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

The Life-Giving Magic of Tidying Up Your Christianity or Kondoing Your Faith.

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.

7 months of foodbanking.

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.

Lament: it’s not just ok to cry, we should.

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.

11 Resolutions for 2018 that might make life a little better.

New Year’s Day is the same as any other day but it’s worth taking the opportunity to reflect and focus when we can. Here are 11 resolutions for 2018 that might make life a little better for all of us. 1. Stop assuming people’s motives for doing things you wouldn’t do yourself. We don’t all have the same life experiences and opportunity for free choice. 2. Speak to people you disagree with face to face rather than via Twitter or Facebook. The loss of tone in social media posts fuels anger and misunderstanding. 3. Eat vegetables and drink water. It … Continue reading 11 Resolutions for 2018 that might make life a little better.

Do not be afraid.

“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” Luke 2:10 I am scared of heights. Apparently, it is quite common. I find my stomach churning and my knees get a little more rickety as I climb a ladder of any height. I think it goes back to falling off a tree when I was a child but no matter the cause it follows me today. I have faced up to this fear on numerous occasions. Perhaps the most significant moment of overcoming fear was … Continue reading Do not be afraid.

#metoo – Men, we have a problem.

I’ve known it was happening for a long time. Through the years, female friends have shared stories with me, sometimes laughing it off, sometimes crying through it, of men they knew and men they didn’t; pushing through physical, sexual and emotional boundaries. Sometimes it was words and stares, sometimes it was hands, too often it was worse. I’ve known it was happening but the #metoo hashtag has shown me that it is so widespread that sexual harassment and assault are almost endemic in our society. I could write #metoo on my timeline. I don’t talk about it much, but as … Continue reading #metoo – Men, we have a problem.

The Memeing of Humanity

I often wonder what my generation will be remembered for. There will be the great achievements and the trivial tropes, as there has always been with every previous generation. Perhaps the most significant mark the Millennials (or Xennials as one New Zealand sociologist has named those both between 1977 and 1983) is social media. Of course the internet and World Wide Web are gifts from the generation above us but we’ve taken it and run with it giving the globe access to bad jokes, portmanteaus and memes. Memes are wonderful things at times. In the wake of any world event … Continue reading The Memeing of Humanity

Does (some) Evangelical theology lend itself to climate change denial? 

I listened to this podcast yesterday and have spent the last 24 hours wondering why many Evangelicals don’t believe in climate change. Is there something in Evangelical theology that lends itself to climate change denial. I realise not all are deniers and that not all believe these things but they are definite badges of many streams of evangelicalism. (This was originally a twitter thread so forgive the shorthand style.) 1. Us vs. Them – There is an idea that Christianity is opposed to ‘secular’ belief. Dividing lines are drawn between the two. Science is often seen as secular and so … Continue reading Does (some) Evangelical theology lend itself to climate change denial? 

Salaam, Shalom, Peace

If you are like me; white and non Muslim, please don’t allow this attack to be different to those that have happened in the past few months. I have realised in the past year that I give more of myself in response to events in which I can more easily place myself. If I recognise a place, if he victims look like me, if they were doing things that I do, then I respond with a deeper level of sadness, anger and solidarity. This is normal but it is something I must find a way through. If you’re like me, … Continue reading Salaam, Shalom, Peace