Mission Statements and Clergy Burnout

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Not sure there is much more to add.  Thanks to @LayAnglicana who had a link to this.

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Sheldon’s Grace

As we’re doing children’s prayers and graces, here’s Sheldon Cooper doing grace with his mother.

By His hand, we are all fed.
Give us Lord, our daily bread.
Please know that we are truly grateful,
For every cup and every plateful.
Amen.

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Superman Grace

At #worship2013 conference organised by the liturgical commission. As the conversation has developed, the word ‘trite’ has been used extensively. I put “I’d better not mention the Superman grace”. Twitter has demanded the Superman grace. I’m putting together a video that goes with it for the summer school I’m running to check that our later.

From 45 seconds in.

We thank you Lord for giving us food.
We thank you Lord for giving us food.
Lord we praise you.
Lord we praise you.
O we praise you Lord…
For giving us food.

Thanks to the Church of England’s head communication’s officer Arun Arora who taught me this at college. All of the trite primary school kids I meet love singing this tritely.

[edit]

Just had someone else on twitter post it as:

We thank you Lord for giving us food.
We thank you Lord for giving us food.
We’re very grateful
For every plateful
O we thank you Lord…
For giving us food.

Prefer this version. Consider me newly crowd sourced.

Thanks @danadelap

Enchantment in Worship

I’m spending a day locked in a retreat house reading for the research I’m doing into liturgy and culture. A decade ago Keith F Pecklers SJ gave a call to greater liturgical formation for the ‘future of Christianity’ as he looked at worshipping in a postmodern world.

Liturgy in the postmodern world must aim for enchantment, not entertainment… If presiders are to be effective instruments in the enchantment of their congregations gathered together in holy assembly, the churches will need to recognise the fact that presiding is a craft to be learnt; it does not come with the grace of ordination. (p199 Worship)

I wonder what delights I will discover at the ‘Worship Transforming Communities’ conference next week. I’m looking forward to continuing the discussions I’ve been having with colleagues about liturgical formation. #worship2013

Being an Extrovert in an Introvert Orientated Church

I bet you didn’t get beyond 30 seconds.

Welfare Reform in Today’s Political Agenda

A society which allows large numbers of its citizens to live in poverty is unlikely to be sustainable. We have seen, since the 1980s, how whole communities hit by economic contraction can sink into a kind of collective depression from which some, especially young men, seek to emerge through violence, gangs and other destructive (and self destructive) ways of life.

Nick Morgan linked to the Church of England’s report on Welfare Reform on The Book of Face. It is a long read but has some good insights into the current UK government’s policy and how it relates to our faith.

I think the key phrase in the above quote is “since the 1980s” as it is telling about the current trajectory of the UKs economic policy. This report doesn’t quite give a bloody nose in the way that Faith in the City did to Mrs Thatcher’s government, but it does point out many of the failings of the current regime.

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Lord Truro and the “Undeserving Poor”

Once more all decent folk found themselves under attack from the ever hungry and multiheaded mythological beast. Fortunately Lord Freud was able to defend us all once more from the onslaught of the “undeserving poor”.

20130703-074824.jpgThe daemonisation of the poor is a well documented phenomenon and a tool that is being used to drive ideological political change. “Why don’t they help themselves out of poverty?” We have a situation in the UK where food bank use has trebled in the past year. Lord Freud seems to be of the opinion that food banks are one of the many choices that people mmakes when planning their weekly shop. “We can get some cold cuts from the farmers market, they do that lovely Brussels Pâté. We need to make sure we get to Waitrose on the way home for the loo roll and dishwasher tablets. Ooooo, and we’d best stop at the Food Bank and get some beans for the kids”.

The Bishop of Truro challenged Lord Freud on his statements to The Lords. Church Action on Poverty challenged these ideological beliefs five weeks ago. Oxfam challenge this ideological belief daily. Everyone who works with people in poverty challenges this blame culture, designed to shift the focus of blame for the current global economic climate to the most vulnerable in our society. The people who aren’t challenging this are those who are using the myth to drive ideological political change.

The growth in food aid demonstrates that the social safety net Is failing in its basic duty to ensure that families have access to sufficient income to feed themselves adequately. The exponential rise in the creation of food banks reflects a growing problem and only delivers mitigation. Food banks provide a vital emergency service to the people they support but they do not address the underlying structural causes for the growth of food poverty. – Walking the Breadline