Sorrow and Joy

A little bit of poetry, with thanks to @richardlittleda who suggested reading this while I was pondering the relationship between hating going to Church, but loving being there…

Sorrow and Joy
By Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Sorrow and Joy:
startled senses striking suddenly on our
seem, at the first approach, all but impossible
of just distinction one from the other:
even as frost and heat at the first keen contact
burn us alike

Joy and Sorrow,
hurled from the height of heaven in meteor fashion,
flash in an arc of shining menace o’er us.
Those they touch are left
stricken amid the fragments
of their colourless, usual lives.
Continue reading “Sorrow and Joy”

I have a Beard. Beards are cool now.

Ok.

I admit it.

Thats me in that rather dodgy dark photo – Its the best I could find online.

Why do I have a photo of myself on the site? Well its because I’m looking totally ridiculus cool in my new beard that I grew as part of ‘Movember’, a campaign designed to help raise awareness of, and funds for the fight against Prostrate cancer.

Please take a moment to take a read of Movember and the Prostrate UK website, and if you feel inclined please make a donation towards Movember.

Peace Out People.

Ok.

It seems that the following status is starting to do its rounds on Facebook:

A15 YEAR OLD SCHOOL GIRL HAS BEEN ARRESTED AFTER BEING FILMED BURNING THE KORAN? CATHERINE HESELTINE,CEO OF THE MUSLIM PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE UK, SAID “BURNING THE KORAN WAS OFFENSIVE TO FOLLOWERS”! BUT IT IS OK FOR MUSLIMS TO BURN THE POPPIES AND HOLD UP BANNERS SAYING …”KILL …”BRITISH SOLDIERS”… HOW IS THIS IS RIGHT? I WONDER… HOW MANY OF YOU WILL HAVE THE BALLS TO POST THIS AS YOUR STATUS?

Its worth delving into this a little bit. Note how people aren’t being encouraged to say why the girl was arrested. Just a little digging shows that the girl was arrested for inciting religious hatred. I’m sure that covers burning Holy Books.

Burning a Poppy while offensive to many, it is not racist and not considered illegal.

Lets chill a moment people, and think about things before we react and encourage others to react as well.

BBC News

Guardian

16 days of activism to end violence against women

Did you know that:

  • 1 in 4 women in the UK will suffer violence at the hands of a male partner.
  • 1 in 3 women worldwide will suffer violence at the hands of a male partner.
  • 2 women a week in the UK die due to domestic violence incidents.

Theres no evidence that says the picture is different in the Church. *

We’re publishing the above as part of “16 days of activism to end violence against women”, but I’m not convinced the above is the whole story.

Guys. If you are a victim of domestic abuse, please get in touch with the Mens Advice Line 0808 801 0327, or check out the Mens Advice Line Website for more information.

On the other hand, if you are worried about your doing or thinking, please call Respect on 0845 122 8609 for help.

Restored Relationships

Respect

*stats from Restored.

The Guinness Care Trust Christmas Pay Saga: The Bishop Speaks

The Exeter Guinness Care Trust Christmas saga seems to be rolling on with the Exeter Bishop stepping into the “action”:

In an unusually strong statement he said: “This is a cynical use of the equality agenda to exploit care workers who are already often among the lowest-paid in our society.

“Care workers carry out a hugely important role in the life and health of our communities and are already poorly rewarded for what they do. To deny them the opportunity to be with their families on Christmas Day, and to fail to properly reward them for that sacrifice, is to further exploit them.

“The company, Guinness Care and Support, speaks of ethics and equality, but I don’t think it is at all serious about either.

“Its policy prioritises the non-religious over the religious. A policy of true equality would recognise the importance of Christmas Day and Easter Day for Christians and allow other workers to nominate two different days to reflect their own faith, or other commitments. The company is trying to hide its Scrooge-like meanness behind the language of equality.”

While The Church Sofa lads generally tend to not agree with the Bishop, this time around with do agree that the Guinness Trust does seem to be hiding behind “equality” in an attempt to simply not want to award their staff. One thing that he does seem to take for granted is that people are being told they have to work on Christmas Day, without being given any other option. Hopefully the Guinness Trust are showing some Christmas Spirit..?

Last Saturday we had a Beer with @bigbible…

… and had a nice little chat about the thechurchsofa.co.uk

When did you guys (Andy & Andy) set up your blog and what do you enjoy about it that keeps you blogging?

Over recent years the two of us have been involved in various online projects, in the form of blogs, websites, etc. They have all too varying degrees of success and sustainability. TheChurchSofa is our first joint project and the idea came to us in the summer of this year, whilst partaking in a few pints at the local which happened to be called The Living Room….hence sofa! We wanted to be a voice for the men in churches, who probably, like us often would rather be sat on the sofa watching TV and having a beer than heading to church, but we recognise that this Christian stuff seems to work better in a group.

What inspires your blog post topics and do you have a particular strategy?

Strategy…….not so much! Possibly one day – we’re still trying to find our niche at the moment. In terms of what inspires us, we both try to draw on our own experiences and things that we see popping up in the news, local events, what Bob at church might have mentioned in his preach last Sunday… the list could go on.

Humour is clearly important in  what you’re doing, what’s important about that kind of angle?

Humour???? (is that enough of an answer?)

Who’s on your Blogroll (links) and why?

Good question…..at the moment it’s mostly just our mates plus one or two blogs we liked and have gotten to know via the twitterverse

Read More at The Big Bible

The Guinness Trust and Christmas Pay

Well here’s one for people. (From the ThisIsExeter website)

“The owner of eight city care homes is refusing to pay staff extra for working on Christmas Day and Boxing Day – because it said it cannot recognise one religious festival over others.

Guinness Care and Support said it had an “ethical belief in equality” which meant it did not favour Christmas over other religious celebrations and cannot pay staff extra for working them.

It said it only paid bonuses for bank holidays, which rules out Christmas Day and Boxing Day this year because they fall at the weekend.”

“One member of staff, who asked not to be named, said they were stunned by the announcement: “We have learnt that senior head office management have decided that all staff who work on Christmas Day and Boxing Day will be paid standard flat rate wages with no bonuses whatsoever.

“The management themselves are on two weeks’ annual leave. It has come as a shock and left us all stunned.””

Mick Green, senior human resources manager for Guinness Care and Support, said he appreciated the hard work of staff who will keep the homes running throughout the festive period.

But he said: “We would like to make our position on pay clear – we have a strong ethical belief in equality and diversity and are unable to recognise one religious festival over others.

“Our policy is not to pay extra when staff work during a religious festival.”

Many many questions here:

  • Is this a case of people wanting a Christian Religious holiday recognised, or do they just want to be paid more?
  • Are there going to be any Christmas decorations up anywhere?
  • If someone belonging to another faith wanted to take a day for religious reasons, would that be refused?
  • Is there anyone involved with Guinness Care who feels pressured to work on Christmas day?
  • Or is this case of management (who will be on holiday) not wanting to spend any extra money on staff, and not simply coming out and saying so?

UPDATE: The Bishop of Exeter has realised a statement following up on the above.