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Greenbelt

This year I was a contributor to the Greenbelt Festival on the 180 team running the skate park. Was a great time,  a few tweets made it up onto the church sofa and everything. Being a contributor is pretty great, at first we had figured we were the same as volunteers so we were going into the volunteers lounge and making ourselves a cup of tea or coffee and so on. Then on the second day a woman told us that we weren’t meant to be there and that we had to go to the contributors lounge instead. We were a bit annoyed by this assuming that we would have to pay for drinks there or that it might not even exist. However we eventually found the contributors area and discovered almost what heaven might be like. We didn’t have to make our own drinks, or pay for them there was a whole team of people there to help make the festival even better for us and we got everything we could need, free wifi and electricity as well. If only I had taken something that could use either of those effectively.

Throughout the week I made it to a few talks and bands, some of the highlights were Courtney Pine and The Herbaliser on the main stage and most of the bands in the Performance Cafe. However 2 things really stood out this Greenbelt for me. One was the brilliant Beer and Hymns where there was nothing fancy about the worship leading just a plonky piano and a singer or two, no fancy new songs just a whole load of people enjoying their beer and enjoying singing hymns passionately to God. The other was a talk I went to see, by Dave Andrews, he talked about the defining characteristic of the 20th Century being violence, more people died because of a another person in the 20th century than the rest of human history! The only way we can change this is to stop thinking of plan A (treating others how they treat us or how we think they will treat us) and start following Plan B (treating others as we want to be treated). His Talk has really made me think about how my life work for this and how this can be done big scale as well as small scale. Continue reading “Greenbelt”

Terry Jones – Make Up Your Own Mind

Every now and then I come across an interesting link, that simply leads to me a dark, mad, and angry place.

I was going to post about Terry Jones, what he’s famous for, what I think of him, and why I think he’s wrong.

Instead, just check out these links, and decide what you reckon.

International Burn A Koran Day Facebook Page

Daily Mail

Rick Sanchez Interviews Pastor Terry Jones of Burn the Koran Day

The Gist

The Dove Church

A message from an Arab Catholic priest to Pastor Jones who wants to burn the Quran

Does Fred Phelps have a new contender for Chief American Religious Nutter?

What Does it Mean To Stop?

We’re surrounded by noise, information and activity. With use of up to date mobile phones and wireless devices we have access to find out almost anything at any point. Even when work is not being done, and social media isn’t being touched, a lot of us spend our time watching TV, involved in groups, playing sports or just getting the next job done.

Well maybe I don’t play sports…

The thing is, how often do we stop? I spent a lot of my holiday struggling to get either reception or battery life on my phone, and to be honest. It was weird. It did make me wonder about how keen I am to be in touch with the world, work on my course, take photos, know what’s going on, plan youth club, listen to music, watch TV, listen to video games, and so on.

Maybe I need to learn to listen to the silence every now and then, and just be still.

Is the world really that easy?

I’ve just sat and read the article “The world is filled with boys who can shave” by Mark Driscoll, and to be honest… been kinda shocked at how negative the whole article was to be honest.

He seems to take a swipe at men who like to drink beer, play computer games, listen to music, enjoy cars, computers, fantasy football leagues, and burgers, as well as a number of ‘activities’. Now I’m not going to say that porn is ok, but he also mentions ‘women’ in his lists of “past times”. I’d love to hear him expand on this… its almost as if single guys arn’t meant to meet women.

I’ll give him his due, he does almost turn postive with;

Men are supposed to be producers, not just consumers. You’re defined by the legacy, the life, and the fruit that come out of you, not by what you take in. But most guys are just consumers.

Almost encouraging. Almost builds a guy up to make something out of his life, but then he launches into:

What happens if you walk into the church and try to find out what a man looks like? First of all, you’re not going to find a lot of guys in most evangelical churches. The least likely person to see in church is a single, twenty-something male. He is as rare at church as a vegan at a steak house.

In the world, boys who can shave are children who are consumers. In the church, boys who can shave are cowards who are complainers.

A buddy of mine calls them evangellyfish because they have no backbone. They don’t declare a major, church, theology, or fiancé. They don’t want to fail and they think if they don’t try, then they can’t fail. And by definition, that’s a failure.

They are, however, endowed with the spiritual gift of complaining. They say, “I hate the church. The church just wants my money.” As if the church wants his futon, Xbox, light beer, and computer filled with free Internet porn.

Here’s the cold hard truth: it’s a lot harder to do something than it is to complain about those who are doing something. The notorious sin of Christian guys is complaining about guys who are doing something rather than doing something.

Now, this is probably where this blog comes in. Instead of calling 20 something men in the church cowards, why dont we ask some questions? Why dont alot of men feel comfortable in church? Why do some guys feel like that? Is there something about church services that men dont feel comfortable with? There was a stage in my life where I was quite proud of calling myself “Christian”, as opposed to saying I was Baptist, Anglican, Catholic or whatever. Does that make me a evangellyfish?

Continue reading “Is the world really that easy?”

Can I get married in a C of E Church?

Ok – Consider this blog post to be a ‘public service’ post.

So on Sunday a couple of us went on a tour of the churches around Exeter, looking for suitable wedding venues. We saw some stunning churches, but were our friends allowed to get married there?

(As a side note, after meeting the people involved in some of the churches, would our friends want to get married there?)

If you are wanting to get married by the good old C of E, but are wondering how on earth it all works, you may find the Your Church Wedding site helpful. The most useful part by far is the section that explains what church you can get married in:

You can marry in a CofE church if you can show:-

That one of you:

  • has at any time lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months or
  • was baptised in the parish concerned or
  • was prepared for confirmation in the parish or
  • has at any time regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months or

That one of your parents, at any time after you were born:

  • has lived in the parish for a period of at least 6 months or
  • has regularly gone to normal church services in the parish church for a period of at least 6 months or

That one of your parents or grandparents:

  • was married in the parish

In all cases involving church services – i.e. going to normal church services, baptism, confirmation or marriage – this applies only to Church of England services. Even if you cannot demonstrate any of the above connections, we want to help you explore whether it may still be possible for you to marry in your special church.

Talk to the Vicar there well in advance to discuss the options open to you.

YourChurchWedding.Org