A few months ago, half-tongue-in-cheek, I wrote the outline of a book inspired by Marie Kondo’s tidying up system. How can we recognise what is cluttering up our faith i.e. what are the practices and beliefs we are carrying around that are either not giving us life, or if we are honest we don’t really believe at all. I wrote a very rough draft of a first chapter and have sat on it for a few months (with two or three friends who have helped me think through the language and style). I however, have not found the energy or … Continue reading Heavy Soul: How to declutter your faith.
After I posted this and this I got messages from a number of people asking for books to help them navigate through a changing faith. Here are five books that have helped me a lot as I rediscovered my faith and the church.
A few weeks ago I had a conversation in which someone said something like, ‘people who deconstruct their evangelicalism, and move towards progressive Christianity or liberal Christianity, only ever do so because it is convenient for them to do so.’ I have thought about it every day since. Continue reading “A Lost and Found Faith of Convenience?”
I’m amazed at how upset I have been at the passing of someone I have never met. What a loss. Her poor family. They say, don’t meet your heroes, and in my experience that is true. I’ve met three of mine in all, and those three were as human as me; tired, at times obnoxious and prone to mood swings. They were all slowly making their way through the world as best they could, just like the rest of us. Another, as of yesterday, I will never meet, unless the faint hope I cling to by my fingernails, that there … Continue reading #BecauseofRHE
Here are the chapter titles/ideas for a book I’ll never have time to write. The Life-Giving Magic of Tidying Up Your Christianity or Kondoing Your Faith. 1. Your faith is cluttered. Everyone’s is. You have picked up beliefs and behaviours without even noticing. Some of them are nonsense and once you notice them you’ll get rid of them. Until age 14 I believed that Bibles couldn’t burn because I read it in a Christian kid’s book. Then I watched someone roll a joint with a page of 1 John from his Gideon’s Bible. 2. If a belief or practice doesn’t … Continue reading The Life-Giving Magic of Tidying Up Your Christianity or Kondoing Your Faith.
I’ve now worked for Trussell Trust for 7 months. I had another of what I think of as my ‘reality of foodbank’ moments today. We were in a meeting with someone who wanted information about how a Trussell Trust foodbank works. As we explained the model that we use, causes of food poverty and talked through some statistics of foodbank use in Northern Ireland and the wider UK network, I was again experiencing the contrast of feeling that comes with this job. Working with foodbanks is simultaneously saddening, infuriating, uplifting and inspiring. Working with people of such passion and commitment … Continue reading 7 months of foodbanking.
I found the next sentence very hard to type. I cried today. Whether it is an inherited Ulster Protestant stoicism or the yet to be expunged remnants of my foray into neo-Calvinist machismo, I don’t cry often and still struggle to admit and come to terms with the fact that I do. I’m working on that. I should have seen it coming. We were driving and a song I’ve never paid attention to before came on the radio; What About Us by Pink. Lyrically, it is pretty hard hitting; “What about us? What about all the times you said you … Continue reading Lament: it’s not just ok to cry, we should.