Love in Action
My friend Steve visited us the other week and wrote a poem about Anne’s sermon (see below). I thought you’d like it:
Although I know
that you're keen
To set up that nativity scene,
I'm advocating an alternative means,
A change in priorities
For your generosities.
I'm anointing a reversal,
Suggesting you parcel
A hamper of staples
And so turn the tables
On advent doors
That ignore the poor.
I'm asking that you choose
To proclaim the good news
Beyond the pews,
To pursue a change of people's views
Of what they thought they knew
Yes, let's reverse this advent
And make something heaven-sent.
During November, before we get caught up in the consumerism of Christmas, it is our tradition to focus our thoughts on how we can help others, on how we as individuals, and also how we as a church family, can Reach Out to the communities around us with generosity and a helping hand.
On 6 November Anne shared one her favourite scriptures about the Priority of the Poor and invited us to take part in Reverse Advent (hence the poem). On 13 November Liz, Elaine, Naomi and Tim challenged us to become a Family for the Lonely, thinking particularly about fostering and adoption. Next week Matt will be teaching us how to “Help without hurting.”
It is an excellent series and you can listen to the podcasts and download resources by going to the "recent talks" on Resources page on the website.
My favourite sport
My favourite sport as a youth was basketball. As I have never crept over six foot I know I am not built for dunking but because I went to an American missionary boarding school as a boy I learnt to play basketball just as English kids learn to play football (which I never did. I’m hopeless at footy and the few times I got picked to play I was sent to stand between the jumpers). However, when we came back to England I was miles ahead of English kids at basketball and I took advantage of that!
So you can imagine my delight to find that we have two pro basketball players in our midst (please don’t take offence if you are pro at ice hockey or any other sport!). Rob and Jack have come to England to play for Leeds Force and I hereby declare that the Vineyard is an official supporter! Rob is the current interviewee on their website home page.
They have a key game next Sunday (20 November) against the top team in the league and so Alison and I are going to go along and support them at the Carnegie Sports Arena at Becketts Park at 4.00pm. Why don’t you join us and help us make some noise!
This year our Carol Service is on Sunday 11 December with the theme “There is another King” (people are worshipping many kings and queens but our good news is that there is Another King – who is not of this world and whose kingdom will never end and whom we are invited to worship. His name is Jesus). I’d love to have a video or two to show to illustrate this and add some visuals to the readings and carols. If you come across one on the world wide web perhaps you could send me a link?
If you would like to understand the bible and the Christian faith at a deeper level I commend the Leeds School of Theology to you. It takes the form of 10 Saturdays across the year and their next programme starts in January (for 2017) – so have a look at their website now and see if this would be a good investment for you.
Here is a link to my latest blog - about Christmas this time and how money messes with your mind.
13 November 2016