Showing posts from March, 2022

Ramble for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch pew sheet 27 March 2022

No sooner was Christmas out of the way for supermarkets, than hot cross buns appeared on their (otherwise pandemically sparse) shelves. We bought some a few weeks ago, they are scrumptious warm and slathered in butter. But some folk are offended at their early appearance, thinking that it is irreverent to mark Christianity’s most solemn and holy day before the event. A silly reaction, because hot cross buns were probably developed more as a marketing ploy by an enterprising mediaeval baker than as an aid for teaching the faith. Offended types are even more horrified by the plethora of exotically flavoured buns. These include a hot cross bun bacon butty, a hot cross bun burger with chicken and cheese (KFC), a Vegemite (Marmite in UK) and cheese bun, even hot-cross-bun gin liqueur flavoured with notes of caramel, raisins and spice (Aldi). A prominent UK cleric, Dr Gavin Ashenden, an honorary chaplain to the Queen, rails that manufacturers are “doing the devil’s work” by defiling buns wit

Rambling for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch pew sheet 13 March 2022

  Do you remember those church signs which read “All Welcome”? They were bland, inoffensive, conveyed no real message because everyone knew that the churches which displayed them didn’t mean it. All welcome except … and the list of unspoken exceptions could be pretty long. The best sign I’ve seen was on an Anglican church on Dandenong Road in Melbourne. “Hypocrites meet here at 10am on Sunday”. Now that’s more like it. Disarming, because it takes away the force of one charge which unchurched folk make about us. At least we’re admitting it. And we’re admitting that it’s almost impossible not to display at least some hypocrisy, because we preach a life of holiness which is beyond most of us.  Holding up high moral, ethical, and social standards is very difficult, because if one falls short of being a perfect example, one becomes a target and a  hypocrite , albeit a well-meaning one. So much for a charge from outside the church, that we’re hypocrites. Jesus had to contend with attacks fro

Ramble for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch pew sheet

In a previous life, I took a course on how to start and run a house group, a fellowship group which was part of a larger, gathered congregation. You know the sort of thing, you meet for prayer and bible study (often studying the topic which will be preached in church a week or so later), and, well, fellowship – drinking copious draughts of bad coffee and tea, and scoffing cakes and biscuits. During the course, the lecturer set a question, “How would you encourage a group member, who stayed silent during open prayer, to pray aloud?” I objected, “You don’t, it’s a fellowship group, not a public-speaking class.” Some, perhaps most, Christians find it difficult to frame extemporaneous public prayer. They think that they have to say the “right” words, when of course there aren’t “right” words. There are only the same words which you would use praying silently by yourself, perhaps at your wits’ end. Jesus alluded to this in Matthew 6 “   …   But when you pray, go into your inner room, shut y