Thought for the Week

November 4, 2018

Observing All Saints Day

What songs should we sing at funerals? What lyrics capture best the situation of the dead and those grieving? Music and song so powerfully ‘reach’ us that, I imagine, they have always had a place in dealing with death – chords and concepts carry us along the emotional roller coaster; the words set out the […]

October 28, 2018

Observing The Reformation

In 2004, Tilly Smith, a 10 year old school girl on a holiday with her family in Thailand, having just learnt 3 weeks earlier about tsunamis in her Geography lesson, recognised the situation she was seeing – the sea draining away far beyond low tide and the water streaked with bubbles – and without asking […]

October 14, 2018

21st Sunday after Pentecost

I suppose I get to see a synodical convention from a rather different perspective than most folk. Together with ELCE Chairman Pastor Jon Ehlers, I sat at the table looking out at all the faces – delegates, other ELCE folk in attendance, visitors – church and civic, and the host congregation (many of whom were […]

October 7, 2018

20th Sunday after Pentecost

They come and go. Usually they are only noticed by the participants. Sometimes they are noticed from further afield. Sound bytes of news often are about elections and if there’s anything controversial. More often they are thought of as largely bureaucratic – reports and figures – something necessary because administration is necessary but not at […]

September 30, 2018

19th Sunday after Pentecost

I have mentioned before that I am intrigued and fascinated and occasionally I find myself with a rather mischievous frame of mind when I hear science complaining about the nonsense that passes for rigorous scientific research and conclusions. I recently listened to a podcast ‘Facts, fear, fake news and Facebook’ (ABC Ockham’s Razor 9/9/18) which […]

September 23, 2018

The 18th Sunday after Pentecost

In 1917 the then new Mexican Constitution almost outlawed the Roman Catholic Church from public life (no teaching by the Church, church property was now at the disposal of the State, religious orders outlawed, and priests were targeted in many ways eg. it was illegal for priests to wear clerical clothes in public ‘outside’ (they […]

September 16, 2018

Harvest Thanksgiving

Martin Luther in his Large Catechism (written for pastors and teachers and also sections of it were read as sermons) said in relation to ‘daily bread’ in the Our Father … Here we think about the ordinary bread-box – our physical and material needs. It’s a short and simple phrase, but a far-reaching one, too. […]

September 9, 2018

The 16th Sunday after Pentecost

My week had three encounters with that part of life that is probably still the biggest taboo of all – death. (And I didn’t go to hospital or visit a grieving family or conduct a funeral.) No, these encounters were more the ‘walk by’ ones – ones where I could easily stop, ‘turn around’ and […]

September 2, 2018

The 15th Sunday after Pentecost

Most days I receive a photo or two or a short movie clip on our ‘Samiec Family Chat’ about the grandchildren. Of course it isn’t the same as being in the same room with them but it is nice to see them this way. Most of the time the children are doing their thing and […]

August 26, 2018

The 14th Sunday after Pentecost

Last Wednesday was traffic jam day. I know the roads. I know the current road works and ‘go slow’ areas. You factor them into your travel time. My daughter, Claire, keeps telling me to check the roads online before the journey so I don’t get caught. I admit I don’t do that of-ten but I […]

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