Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Power of One

Power is one of life’s most challenging words.  Ask anyone what they consider it to mean - in one word - and you’ll get thirty different answers from twenty different people!  They range from military or peaceful connotations while others bring in concepts of oppression and liberation, leading to a point where all these meanings swirl and collide to create a star-burst of misunderstanding.  Today I’d like to consider the word cooperation as one linked to power.

The coalition government has sent Westminster media commentators into a tailspin. They can’t comprehend that two different political parties can work together to deliver a programme of government.  Instead of focussing their fire and ire upon the true impact of cutting benefits they focus upon highlighting the smallest misplaced comment or sneeze to suggest the coalition is splitting and - like the cracks in time (see Dr Who) - will lead only to implosion and fireball.  I don’t think this will be the case.  Why? Because when you have or wish power you find areas that you wish to cooperate on - because through that cooperation you can achieve more than just shouting loudly.

Cooperation is key to delivering real change.  This has to be seen from the start-point that we each hold an amazing amount of power ourselves.  From our resources of intelligence, friends, money, time and energy we can create a small firestorm that can bring change.  Yet we cannot achieve this on our own.  We can only create a suitable head of steam to which others will couple to create the express train bound for justice and freedom.

Whats great about the whole process , and self transformation delivered, is that you realise having done it once it can be done again.  For once we’ve each made that initial leap to create a better world we are ready to leap higher and higher and higher.  

Today I traveled up to Edinburgh where I met two different people who’ve really changed things.  The first is my twin.  His campaign, Barred, has been challenging politicians conceptions of disabled access.  Through utilising his own experience, he has held a mirror up-to the current state of disabled access in pubs and the end result is an amendment to the licensing act (Scotland) which has now amended the licecning act (2005). He has changed the law.  The second person, well I’ll return to them another day.

Whatever you do today don’t accept an injustice against yourself or against someone else.  Power is a drug, both liberator and oppressor, and as such all it takes is someone to hold a mirror up to that act and then change will slowly start coming.

“Oh Freedom, Freedom
Before I’ll be a slave I’ll be buried in my grave
And go on to my lord and be free”
(sung by Pete Seeger - but adapted from a song much older than he)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Methodist Conference 2.0

As hinted in my previous post, this year's Methodist Conference is completely wired....


This is before we even consider when the

This last tool has been a great way to share in the special year following thoughts and people that the president and vice-president meet.  Long may it continue

Take Care Y'All

John

Sunday Song - Methodist Conference #methconf




(With apologies to Jimmy Kennedy)



If you go down to Ports-mouth today
You're sure of a big surprise.
If you go down to Ports-mouth today
You'd better go in disguise.

For Wesley's Folk, are gath-er-ing there
They'll talk and sing for certain, because
Today's the day that Metho-dists have their Con-frence!
Methodist Conference 2010 has gathered in Portsmouth.  Already the ministers have had their sessions and now, Sunday afternoon, new ministers and deacons are being ordained after being affirmed by standing vote at this morning's business session.


This years conference, unlike my adjusted lyrics, is a serious affair.  There are some weighty issues for discussion including "racism, nuclear weapons and Israel-Palestine".  Alongside this is a well anticipated 'away match' with the Archbishop of Canterbury coming to speak. To assure you this isn't a questionably cheap shot to appear 'down with the kids' on the day everyones thinking about a football match - earlier this year the President and Vice President of Conference spoke at the General Synod .... well .... ok ....hopefully his will provide a more positive outcome than the match and there are no winners in Christian conferring - only a better understanding....


If you are not able to attend the conference and are worrying about what you could be missing then rest easy! This year's conference is being streamed (both video and audio) via the web.  Readers of this blog will know this has been tried before but this years setup appears more stable than previous years and - interesting - involves an iplayer-esque 'watch again' option.  So if you want to know what Methodists are saying about a hot topic then head on over to  the Methodist Conference webstreaming page today!


Take Care Y'All

John



P.S. If you wish to see the official hymn that opens conference then head over to Richard Hall's blog and sing it to yourself as you got about your afternoon's business - or mull over another challenging half time and potentially negative England result