Sunday, August 22, 2010

Our Messy Church is called Family Church

Over August our church has doing other things such as barbecues rather than our usual Sunday gatherings. One Saturday two or three weeks ago and we did our own version of Messy Church called Family Church. "Centred around creativity, hospitality and celebration" our aim was, like Messy Church, " help other families that might not have any church connection to discover the fun of following Jesus together."

We had a number of activities including craft, cake decoration, street dance, sports and a spot of bike maintenance. We told the story of Zacchaeus and a number of the children – including our little daughter Callie - sung ‘I am a friend of God’. Finally we all had a meal together. There lots of new people joined us and it was a really good time.

More photos on facebook here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Birmingham Alive Mission

Our church recently had a mission. This meant that several of us were busy for a few days experimenting with different ways of having conversations about God and serving people.

Here are a just few examples of the sorts of things that we were up to:

• We delivered some free Christian literature around the houses close to where we often meet and were presently surprised by the positive responses we received. It was good to be a listening ear to people and people remembered us doing community clear-ups, carol singing and free barbeques.

• We chatted with in coffee shops.

• One evening we went out with Paul & Jackie distributing sandwiches and teas and coffees to people sleeping rough in Birmingham city centre – chatting and praying with people as we went.

• A few of the team were out late the following night having a conversation in one of the bars in Bindley Place. The original plan was to head for clubs on Broad Street and I thought it might not be my scene. But they had a good conversation in a quiet bar so I think I’ll join them next time.

• We joined in with a nearby Vineyard Church in their Healing in the Streets. We were impressed how gently this was done and we found many people spontaneously coming to us for prayer.

Throughout the whole mission I really enjoyed the conversations we had both with others and among ourselves. Being an introvert it was encouraging to me to rediscover that you don’t have to be a extravert to do this sort of thing.

This was all very exciting!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Community Fun Day

Originally uploaded by dave & nettes.
I have just loaded a few photo's from this year's Community Fun Day onto our photostream on flickr. I have added these to last year's photos in the Community Fun Day set. As a church we were involved in setting up and stewarding just like last year. And we ran the Prayer Tent again.

Related post: Reflections on the Community Fun Day

Monday, August 09, 2010

Should I smack my little girl?

One of the most helpful inputs that I have had in my parenting has been the positive parenting classes that I did through my local Sure Start. They have a great emphasis on rewarding good behaviour rather than punishing bad behaviour, though we did discuss some suggested sanctions that may sometimes be necessary. Such techniques like you may have seen on TV, in for example Supernanny, have proved to be very effective. So I have always tried to avoid physical punishment in the disciplining my little daughter.

Recently I have been looking at the few verses about parenting in Proverbs and have come to the conclusion that they need some careful hermeneutics. In particular I am not convinced that we can take the verses that speak of a ‘rod of correction’ as a command that to use corporal punishment. Perhaps the ‘rod of correction’ is, as my NIV study Bible says ‘a figure of speech for discipline of any kind’. Could these verses simply be observations of the dire consequences of lack of any discipline?

I can understand that some see nothing wrong with smacking their children and use such verses to support it and see it as a good thing. Perhaps those that oppose smacking need to realise that what such Christians are proposing is using smacking as a consistent and restrained sanction and would utterly condemn losing your temper with your child. Nevertheless I would need to see something a lot clearer in the Bible before I would be convinced that smacking my little girl would be a good thing.

What do you think?