still let me guard the holy fire, and still stir up the gift in me
Alastair Cutting - husband of one; father to two; son of two medics; CofE priest for many, English-born, of Scottish heritage, Indian-raised, 3KC,
with a passion for A/NZ - and for God;
working in the UK in London in the Diocese of Southwark as Archdeacon of Lewisham & Greenwich.
I recently had to collect some prayers based around the Lord’s Prayer; some I sourced elsewhere, some I wrote myself. They are gathered together under the stanzas of the Prayer.
Our Father, who art in heaven
A Prayer to God our Father
Lord God, Jesus taught us to call you Father. Help us to grow in our understanding of you, that we may better each day learn to trust you, and to love you.
Remind us of the thrill a toddler feels when being swept up securely in a fatherâ€™s arms; help us share in the glee of a child playing pranks with a parent.
As we feel the lifting angst of the teenager taking insoluble homework problems to a parent who can unlock answers; and the adrenaline rush of the learner driver discovering new skills with dad, so may we feel our relationship with you broadening, enriching and deepening.
Father God, may your love for us be reflected back in our love for you. Amen.
A Fatherâ€™s Prayer
Lord, I need your special care. Like your earthly father, Joseph, I want to do God’s will, even if I may not always understand. Make me gentle and self less in the care of my family and children; help me guide them in the toils and troubles, the happiness and wonders of this life.
Lectionary and church diary purists hate it: that ‘Christmas nowadays appears to start in about October, and be over by Christmas Eve’, or certainly by Boxing Day. That’s not Christmas – clergy are heard muttering – that’s Advent… However, maintaining the cry that ‘the Christmas season starts on Christmas Day and carries on until the feast of Epiphany’ is about as useful as King Canute commanding the halt of the incoming tide; despite the popularity of the carol ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’.
However, one multinational still upholds tradition – the Apple iTunes Appstore!
The App Store provides a 12 free gifts over the traditional Christmas period, with a variety of music, videos and apps for iPhones, iPads and Mac computers. The variety is deliberately diverse – meaning that some items you might find excruciating – but you will probably find several you like. If you have appropriate Apple devices, try out the 12 days app. You probably wont find ‘5 Gold Rings’ – but you might have some fun, sing along with the carol, and celebrate the Christmas Season in it’s traditional position. And keep some grumpy liturgists happy.
I’ve been visiting Christchurch for over 20 years, and love it’s iconic cathedral which dominates the horizon is such a prominent feature of the Cathedral Square. Or was. Until the first earthquake, a magnitude 7.1, on 4 September 2010; which caused enough superficial damage for the cathedral to close for three weeks; and then the supposedly smaller but much more devastating 6.3 one on 22 February 2011 which toppled the spire, and the 6.4 one on 13 June 2011, that took out the main Rose Window on the west wall, and made most of the rest of the building so unsafe.
This was not the first major earthquake damage the cathedral had suffered – quakes in 1881, 1888, 1901, and Â 1922 all resulted in damage – the spire falling twice. When I visited the area this week, there were only about 6 tall buildings left in the CBD, all unsafe, one due to come down this week. The shocks still continue. There was another one this week measuring a mere 5.2, but enough to get the whole restricted area completely evacuated again.
Part of the reason for our visit to the area was to see a number of friends, and be with them, and to see and feel at least a little of what they were going through. We met our former neighbours, with their 9-year-old who for 6 months only felt safe enough to sleep if he was under a table;Â Continue reading “Is this ChristChurch’s Christopher Wren moment?”
Twitter is a â€˜micro-bloggingâ€™ platform: like texts from your computer, or your mobile phone; they can’t be more than 140 characters long; & can have hyper links to web pages on the internet. Twitter posts can be linked to update Facebook or LinkedIn status, & have geographical position data attached with the likes of Foursquare or BrightKite.
So, it can be a bit of fun, yes. But can it be useful? Or are these Social Media just a waste of time, and a distraction from our Christian call, and Godâ€™s mission?
Firstly, Letâ€™s not forget the influence of Facebook, with more adherents than the population of some continents. If youâ€™re on it, youâ€™ll know; and if you arenâ€™t, most of your friends and family certainly are. As are many of the people in, and what is more important here, on the fringes of our churches. These sorts of social media, that are all about making relationships – however tenuous. Relationships are what churches should be about too.
This post isn’t really about hair colour, but one of the things children with red hair have to get used to, is being called ‘ginger’. (Usually ‘Oi, Ginger’ – I should know…)
Some with natural ‘auburn’, ‘titian‘ or even ‘strawberry-blonde’ hair have had such abuse that some have called it the last remaining personal attribute to be regularly abused without it being considered discrimination.
However, there is another personal attribute that is regularly and publicly discriminated against in a rather surprising, universal way. It is: being pale coloured, pale skinned; and on the dance-floor.
You may have expected that it is the quality of the dancing that is being judged in the various national dance competitions that are all the rage since ‘Strictly‘ hit our t.v. screens. But no, even the contestants skin-colour is judged.
And sometimes, skin colour is judged to be lacking. Contestants who have not fake-tanned to some particular colour or shade may sometimes not proceed to further rounds.
I was asked to contribute a bit to the BBC Surrey & Sussex Sunday Breakfast programme presented by Gavin Ashenden, on some of the BBC’s current First Click initiative to help people use internet services, and about online communities, new media and such bits and pieces. Gavin’s page is here, with this week’s listen again (probably only available in the UK, and only for one week) found here. Our discussion verged over email, blogging, Facebook and Twitter; and whether these amount to ‘real’ communities or not. Even the Twurch of England got a name check. The bit where I am chatting with Gavin comes in at about 1hr40min in, though why any one would want to listen again to it escapes me.
The edited down excerpt is available here (probably illegally), so if you really wanted to listen to it click here:
â€œMind the Gapâ€ says the voice as the doors open on the Tube train on the London Underground; and for just a minute I want share the benefit of a Gap Year, or – in acknowledgement of the cuts as a result of Continue reading “Mind the Gap…”
So, the 2010 Church of England General Synod elections are in full swing. These fortunately only come around every 5 years. Synod is a marvellous and somewhat dysfunctional institution, that many people seem to love to hate – but it is the system of national church governance, along with the bishops, that we’ve got to work with at present. ‘Episcopally led, and Synodically governed’ as the phrase goes.
I don’t really like pushing myself forward (less of the ROFL, thank you…) but having been a Proctor in Convocation (ok, member of synod, in English) for the last quinquennium, several people actually asked me to stand again, so I am taking a bit of a punt again. There can be no assumption of re-election…
Vianney almost didn’t get there, and some have argued Adam Smallbone (Tom Hollander) perhaps shouldn’t have got there – become priests that is. Vianney had problems getting past his ‘BAP‘, and once in ministry, was given a small out-of-the way parish to deal with; the Rev seems to have been dropped, very green, in to a parish setting that appears doomed before he starts.
It may be the stuff of SciFi dreams, but I have recently perfected the invisibility cloak. I neither appear to exist, nor have lived at either of my previous two addresses over the last nearly 20 years. This seems a little strange, as I had really expected that Big Brother had been watching me more closely than that.
Setting up a basic household utility at our new home, the company ran a standard credit check on me. It came up negative; I apparently appeared to be a credit risk. This seemed unlikely, as our credit card company deem us as eligible for laughably huge potential credit limits on our account, which if we were a real credit risk, they would not.
I had to find out more from a credit-check agency. They confirmed there was a problem. Perhaps it was over precise address discrepancies. However, solving it proved to be complicated. Their researches said I had not lived at my previous address – not even under three possible variations of the property address. In fact there was no evidence of Continue reading “Invisibility Cloak”