Sunday, 31 July 2011


We had a discussion after church today, following on from a conversation some of us had with the Super last week. Basically, we've agreed to do our own preaching plan, which can then be incorporated in the official one. The first step is going to be to get dates from Novette, the minister, as she obviously has to fit in her other churches as well. Then we plan whatever dates we want for our own preachers and worship leaders. We may be only a small church, but we have a tradition of getting people involved in leading worship, so we've no lack of talent available. One Sunday a month will be left for Paul to plan a preacher from the rest of the Circuit, so we're still functioning within it rather than trying to secede or become a law unto ourselves.

That should give us ample scope to develop our own worship style further. I'm preaching at Ladywood in a couple of weeks, and I may well let one of the Worship Leaders organise the service, and just preach the sermon. It's a common enough pattern in other denominations, and many of our people will be familiar with it from having previously been in one or other branch of the Church of God.

We've also agreed to have a barbeque in four weeks' time, on the 28th. That gives us ample time to plan, and we'll just have to hope the weather lasts. Only we don't want it to last without a break here and there, because the stream at the bottom of the allotment has dried up, and we'll be having major problems if it doesn't rain before then!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

16 years

This is us out for a 16th anniversary meal yesterday. People forecasted disaster, tried to sabotage the wedding, claimed Namissa was only marrying me to get her stay here. Our minister at the time wrote and asked me not to go ahead since she's Muslim. Despite it all, we've failed to murder each other, divorce, or do anything else to cause an irreparable breach, and as you see, we're still together. We've never had a single row about religion either. It's the same God, and beside that, what else matters?

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

A couple of good things

I'm not sure the first is really so 'good'; there's a local initiative to start a foodbank, and we had a request to use our premises. The fact that we need such a thing is a thoroughly Bad Thing, in fact a Disgraceful Thing, but given that the need is there, it's good that the church should respond. I don't know enough about it yet to answer the questions people in the church are asking (another good thing; they're speaking up and asking rather than sitting there like sacks of potatoes while others do the talking!), but I'm arranging for someone to visit the church to discuss it.

As a result, I found out on Monday about a meeting for local churches last night to find out what sort of community outreach we're all doing. I've heard about a lot of exciting things which I didn't know about, and there was at least one person there who didn't know about our community shop. We're going to keep in touch, and if nothing else, it should throw up some extra sources of the secondhand clothes we're always in need of.

Thursday, 14 July 2011


I thought I'd post this. . I met Mariatu some years ago, when she was fifteen. She was on the way to Canada, where a family was adopting her, and had stopped in the UK to be fitted with the latest artificial hands. The woman looking after her was an old school friend of my wife's, hence the connection. The hands were purely cosmetic; I remember her struggling to eat a biscuit with them at church. As soon as she got home, she dumped them behind the door with the shoes (no shoes in our house!), put on an elastic wristband, and managed to eat with a fork stuck in it.

The Sierra Leone ivil war was was nothing more than a glorified bandit gang taking over most of a country whose goverment had collapsed under the weight of its own corruption. They never seriously wanted to rule, just to use the country as an extended diamond mine. Killings, rapes and mutilation were a way to drive away the civilian population and leave the diamond fields to themseves and their slaves.