Welcome to my attempt to live fully and honestly, to sing out the song of myself, to truly know who I am......

.....either that or the ramblings of a barely coherant, tired out mum of two!!

Monday, 30 August 2004

Being Church

Or How to Live Authentically ....

My local church (C of E) has been around a lot of years and has seen a lot of changes but I think now it's facing it's toughest test. We have been without a full time, paid priest for far too long. I live in an Urban Priority Area in the inner city. Most of the people who attend our church live in the locality, many are unemployed or in low paid jobs. We have ages across the spectrum - the youngest is 14months old and the eldest are 80+. We are a small congregation with the potential to be much bigger.

The people in this area need someone with a uniform - a dog-collar - an identifier that says "I come with the authority of the church". Our temporary Priest leaves at the end of September - he came to help us out for a year, two years ago. He will be missed.

The Diocese is trying to come up with a plan to staff our church and the neighbouring one without using too much of their resources, ie without spending money. The area I live in is quite poor and many of the residents feel as though they have been forgotton. Now it would seem that the Church is treating them the same way.

So how do we be church to the people in this area. How do the few of us who have a little time and a little money to spare make a difference to these people. How do we live the gospel and bring the 'good news' to those whose souls are crying out for living water.

I don't have the answers. All we can do is learn a new way of being church that doesn't rely on the structures of the established church but that maintains an honesty and an integrity that will appeal to people and bring them home.

Sunday, 29 August 2004

John Walsh

I have just finished reading a book by John Walsh. For those of you who don't know John Walsh is the host of Americas Most Wanted and The John Walsh Show. The latter being shown on ITV2 at the moment. The book is entitled Tears of Rage and it deals with the abduction and murder of his six year old son Adam.

These events happened in 1981 around the time that Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles. Adam disappeared from a Sears store in Hollywood and his head was recovered two weeks later. The book is a powerful account of the event and its aftermath. John and his wife pretty much had to organise the search themselves and 15 years on it became clear that the Hollywood police department had done very little to find Adams killer.

The book shows the evil that humankind can do and changed my opinion on one or two things. I used to believe that capital punishment could never be justified, that there was no crime severe enough to warrant it. John Walsh has changed my view. The violence that is done by a handful of people to innocent children should carry just one sentence - death. In cases where the evidence is overwhelming and it can be assured that the accused is guilty then the death sentence should be implemented. I know this view will be unpopular in many quarters but these despicable criminals should be removed from society with no possible chance of ever being reprieved or paroled.

I do believe in the power of forgiveness but I also believe in justice. The Walsh family were denied justice for Adam by an uncaring, unsympathetic, inefficient legal system. The book charts their fight to change that system at the highest level. I strongly reccommend this book but be warned, the subject matter is graphically violent and it is not an easy read.

Friday, 27 August 2004

Martyn Joseph

In my humble opinion Martyn Joseph is the best thing to come out of Wales since...... well he's just the best thing to come out of Wales!

For those of you who are scratching you're head and saying 'who?' Martyn Joseph is a singer/songwriter of extreme talent and worth. He has been described as the Welsh Springsteen and has been in the business for about 20 years. His newest album is catchily entitled 'Whoever it was that brought me here will have to take me home' and much of his back catalogue is still available. For more inf on Martyn Joseph, including gig dates checkout his website at www.martynjoseph.com.

Quite simply he is well worth five minutes of your time to check him out.