From the monthly archives:

December 2008

Yes to Rick Warren, No to Caroline Kennedy

by Joel on December 31, 2008

This will be a rather brief post as I prepare to welcome in 2009 (already a fact in some distant places ), but as I find myself in the somewhat strange position of opposing the appointment of Caroline Kennedy, whom I greatly admire, to fill the U.S. Senate seat (New York) that Hillary [...]


Israel and Gaza: a clear case of self-harm

by Richard on December 29, 2008

Johan Hari in today’s Independent is well worth your time…
Johann Hari: The true story behind this war is not the one Israel is telling
The world isn’t just watching the Israeli government commit a crime in Gaza; we are watching it self-harm. This morning, and tomorrow morning, and every morning until this punishment beating ends, the [...]


In light of the escalating conflict in Gaza over the last 24 hours, the Methodist Church is calling for international pressure on both Israel and Hamas to bring an end to the violence.
Steve Hucklesby, Public Issues Policy Advisor, said; “The devastating death toll resulting from Israeli air strikes has shocked many. Rather than improving security, [...]


Hymn of the day

by Richard on December 28, 2008

LET earth and heaven combine,
Angels and men agree,
To praise in songs divine
The incarnate Deity,
Our God contracted to a span,
Incomprehensibly made man.
He laid his glory by,
He wrapped him in our clay;
Unmarked by human eye,
The latent Godhead lay;
Infant of days he here became,
And bore the mild Immanuel’s name.
See in that infant’s face
The depths of deity
And labour while [...]


Happy Christmas!

by Richard on December 25, 2008

Breaking my blog fast — a more-or-less complete computer fast, actually — just to wish everyone all the joy and peace of the Christmas season.
Ho! ho! ho!


Christmas with R. S. Thomas

by Kim on December 24, 2008

Top left an angel
hovering. Top right the attendance
of a star. From both
bottom corners devils
look up, relishing
in prospect a divine
meal. How old at the centre
the child’s face gazing
into love’s too human
face, like one prepared
for it to have its way
and continue smiling?
Mother and Child
No clouds overhead;
no troubles freckling
the maid’s eye. The shadows
are immediate [...]


“Magnificat” by Luci Shaw

by Kim on December 21, 2008

I am singing my Advent anthem to you, God: How all year
I’ve felt your thrusts, every sound and sight stabbing
like a little blade - the creak of gulls, the racket
as waves jostle pebbles, the road after rain, shining
like a river, the scrub of wind on the cheek, a flute
trilling - clean as a knife, the [...]


Why Methodism?

by Richard on December 18, 2008

Having told us why he is glad to be a Methodist, Dave Warnock owns up to some stuff that worries him about the Methodist Church. His post, and the subsequent conversation, is very helpful. Meanwhile, Kim’s comments here contribute a critical friend’s reflection on whether there is any continued need for a seperate Methodist denomination. [...]


The first Christmas round robin

by Kim on December 17, 2008

Archaeologists working at a dig just outside Jerusalem have recently discovered the first ever Christmas round robin, from the Holy Family itself. You can tell it’s a round robin from its relentless cheerfulness and the adulatory description of domestic life. And, of course, it is written by the woman in the family. [...]


On being a Methodist

by Richard on December 16, 2008

Dave Warnock has a couple of very useful posts:How I came to be and stay a Methodist and What keeps me in Methodism are both well worth your time.


Newman on “narrow minds”

by Kim on December 16, 2008

“Men of narrow minds, far from confessing ignorance and maintaining Truth mainly as a duty, profess … to understand the subjects which they take up and the principles which they apply to them. They do not see difficulties. They consider that they hold their doctrines, whatever they are, at least as much upon [...]

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A little music quiz

by Richard on December 15, 2008

Just for fun.
Which songs do these lyrics come from?
1. I´ll be your clown or your puppet or your April Fool / If you´ll be my sunshine daisy from L.A
2. Each time I remember the day you went away / and how I would listen to the things you had to say
3. Smiles in the sunshine [...]


Advent Conspiracy

by Richard on December 15, 2008

Give more Christmas presence this year.
via maggi dawn.


I’m feeling a little Slade-istic

by Richard on December 15, 2008

I’m a little bit early with this, but give it a few more days and everyone will be heartily sick of this song. So here’s a bit of seasonal Slade, ukulele-style. It made me smile. Hope it does the same for you.


Methodist blogs

by Richard on December 14, 2008

Allan Bevere provides the latest round up.
Enjoy it — it’s the last one of 2008.


Hymn of the day

by Richard on December 14, 2008

Christ, whose glory fills the skies,
Christ, the true, the only light,
Sun of Righteousness, arise,
triumph o’er the shades of night;
Dayspring from on high, be near;
Daystar, in my heart appear.
Dark and cheerless is the morn
unaccompanied by thee;
joyless is the day’s return,
till thy mercy’s beams I see;
till they inward light impart,
glad my eyes and warm my [...]


An Archbishop walks into a bar…

by Richard on December 13, 2008

It sounds like the opening line of a joke, but it’s not.
Solace invited Rowan Williams to share a question-and-answer session in a pub in Cardiff today. Sounds like it was an interesting session, with questions including “Can God mend broken Britain?” and “What’s hell like and who’s going there?”
One quetion stunped the Archbish, though. “Who’s [...]


More advertising

by Richard on December 12, 2008

If those suggestions don’t do anything for you, how about getting a copy of The Porpoise-Driven Life for someone you love.
Thanks to Amy Forbus for the suggestion.

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Commercial break

by Richard on December 12, 2008

Two good friends of this blog can help you with your Christmas shopping
Wood and Dave both have things to sell.
If cartoons or role-playing games have a place on your list, you could do worse than inspecting their wares.
And, of course, there’s always Kim’s book. You wouldn’t get it in time for Christmas now, but I’m [...]


Gene Genie

by Richard on December 12, 2008

This headline on the BBC News website just caught my eye: Man’s genes ‘key to baby’s sex’
It’s all to do with how tight you wear them, apparently.