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.
When crudely bundled together into one patch-work organism, the UK church is in numerical decline. An article by Giles Fraser informed me today that within Anglicanism alone there are just shy of 16000 church communities, many with congregational numbers that just scrape into double figures. Add to that the countless other tributaries of this river-running-dry and I would imagine we are well over 40000 individual communities of faith.
I should make a bit of a disclaimer at the start of this post. I haven’t actually said this in years but I still hear it from time to time at services or conferences. The person hosting the gathering will stand and say something like,
“It’s great to have you with us. Just as the band are getting ready let me invite you to leave you problems at the door and focus on the Lord.” Continue reading “Things I want to stop saying 2 – Forget about your problems and focus on the Lord.”
I am re-reading one of my favourite books at the moment; ‘Everything I ever need to know I learned in kindergarten’ by Robert Fulgham. It is a collection of stories both mundane and marvellous from the Robert’s life. In each story he sees a lesson that he carries into his future that tells him a little more about life on earth.
‘There was incident at school today,’ I said to my mother (to the best of my memory).
Always one for the dramatic I chose that sentence and the longer than natural pause that followed it. I proceeded to tell my mother how a group of boys from school had backed me into a corner full of intent Continue reading “How to be hypocrite like me.”
I turn 33 in ten days. I have a strange relationship with birthdays, I love getting cards and gifts from my friends but find the tumult of Facebook acknowledgments from people I haven’t seen in years a little strange. I like the play guess the sender by the handwriting on the envelope; I am usually wrong. Continue reading “Holy Spirit Postman”
There has been some discussion (that’s an understatement) on Internet-Christendom this past week about how we in general run Sundays at a local church level. Continue reading “Where do you like to eat?”
There was time in my life (which I hope is over) when I was regularly called a cynic. In the eyes of some people I could see no good in most things to do with Church and just sought to rip things down. Now, slightly in my defence my heart has never been to tear things down but in Continue reading “A little goes a long way”
I grew up in a world that cried out for justice. In the divided community of 80’s and 90’s Northern Ireland conflicting parties cried out for justice for the outrages of British rule and the denial of civil rights and on the other the Protestant call for Republican terrorists and politicians to be punished for their part in the Troubles. On each side of the discussion there was pain and freedom and a history of mistrust that the other side even cared about that pain. To one the powers Continue reading “Follow Justice”
Facebook is simultaneously the worst and greatest parts of humanity recorded in every refreshing detail. I go from despairing at the trivial moments we celebrate together to celebrating the creativity, compassion and wonder of humanity. This week one of my friends posted this video on their wall. It is by SoulPancake who you may know from their Kid President videos (not cool Robert Frost) Continue reading “Take time to listen”