Thursday, October 07, 2010

Happy Birthday & Happy Retirement

Today is a day the whole world can rejoice. Archbishop Desmond Tutu celebrates his 79th Birthday and with that goes to collect his pension and retire.

I'm deeply sad at this because he is one of the biggest religious inspirations I have ever had and I've had the pleasure of meeting him once, and hearing him speak twice. Although he came back to many of the same messages (See video above) his still found new ways and means of phrasing things and, well, if you've ever heard him laugh you'd just want to bottle it!

Thank goodness he wrote down his wisdom while he was preaching, teaching and changing the world!

Happy Birthday Desmond! Enjoy your retirement, may it bring you much happiness

(To read my report on meeting him, re-read the article I wrote for Ekklesia )

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Abuse of Our Resources - Reflections on Suing the Church

Birmingham's 'Methodist Preacher' today fired the latest salvo in his continuing battle with whatever problems he has with the denomination of which he is a member.  While subtly written up on his blog, the fundamental truth is David Hallam is about to sue the British Methodist Church.

Ever since the Methodist Conference considered, then passed, a report titled 'Justice for Israel and Palestine' our friend up the road has been in a continual lather.  By having a major christian denomination responding to the Palestinian's cry for justice, the church has somehow become part of a large anti-semitic conspiracy...why....because the report calls for a boycott of goods produced on Israeli settlements in the occupied territories....that's it....territories in land which is mainly seen as illegal and which will ultimately return to the Palestinian people if a two state solution is reached (note - for more on the settlements see this article)

The irony of this is unmistakable.   He has spent the last few weeks blogging about the need for large sums to refurbish his own church.  Yet he then will waste money donated in care to the Connexion by forcing it to defend in the law-courts something that has been debated at all levels of the decision making church, and of course could potentially be overturned at the next Methodist Conference.

I give my collection to the church for a simple reason.  We use the gifts from God to further the kingdom of God.  For me that means defending principles of justice, truth and god's love for all.  In this current age this means listening to our Christian friends from Palestine,alongside other groups, and spending time and effort to highlight the injustices going on in the holy land.

The good samaritan makes clear - clerics and academics can always find a reason to walk by as someone suffers. It is the job of every Christian to make sure that no-one of any faith suffers and the churches focus on Palestine is just one way of doing this.