About Me

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I was commissioned as a Church Army Officer in 2000, and spent 9 years working in parishes, mainly with children and families. In 2009, I began ordination training at Ripon College Cuddesdon. I married Clare in July 2000, and our first child, Nathan, arrived on September 22nd 2010.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Preaching tomorrow!

So I'm preaching at my placement church tomorrow (St. Barnabas) - the first time I will have preached since we moved last August. We don't have to preach in our first year, but I didn't want to go a whole year without having preached, so I'm grateful for the opportunity.

It's an interesting sermon to have prepared, because St. Barnabas use the Roman lectionary, rather than Common Worship, which means that tomorrow's Gospel reading is Luke's version of the Transfiguration. (In Common Worship, it comes just before Lent). So it's been interestign seeing why the Roman lectionary has it during Lent.

Basically, it's because, during Lent, Christians are called to participate in "the Paschal Transfiguration of Christ". Now, this phrase is a new one on me, so I had to do some research to find out what it meant! And I found this from a sermon by Fr. Jan Rokosz (a Polish Roman Catholic priest):

A paschal transfiguration occurs in the life of a Christian immersed in Christ. It awakens life in places where there is death, power – where there is weakness, joy – where there is suffering, forgiveness – where there is abuse, good – where there is evil, love – where there is hatred, and resurrection – where there is the cross. And all this happens, thanks to the love, power, and wisdom of God, which are continuously revealed to us through Christ, in the Holy Spirit, in the Community of the Church and for her strengthening, and ultimately – for our everlasting good.

I think that says it all! And so I am incorporating that quote into the sermon tomorrow!

Friday, 5 February 2010

The Eucharist

Interesting experience this week, during Creative Worship (which happens every Monday evening, led by one of the College Groups).

During the worship, the Reserved Sacrament was placed on the altar in church, as a symbol of Christ's presentation at the temple, and some members of the college community knelt before it.

Now, I have no problem with people doing that if it is part of their spirituality - it's not mine, but God has made us to be different, and that includes how we connect with him in worship. It's one of the great things about the Anglican Church - its breadth - and one of the reasons I chose Cuddesdon to train at.

The interesting thing for me is that it has challenged me to think about what happens at the Eucharist, when the bread and wine is consecrated. I don't believe that the bread and wine literally become Christ's Body & Blood, but I find it difficult to articulate what I do actually believe happens. I believe that I am meeting with God in some way, taking part in an 'active memorial' of the Last Supper, but I struggle to say any more than that, really.

In a way, it doesn't matter too much, except that it is likely that future parishioners will want to talk about this with me, so it is something that I do need to reflect on over my time here. The good thing is that there will be plenty of opportunity to do so, what with learning about the Reformation this term (in which the nature of the Eucharist is a significant feature), and a whole week on the Sacraments in December of this year.

God continues to challenge!