Monthly Archives: November 2012

Check it out now – church sign of the week 21

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Firstly I must thank my Twitter friend @UnvirtousAbbey for posting the first version of this sign. I was a funk soul brother and checked it out, I loved it, I laughed out loud and I had to use it.

I must also thank Fatboy Slim for releasing the Rockafeller Skank in 1998 (can you believe that?).

With all joking and frivolity aside, (and that’s hard to do with “Check it out now” running around in your head) this sign speaks to something I am passionate about;

Relevance

or the lack of it in the church. It leads me to the edges of huge pits of depression to see how un-relevant some of the churches are today. To cite two examples from this week; parts of the Roman Catholic Church in Australia feel they are not out of touch on the child abusing priest issue (really?) and the Church of England has voted this morning that they will not be ordaining women as bishops (the C of E is just so in touch with modern life!)

We (as the Church throughout the world) have lost the obvious truth that Jesus was the most relevant of preachers. He spoke to what his audience knew – of sowers and Samaritans, of wedding feasts and vineyards. He told them, in parables, about how bad racism is and not to judge a book by its cover (The Good Samaritan) and about what the Kingdom of God is like (pick any one of many stories). If he was preaching in Melbourne today would he use those stories of sowers and Samaritans? Of course not – he would use refugees and footballers, he would say things like “Check it out now!”, he would talk the language of the people around him. So why don’t we! Why do we insist that everyone else must be like us when Jesus went out of his way to speak like everyone else.

I was in a Church last month that still has ‘thees’ and ‘thous’ in its prayers and readings and the priest was wondering why there was only 4 people at the service. I wanted to show him a Message Bible and say “Check it out now”.

I stare into those massive, depressing pits and I see their names craved in stone on the rims – “The world must change not us”, “We’ve always done it this way”, “Our church is not for the likes of them”. I want to reach out and erase those names, empty the pits and write on the, now, empty walls, for all to see, lines from songs by the likes of P!nk and Lady Gaga – You’re Perfect, Raise your glass if you are wrong in all the right ways, you were made this way!

Why cannot we remember that the Bible says that JESUS is the same yesterday, today and forever not the Church? The Church MUST change, the Church did change why did we stop?

So when Jesus does speak why not in 90’s lyrics – why not pointing to the Bible and saying, “Check it out now”? and we and all the funk soul brothers and sisters should check it out.

NOW!

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Church Sign of the Week 20

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This sign went up on Monday morning. If you can cast your mind back that far you will remember that there were all sorts of calls for a Royal Commission. We just added our voice to the growing clamour.

Not long after the sign went up our Prime Minister announced the Commission. As someone said – the Welsh Church talks and Julia listens!

I should say a few things here – we, at the Melbourne Welsh Church are not anti-Catholic we are just anti child abuse. There have been far too many cover ups, denials and evaded questions from people at the top of the Roman Catholic Church and the public perception is if you are not condemning it you are condoning it. I know the Roman Church does not condone child abuse, it has been very forthright in its condemnation but it does seem a little slower to condemn those found guilty of it from within its clergy.

So well call, as the sign says, for protection for the children and not the priests. If what is being said in the newspapers and reported on our TV’s and radios has a grain of truth in it the Roman Catholic Church is being less than helpful in the search for information on peadophile priests. A few weeks ago, in this blog, we asked for the Catholic Church to be more open in its dealings with the police and Victorian Parliament, now they will have to be!

A witch hunt is not what is needed, only a small minority of priests are evil, child abusing predators but they that are do need to be uncovered. I’m glad that the scope of this Commission is not being limited to the Church, it’s remit will be far greater than just religious institutions. Good, all these predators should be found and brought before the Courts from wherever they try to hide, the children of our society are too precious for us not to do everything we can to protect them.

And the Church, what should we do? In this, as in all things, we should look to Jesus. Christ himself saw the children as important and pointed to them as models of faith, he called them to himself, he blessed them, and we are given a great trust when we have children in our care. Let us then, as Christ did, value them, teach them and protect them for they are the future, not just of our churches but of our world.

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Church Sign of the week 19

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They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

From Laurence Binyon’s poem “For the Fallen”

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