Chris

What do all these people have in common?

July 4, 2015 in Dean's Blog

lvd_speakers

They have all spoken at Living Room Dialogues…..  Sundays at 7.30pm….

Chris

We mustn’t allow threats of terror to beat us – Friday 3rd July 2014

July 4, 2015 in Dean's Blog

Threats of violence against mosques and places of worship have clearly had their impact on the size of the congregation on Friday morning as we were down to 18 adults and 7 children. The summer exodus from Bahrain has begun, but this was more than people leaving. In the long term we cannot allow our lives to be ruled by fear and dictated by threat, or we hand the victory to the hands of those who create fear and kindle terror.

meetingWe need to address the issue of security. Yesterday I attended a meeting for leaders of mosques and churches chaired by the Capital Governor with several senior policemen present and yesterday had a helpful telephone conversation with the Regional Security Adviser at the British Embassy, and we will produce an action plan.  But in the end life goes on and, though we need to be sensible and vigilant, we also need to reflect on what it means to be people of faith living in the Middle East at this time and encourage one another.

Last week I preached on our responses to interruptions and that so often the interruptions in our livemeetingare the real agenda (based on the woman who touches the hem of Jesus’ robe while he is heading purposefully to respond to the needs of Jairus’ very sick 12 year old daughter in Mark 5). This week the interruptions have not stopped: I reckon 14 hours this week have been taken up with issues that I did not plan or know about 24 hours before. These have included a  meeting of religious leaders at the International Peace Institute (a United Nations think tank), an IPIinterview together with Jon Lavelle on peace for Bahrain TV and a repeat the following day as the sound quality was poor, a This is Bahrain ghagba meal and prayer for peace at Sacred Heart Church, at which the chief Imam and a Rabbi from Paris were present, a meeting about security, and a wedding reception. I’ll have to be careful what I preach about!

Chris

Pizza and The Miracle Maker: Tuesday 30th June 2015

July 4, 2015 in Dean's Blog

The Miracle MakerNearly twenty-five people squashed into our home for pizza, salad, banana and ice cream to watch the animation movie The Miracle Maker, which is the story of Jesus from the perspective of Jairus’ daughter (our gospel reading for yesterday). The script is written by Murray Watts, the writer of The Lion Bible for Children, which I often use for Family Services, and there are some well-known voices including Ralph Fiennes as Jesus. Everyone seemed to enjoy this retelling of the story and there are some insightful telling of the parables and the reactions, particularly of Thomas to Jesus, got a few laughs. As the disciples were commissioned, at the conclusion of the film, to go into all the world and preach the gospel to people of all nations, I couldn’t help but see a fulfillment of that command in the audience of people from ten different nations.   

Awali Church takes a break: Saturday 27th June

July 4, 2015 in Dean's Blog

It really feels like summer has arrived with the closure of Awali for July and August. One person  asked if we might continue through the summer Awali Church months, but with both reduced congregations from a small base and clergy, thin on the ground with summer leave, I think it makes sense to centralize services on the Cathedral. And it is really not far to drive from that part of the island on a Friday morning.

Chris

ECC Workshop: Saturday 20th June 2015

June 23, 2015 in Dean's Blog

ECC WorkshopI was invited to give a reflection at the conclusion of an Ecumenical Conference of Charity workshop at theECC Workshop Ramada Palace Hotel and took as my theme Jesus ministry as a shepherd: responding to both the needs of the many “because they were like sheep without a shepherd, but also, as in the parable of the lost sheep, willing to leave the many to rescue the one who is lost. It was followed by an excellent iftar meal.