Sunday, 17 August 2014
So my blog has been rather neglected over the last few weeks, partly because it's summer but also because I've been using any spare time to write, to, well, to write! but just not here.... So as a reminder - here's what I'm writing and how can get get involved... see here
Sunday, 10 August 2014
"Prayed for many in the town, healings are happening here! this town's ready for revival!"
"all my friends were gossiping in the common room at college and I wasn't joking in but instead reading. This started a conversation about why I wasn't joining in and showed Jesus!"
"I did a bible reading at school"
"I was walking down the street and a lady and her dog saw me. The dog approached me. The lady was so surprised that she kept asking what is it about you? Well I told her it was Jesus and I was able to pray for her right there"
"My friends come to me when they've got tough stuff going on in their lives and need advice""By treating anyone who comes into our house as if it was God coming in, we've recently had the theory tested when we found a group of half drunk teenagers partying in our house (as guests of our daughter). We didn't kick off but cooked pizzas and made them all feel welcome"" loved a friend who was going through a really tough time, ended up sharing Jesus with her and eventually she became a Christian!"" Aiming to run a business with kingdom values, creating a supernatural workplace environment"" Telling people at work that I go to church"
Tuesday, 15 July 2014
|The 'Bolney Babes', 4 women chosen to serve communion at the consecration of the new Bishop of Lewes, |
Richard Jackson. One (me!) training to be a priest, and the other 3 married to one!
So, 18 months ago I wrote here and here, after the previous failed vote in favour of women Bishops, about how gutted I was that the vote had not passed, that I was surprised by how strongly I felt and how tough I was finding it in this diocese.
Well, what a difference a few months makes… yesterday afternoon I was in the park with 2 of my kids watching the tweets roll in, keeping me informed and as I saw there were just a few speakers to go we all headed home. I knew whatever the result was, that my reaction would be loud and over the top so I'd rather do that in the comfort of my own home! So as I sat in my kitchen watching the live feed (which miraculously came through just as the vote took place and the results were read out - and it has been a shocking connection this week!) I wept and tried to explain to my youngest daughter why I was crying and why it was so important, I was reminded of exactly the same scenario in Nov 2012, when the vote failed and I sobbed as my kids wondered what on earth was happening to Mummy!
So yesterday I cried as I heard the result read out. In fact I was on the verge of tears all afternoon, but the funny thing is I didn't actually feel that full of joy, more of relief. As I wrote back in 2012, that vote had made it very hard to defend the Church of England, and to be honest I wasn't sure how I would handle it had it not passed. Although it was unlikely to fail this time, there was still the fear that it could. The fear that my church would reject me and people like me, again. I've only been in this for a few years but some women have had to go through this rejection time and again for decades. So although I am over the moon that the vote was passed, there is a tinge of sadness as I think about how long it has taken, the pain that has been caused and the hurts suffered, of those who have given up along the way, the damage that has been done to this church of ours and what's more to the reputation of those who profess to follow Jesus.
All that said, I do sit here this afternoon, reflecting on it all, and like many women working for the church having had various jokes made about when I will become a Bishop (not even ordained yet…!) and feeling rather hopeful about the future of this church. To be fair I don't think I've ever not been hopeful but it's a whole lot easier today, that's for sure.
I also wrote back in 2012 about struggling in the Diocese of Chichester, and yet, again, I am staggered by how different things are today, some 18 months later. The now not so new Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner, is a lovely bloke and I have been really impressed by his ideas and plans for this diocese. He has not got an easy role, there's no disguising the fact that this diocese needs a re-branding campaign and he is clearly picking up the pieces from other peoples failings and mistakes, and having to sort it all out. I have also been really encouraged by his stance on women in ministry, whilst clearly not able to support the ordination of women I have never once heard him speak against women, in fact quite the opposite, all I have heard him say is very positive and recent new appointments show that as well. One of which is the new Bishop of Lewes, Richard Jackson, who happens to be a friend of ours, so I know personally what a fantastic appointment that is for this diocese. In fact, when he ordained the first women in the diocese ever to be ordained by a serving Bishop in this diocese, just a few weeks ago, he personally delivered a rose plant to each of them, with a note saying ' I'm sorry this has taken so long'. Aside from that and perhaps more importantly he is a Godly, spirit-filled man, with a passion for mission, and, a sense of humour!
This really is a place where God is on the move, not that he wasn't before, but it's a whole lot more obvious right now! There are such exciting things happening, appointments being made, strategies being forged. Chichester is no longer the last bastion of male supremacy, it's no longer in the dark ages and no longer can it be called the 'dead see'.
Watch this space people…
Saturday, 5 July 2014
‘Followers will be able to peek behind the curtain of church life and see behind the scenes as they get a feel for daily life in parishes. In addition to daily life there will be a glimpse of the inevitable unusual and unexpected events that come with being part of the Church of England. Through it all the account will seek to show through thousands of tweets how God is at work in His Church each day.’
Have to say I may have been inadvertently slightly more controversial than intended. On the first morning, after innocently mentioning the book of Job, a whole Twitter discussion opened up about suffering and whether God deliberately allows stuff to happen. I so wasn’t ready for that! Then there was the debate about whether one should refer to Theological College as #VicarSchool - don’t even get me started on that one… That said one of the things I love about Twitter is the chance to chat and debate things with others, and it was no different on the @OurCofE account, except just slightly more frenetic!
"The incredible engagement levels we see on religious tweets the world over prove the power of 140 characters to convey hope, motivation, and inspiration. The @OurCofE Twitter account will build on this by telling the story of the Church of England through the eyes of its people, providing a fascinating insight into modern faith in action. Spanning great cathedrals to tiny parishes, it will provide real-time glimpses into the workings of the church for followers across the world, 140 characters at a time."
I love that line: '...the power of 140 characters to convey hope, motivation, and inspiration'. Imagine if we all used Twitter for that alone, how much more powerful would it be as a medium for change…?
If you are interested and want to find out more you can check out the info here, and my own tweets from the account are here (although not the replies to individual tweets so you can't see whole conversations, but you can always read back through the tweets on the account if you are that keen!)
Also If I have included one of your tweets in these images and you would rather I didn't please do let me know.