We need to do better at deep and charitable theological engagement (another lesson from COVID)

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You are a church leader and you’ve just been told by the government that due to a pandemic ripping through the population, you will now need to suspend public services as part of a national lockdown. You know that schools, pubs, restaurants, theatres and sports stadia are being closed. You know that people are being… Continue reading We need to do better at deep and charitable theological engagement (another lesson from COVID)

George Floyd, justice and why the optics do matter

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I woke yesterday to the news that George Floyd’s killer, Derek Chauvin has been convicted. This is good news because it means justice for Floyd’s family, but it does not deal with the issue of racism.  In fact, it is concerning that some people are still trying to separate out the race issue here and… Continue reading George Floyd, justice and why the optics do matter

Should children take communion?

I’m reposting a couple of articles from a few years back about baptism and communion -especially as it relates to children. I’m doing this partly because these are topics that are always worth revisiting but also because I’m currently preparing some articles following up further on the question of church culture. In some of the… Continue reading Should children take communion?

Is “open or closed communion?” the right question?

One of the graces in COVID is that it has pushed us hard to think about some key aspects of church life such as “What really is gathered worship?” and “What are the priority ministries of a church in the week?” There has also been quite a bit of discussion about when, how and why… Continue reading Is “open or closed communion?” the right question?

Zoom communion revisited

Back when we first went into lockdown, our church decided to use zoom and Facebook to enable us to continue gathering. We recognised that these means were not perfect but we felt that the Scriptural injunction to gather was so important that we should try by every means possible to do so. As a church… Continue reading Zoom communion revisited

Journey out of lockdown – return to the Church building with communion

Yesterday was our first opportunity to meet again physically after the second English lockdown.  After the first lockdown, we kept things simple at the building. We decided not  to recommence communion and we continued to stream a Facebook service from someone’s home which people could then opt to watch at the building. Yesterday we did… Continue reading Journey out of lockdown – return to the Church building with communion

Communion at home and in private

Chalice with wine and bread. Background with copy space

Steve Kneale has written again about taking communion at home. This is one of the few issues where Steve and I disagree.  In terms of our views on essential doctrines and mission priorities we have a lot in common. This is a reminder that it is okay for friends to disagree on big issues in… Continue reading Communion at home and in private

When is a church not a church?

As we return from lockdown, there are still some significant restrictions expected about how we will be able to go about meeting together. The one that has provoked the most reaction has been the likely ban on singing and yet, maybe more importantly (and still with minimal discussion) we can expect restrictions on baptism and… Continue reading When is a church not a church?

Church Unity in a time of Coronavirus

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Crisis brings out the best in us and the worst in us. I remember some wise advice many years ago from a pastor. Similarly, a tragedy like Coronavirus will not magically (or mystically even) bring together disunited Christian tribes. This applies not just to different individuals and tribes but to specific issues. If we had… Continue reading Church Unity in a time of Coronavirus