? Would there be any sort of a check on my Reverential status before I was allowed to purchase? Many questions! This is the example given in the e-mail, I can’t really see it being me.
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In terms of attire though, I’ve been wearing my work trousers to work all week. By ‘work trousers’ I mean actual work ones with reinforced panels on the knees, additional loops for tools and constructed of a strong and hard-wearing fabric. The sort of trousers that you are required to wear if you are to get served at the trade counter in Jewsons.
Needless to say I really like this style of trousers (what Sheddie wouldn’t?) but it has prompted a certain amount of eyebrow raising at Church House. I think my explanation that they are practical trousers for a practical theologian is a good one!
As a jobbing ecclesiologist and a practical theologian I am embracing these work trousers as overall* a better mode of dress for me than the suggestion in the spam e-mail** Liturgically for those interested in such things … I am in the season of grey with black pockets/reinforcing panels and some yellow stitching!
Can we theologically reflect on that?
YES we can!

* pun intended
** want it on record that I avoided obvious pun about being shirty about this spam

Mailchimp Youth Ministry Mailing

It took me a while to get to grips with Mailchimp (an e-mail ‘marketing’ and distribution management programme) but now I’m really liking it. The first of the monthly youth ministry mailings went out yesterday … if you would like to sign up to it then you can do that here.
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Mailchimp handles the sign up which is great, and lets me know information about when/how it is read which is useful (I’m really chuffed that the mailing has an ‘opened rate’ of 59% after less than 12 hours). I’ve also set it up to know which Parishes receive the information to build a better picture of where youth work is happening in the Diocese.

Introduction to working with Young People (Buckinghamshire)

“A basic course relating to the values and skills required when working with young people. It is recommended good practice that every volunteer involved in a club undertakes this training”
Action4Youth Feb 26th: Intro WYP 26 02 14.pdf