Friday, December 21, 2012

Ministry Mottos

No doubt there are all sorts of ministry mottos I ought to have, pithy phrases which I ought to remind myself and others of often. Things like:

Jesus loves you.
Love God; love your neighbour
God's in charge.
All things work together for good to us.
Faithfulness, not necessarily results.
Faithfulness in small things.
Grace not works.
The ministry of the Word and prayer.
Pray now.
 Do to others what you would have them do to you.

This probably reveals my Godlessness, but two things I find myself thinking and saying most often are:

(1) People are wierd. They have their funny ways and foibles and entrenched ideas. It's key to remember that no doubt I do too. They may think I'm a bit mad and a bit bad and they may well be right! We're all sinners - but not necessarily in the same sorts of ways.

(2) Life is never simple. Sometimes this is related to (1)! But you should also expect the printer to break down at a busy time with 15 minutes to go. The most straightforward things can become fiendishly complicated or difficult and things which might seem easy can cause a great deal of upset, strife or confusion and require lots of time and energy.

(1) and (2) should probably make you smile. They should certainly make you pray.

No doubt you can suggest some better ministry mottos for 2013?

Bill Hybels, Axiom: Powerful Leadership Proverbs may be of interest.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

How much was the widow's mite actually worth?

According to Mark 12v42, the widow gives “2 very small copper coins” (NIV),  2 lepta in the Greek.
The lepta was the smallest coinage in circulation – so we might compare it to an offering of 2p.
Mark says (v42) a lepton is a quadrans - the equivalent Roman coin, which the NIV says is “worth only a fraction of a penny”.
James R. Edwards (Pillar Commentary on Mark) says a lapton was 1/64th of a denarius.
A denarius was the standard wage for a day’s labour (Mt 20:8-10).
Say a labourer is paid £7.25 and hour, making the daily wage £54.25
£7.25 X 7 = daily wage of £54.25
So we might guess that the widow’s offering would be worth roughly £1.70 today
£54.25 X (2/64) = £1.70
Though that might not be quite the point.
Jesus says her offering was worth more than all the others (v43).
“They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on.” (v44)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Unwanted Gifts

I wonder if any of this might be usable in a Christmas sermon:

Last year we spent £594 million on unwanted Christmas gifts as at least 1 in 10 of the gifts the average person received was not really what they wanted.
And people were very quick to get rid of their unwanted gifts with 1.5 million new items for sale were listed on eBay Boxing Day 2011.

Reported in Daily Mirror 12th Sept 2012 and Daily Mail 16th December 2010


Monday, November 19, 2012

The importance of seating arrangements

I noticed that in Mark 12:35-40 there's some important talk about important seating arrangements, which I don't remember the commentaries especially picking up on:

The teachers of the law forget that Christ is to be seated at the right hand of God the Father (v36).
Jesus has the most important seat in the universe, but the teachers of the law love the most important seats in the synagogue and the places of honour at banquets (v39).
They care about their own honour, not the honour of Jesus.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Some principles of Christian Giving

From 2 Corinthians 8 & 9:

(1)    Christians should be eager (8vv1-4; 9v1), enthusiastic (9v2)and cheerful (9v7) for the privilege of giving, not grudging (9v5), reluctant or as under compulsion (9v7)

(2)    Christian giving flows from giving ourselves first to the Lord (8v5)

(3)    Christian giving demonstrates the sincerity of our love (8v8)

(4)    Our generosity is motivated by and modelled on the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (8v9)

(5)   Christian giving is “according to our means” (8v11) and “according to what we have” (8v12)

(6)    Christian giving is to be carefully administered with obviously high standards (8vv18-23)

(7)    God blesses those who give and is more than able to provide for us (9v6, 8-11)

(8)    Christian giving results in praise and thanks to God (9v11-15)

Saturday, October 06, 2012

A busy weekend


8:30am Men's breakfast

Standing Committee meeting

12pm Burial of Ashes

3pm Wedding


8am Holy Communion

9:30am Holy Communion

11am Harvest Family Service

Bring and Share Lunch in Village Hall

3pm Service at the Cross

Tea at other village hall

6:30pm Harvest Choral Evensong (Reader preaching)

Friday, October 05, 2012


You are warmly invited to the celebration of the formation of the new benefice of Warbleton, Bodle Street Green & Dallington at 7:30pm on Wednesday 24th October with Bishop Wallace Benn at St Giles' Parish Church, The Street, Dallington, TN21 9NH and afterwards for refreshments. Clergy are invited to robe. 

Monday, October 01, 2012

The agricultural year and church

Plough Sunday - The first Sunday of Epiphany / The first working day after the 12 days of Christmas "Plough Monday" - asking God's blessing on the work of the coming year (seed and plough)

Rogationtide - The 3 weekdays before the Acsension or BCP Easter V or CW 6th Sunday of Easter - asking - protection of crops - processions, parish boundaries, asking God's blessing on the land, beating the bounds, good relations between neighbours, charity - parish walk

Lammastide - Loaf mass - 1st Aug - thanksgiving for the first wheat harvest / firstfruits - newly baked loaf of bread

Harvest Thanksgiving

Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Harvest "Joke"

A parishoner told me an Anglicised version of this joke yesterday, that I might tell at our Harvest Festival no. 1 today:

"There was once a traveling preacher, a good man on fire with his religion. He was very intense and ardent. As he was traveling across the Arizona desert, he saw a beautiful splash of green on the distant horizon. He knew it had to be a mirage. Nothing that green could exist in such a barren desert. When he had traveled closer to the beautiful green spot, he saw it was a lush garden. Colorful flowers bloomed and birds sang from the limbs of trees covered with fruit. Tomatoes, green peppers, squash, and melons spread in neat bountiful rows. At the back of the garden stood a small house. Full of religious zeal, he ran up and knocked loudly on the door. It was opened by a small studious looking man with glasses perched on his nose. The preacher exclaimed loudly, "I just want to tell you what a fabulous blessing the Lord has given you! Here in this barren desert, he has created a small piece of paradise, for you." The man smiled and replied, "I understand and I agree. Without the good Lord's sunshine and the miracle of seeds none of this could be here. But, you should have seen this place when the Lord had it all to himself."


Thursday, September 27, 2012


Do you think it unreasonable for Jesus to ask for the 1st 10% of your gross income?

Well, you could say its generous of Jesus to give your your next breath, your lunch and your home. Do you deserve the money you get, or do you deserve the judgement of God on your sin? How kind of Jesus to let you keep 90% of your income, when it all belongs to him.

Anyway, if you don't buy all that, maybe Jesus would accept 9% of your post-tax income. That would be a step in the right direction.

Monday, September 24, 2012

What if Adam had been a man?

When Eve had eaten the forbiden fruit, what should Adam have done?

N D Wilson suggests that the First Adam should have done what the Last Adam did: lay down his life for his bride, taken the punishment that she deserved, die that she might live.

Instead, Adam follows Eve into her sin. He might have saved her from it.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Warbleton Church Mission Action Plan Launch 2012

 Warbleton Parish Church MISSION ACTION PLAN Summary (2012)

to be & make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ

Matthew 28:18-20; 1 Peter 3:15

·         improve our website and keep it up-to-date
·         plan ahead and publicise our programme (for the year)
·         produce and use a welcome leaflet
·         make more use of Facebook in publicity and perhaps Twitter
·         personal invitations key - A6 flyers for events available
·         when people move into the area, make sure Marc knows (visit)
·         joined up events with next step options for finding out more
·         email circulation list for forthcoming events etc.
·         every church member praying, befriending, inviting etc.
·         not too busy – involved in local clubs etc., time for friendships
·         11-50 year olds relatively absent – extra effort to reach this age group
·         long-term aim to be an all age family friendly church
·         grow our work with families from the bottom up over the long term
·         new toddler group & social events for the mums
·         summer holiday club type morning for the under 11s
·         focus on men under 60 - football trip and fishing day and other suitable events e.g. pub quiz
·         parenting course
·         ? bereavement course (in the future)
·         opportunities to investigate the Christian faith e.g. Christianity Explored and the Identity Course
·         make the most of baptism, wedding and funeral enquiries from local people
·         a marriage (preparation) day ?
·         events that deal with issues of contemporary interest and practical application from a Christian perspective e.g. evening on internet security, social media safety, online pornography
·         working with the other churches in the benefice - support joint events
·         explore the possibility of working with other churches to do things together which we could do less effectively alone
·         begin to plan now for the Passion For Life Mission at Easter 2014
·         broaden the base of volunteers who are actively involved

Why not pray this prayer at least once a week?

“Father God, thank you for the Lord Jesus Christ and the good news about him.

Please help me to follow Jesus and to encourage others to follow him.

Please help me to live in such a way that others are helped to come to Jesus, and please give me opportunities to speak about Jesus and the right words to say.

Please bless my friendships with:





Please show me ways I could help them to follow Jesus and give me the courage to do so.

In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.”                                                         

What could the church do to help you reach these people and others with the good news about Jesus? If you have ideas, please speak to Marc. Suggestions and offers of help are always welcome.

A date for your diary:

At our churches away day on Saturday 26th January at Springhill, Broad Oak, Rev’d Glen Scrivener will give 3 talks on:

The Outgoing God: The Why, What and How of Sharing our Faith