From the category archives:

Stuff

Sermon celebrating a gay partnership

by Kim on May 9, 2015

Here is the sermon I preached earlier today at Uniting Church Sketty [Methodist/United Reformed], Swansea, on the occasion of a “Thanksgiving Service for Bob and Andy”.
After two days of display of our dark side [the mind-numbing, heart-breaking, soul-destroying Tory victory at the General Election], it is wonderful to reflect today on what Abraham Lincoln called [...]

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The Broad Road to the Deep Shit

by Kim on May 8, 2015

I’ve just started reading Richard Flanagan’s Booker Prize-winning novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North, and as the Tories, confounding the pundits — not to mention common sense and human decency — look set to win a slender majority in the House of Commons, I’m thinking: 5 more years of The Broad Road to [...]

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No one has yet believed in God and the kingdom of God, no one has yet heard about the realm of the resurrected, and not been homesick from that hour, waiting and looking forward to being released from bodily existence.
Whether we are young or old makes no difference. What are twenty or thirty or fifty [...]

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Philosophers have measur’d mountains,
Fathom’d the depths of seas, of states, and kings;
Walk’d with a staff to heav’n, and traced fountains:
But there are two vast, spacious things,
The which to measure it doth more behove;
Yet few there are that sound them, — Sinne and Love.
Who would know Sinne, let him repair
Unto Mount Olivet; there shall he see
A [...]

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It is very easy to be servants of the word without disturbing the world: a very spiritualized word, a word without any commitment to history, a word that cannot sound in any part of the world because it belongs to no part of the world. A word like that creates no problems, starts no problems.
What [...]

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Sing a new song

by Richard on March 9, 2015

Not just a new song, but a whole hymnbook full, from the pen of our good friend Kim Fabricius. You can go direct to Wipf and Stock (the publishers), Amazon (if your conscience will bear it) or your favourite local bookshop - but this is a little book I highly recommend. It reaches the parts [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on March 8, 2015

Forth in Thy Name, O Lord, I go,
My daily labour to pursue;
Thee, only Thee, resolved to know
In all I think or speak or do.
The task Thy wisdom hath assigned,
O let me cheerfully fulfill;
In all my works Thy presence find,
And prove Thy good and perfect will.
Preserve me from my calling’s snare,
And hide my simple heart above,
Above [...]

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“Bitter-Sweet”

by Kim on February 28, 2015

“Bitter-Sweet” is one my favourite poems of the Welsh-born English poet George Herbert, who died on Dydd Gwyl Dewi (St. David’s Day - March 1st) in 1633. John Drury ends his magnificent Music at Midnight: The Life and Poetry of George Herbert (2013) with it, “one of [Herbert's] consummately crafted miniatures”.
Ah my dear angry Lord,
Since [...]

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The recurring “American nightmare”

by Kim on February 21, 2015

Fifty years ago — February 21st, 1965 — Malcolm X was assassinated in New York City.
Ten months earlier, at Cory Methodist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, Malcolm had declaimed: “No, I’m not American. I’m one of the 22 million black people who are the victims of Americanization. One of the … victims of democracy, nothing [...]

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‘The computer is unable’

by Kim on January 30, 2015

The computer is unable
to find God: no code
number, no address.
Technology stalls
without the material
we provide it. There must be
some other way. ‘Try
looking,’ says the eye,
‘Try listening’ the ear
answers. I stare into distance:
nothing but the gantries
where art is crucified in
the cause of new art.
I have heard amid uproar
in London the black redstart
singing among the ruins;
so I strain [...]

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Tally ho!

by Richard on January 21, 2015

As the mayor of Paris threatens Fox News with a law suit, here’s a lovely takedown of Fox “news” “experts”

Tell me, my US friends: just why does anyone take Fox seriously?

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Son of Dog appears in Swansea

by Richard on January 20, 2015

Swansea woman finds Jesus - in her dog’s ear!
A Swansea woman had the shock of her life recently, when she found the image of Jesus in her dog’s ear.
25-year-old Rachel Evans was giving mini Yorkshire terrier Dave a wash in the bathroom sink when she decided to snap some selfies with the pretty pooch.
It wasn’t [...]

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Melchior

by Richard on January 4, 2015

Another offering from Maddy Prior & the Carnival Band

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Talking turkey

by Richard on December 25, 2014

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Noel: Maddy Prior & the Carnival Band

by Richard on December 24, 2014

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Pope takes Vatican to task

by Richard on December 23, 2014

BBC News: Pope Francis sharply criticises Vatican bureaucracy
Pope Francis has sharply criticised the Vatican bureaucracy in a pre-Christmas address to cardinals, complaining of “spiritual Alzheimer’s” and “the terrorism of gossip”.
He said the Curia - the administrative pinnacle of the Roman Catholic Church - was suffering from 15 “ailments”, which he wanted cured in the New [...]

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Democracy in the workplace: the Rochdale Pioneers

by Richard on December 21, 2014

Before I became a minister, I worked for 6 years in the Co-operative Movement. I am a democrat. I believe that if democracy is a just system for running a country (it is, isn’t it?) then by the same token it is also a just system for running a commercial operation. I know that many [...]

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Local boy makes Good, by Harri Web

by Richard on December 21, 2014

When Christ was born on Dowlais Top
The ironworks were all on stop,
The money wasn’t coming in,
But there was no room at the Half Moon Inn.
The shepherds came from Twyn y Waun
And three kings by the Merthyr and Brecon line,
The star shone over the Brecon’s ridge
And the angels sang on Rhymney Bridge.
When Christ turned water into [...]

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That night in Bethlehem

by Richard on December 21, 2014

Altan sing the beautiful gaelic carol ‘Don Oíche Úd i mBeithil’ (That night in Bethlehem).

Tip: you can use the tune even if you don’t know gaelic. It fits very well to ‘O little town of Bethlehem’.

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Mary’s manifesto — a hymn

by Kim on December 19, 2014

In Mary’s song of praise and peace
we call “Magnificat”,
a peasant maiden mocked the claims
of earth’s proud plutocrats.
An angel whispered, “You’re the one
who’ll carry heaven’s child.”
The girl, in fearful faith, said, “Yes!”
but barely forced a smile.
She went to see a kindred soul,
who praised what God would do;
yet Mary felt a deep unease
about the coming coup.
But then [...]

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