Sunday, March 27, 2005

easter sunday

Happy Easter!!!

This morning our seven planks became the table on which communion was celebrated in the family service.

It's finally the end of what has been a long, but generally pretty good week of services (not made any shorter by the fact that I had to get up early to make fire in the rain this morning - it was fun though!!).

Saturday, March 26, 2005


This evening, using 7 planks we created a funeral bier, as we thought about living with emptiness and loss.

Ever since I can remember I've always known the 'happy ending' to the Easter story. But this evening I was challenged to think what it would have been like not to know the end of this story. What would it have been like for those first disciples, not knowing what was going to happen?

Friday, March 25, 2005

good friday

This afternoon we had our sixth Reflective Service of the week. With 6 planks we constructed a torture table, to help us reflect on the cruel death Jesus suffered.

On a personal level, I found this service quite tough, mainly because I was knackered. We'd also had a service at half nine and a 'Walk of Witness' at half ten, then we had this service in the afternoon. As I tried to reflect on the ordeal Jesus went through, I was struck by the stamina it would have taken to hold out for so long. I was exhausted after a week of services. What would it have been like to have gone through the week Jesus had, with Palm Sunday,the fun and games in the temple, an emotional meal with your mates, a betrayal, being whipped nearly to death?

Thursday, March 24, 2005

maundy thursday

This evening in our fifth Reflective Service for Holy Week, we used 5 planks to build a low table, reminding us of the table around which Jesus and the disciples would have sat for the Last Supper.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


This evening we continued our series of Holy Week Reflective Services. Using 4 planks we reflected on Mark 11: 15-18, where Jesus cleared the temple.

In tonight's installation the four planks were set up to symbolise a broken table, with money, weighing scales and feathers (from the doves which were being sold) scattered around.

For the main part of the service we did a guided meditation, imagining that we witnessed Jesus going in and clearing the temple. We then thought about those who were being exploited by these money changers and animal sellers, the poor and marginalised - those that Jesus came to be with. Towards the end of the service we were invited to light a candle and place it on the installation, as an act of prayer for the poor and oppressed.

I found the whole service quite moving. Not least because once the candles had been added to the installation it was so beautiful - hope in the midst of the mess, the corruption and the chaos.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


So this evening we had our third Reflective Service for Holy Week. Using three planks we thought about the enclosures that exist within society and the barriers which exclude certain people in society.

We spent time reflecting on who it was that Jesus spent time with when He was on earth - the marginalised and the oppressed. We were challenged to think who is marginalised and oppressed within our society, and how we act towards such people.

Reflecting on Luke 13: 31-35, we laid feathers on the knocked down barriers, symbolising the hen (God) wanting to gather her chicks (people) under her wings.

Monday, March 21, 2005


This evening we had our second Reflective Service for Holy Week. Using two planks of wood we reflected on the relationships between our church and the world around us.

By tying and untying knots in pieces of string we thought about the things that hinder our relationships with God and with others. We then placed out string across the two planks, symbolising a commitment to build better relationships with the world around us.

palm sunday

Yesterday we had our first Reflective Service for Holy Week. The first installation used one plank of wood, which was set up to help us reflect about Jesus' entry into Jerusalem.

During the service we considered Jesus' passivity during the events of Palm Sunday, and the feelings and expectations of the crowd who welcomes Jesus to Jerusalem. We were challenged to consider our own passivity, both to God and to the events going on around us in the world, and thought about our own expectations for Holy Week this year.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

holy week

Throughout Holy Week our church is running a series of Reflective Services. During the services we will be using a series of 'installations' initially designed by a guy called Mark James, who is a friend of a friend. On Palm Sunday the installation uses one plank of wood, and each day throughout Holy Week another plank is added, creating a different image each day.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

the weekend

Last weekend was pretty manic, but all in all it was pretty cool.

I decided to have Friday off (well most of it) because I knew I would be working the rest of the weekend. I went to see Hotel Rwanda. If you haven't seen it I strongly recommend that you try to see it. I found it to be a fantastically emotive film. Set during the Rwandan civil war during the 1990s, it tells the true story of a hotel manageer who uses his hotel and his relationships with the Rwandan ruling classes to save the lives of hundreds of refugees. Go see it.

On Friday night we re-started the detached youth work. It's been a while since I've been out on detached, mainly because I've had nobody to work with. But it was really good to go out. I really feel that this is a key part of what I'm called to do during my time in Millhouses.

On Saturday I went to a day conference run by Nail the Truth . I have to admit that I was a litte sceptical beforehand. Nail the Truth is the youth ministry of one of our neighbouring parish churches. It's big. And its kind of on the more evangelical side than I'm currently used to. They're looking to launch a kind of citywide network/movement. This has got some people's backs up. Words such as 'empire building' have been used to describe it.

I still have questions (as ever) about some of the things that they're looking to do, but I have to admit I really enjoyed the conference. It was great to be able to hang out with people that I see every so often, but don't get to spend a lot of time with. I felt a real sense of unity and purpose (which I recognise can sometimes be hyped up at big events), but I was really challenged to be positive, and to trust God. Ultimately, if this is of Him, it will succeed, and I kind of want to be involved in God's plans.

Chesterfield beat Huddersfield 2-1 today. It was the first home match I hadn't been to in ages and we finally managed to win at home again. Grrrr.

On Sunday we had Sunday School (crazy I know). We had a really open discussion about 'Other Religions' and why different people beleive different things. It was cool. I really enjoyed it, I think the young people did too. What was really encouraging was hearing some of the young people say what they do believe in, I know that a number of them know quite a lot, but to hear some of them articulate it in the way that they did was encouraging.

On Sunday evening we had our Informal Evening Service at Carterknowle Methodist Church (we run these informal services every couple of months between Holy Trinity and the two local Methodist Churches). It was pretty good I think. We were thinking about Freedom, which follows on from what we've been talking about with the youth group.

All in all, last weekend was good. It'll be Easter soon, which will be pretty busy. But generally, work is going well. I'm enjoying it. Reflecting on recent times, it's been a while since I've been able to say this. :-)