Showing posts from May, 2015

ALL - Why I Am 'Anti-Excellence / Pro-Participation'

Whilst I was at Greenbelt this year I heard Nadia Bolz-Weber  speaking. She said a phrase that captivated so much of what we are trying to do at Aire Valley Community Church . The phrase was ‘anti-excellence / pro-participation’. Excellence is something that I have heard a lot about; the idea that as the church we somehow need to keep up with the media in terms of performance and presentation so that we can maintain ‘relevance’ in society. The worship band all have to be accomplished musicians (usually of a certain age and visual appearance), the preacher must look successful (who wants to listen to someone who is as broken and flawed as we are), and the building must look attractive with beautiful artwork and matching seats. But the truth is that most of our lives don’t reflect this persona. We aren't accomplished musicians or successful entrepreneurs and our houses don’t look like show homes. So what part do we have to play in this fabricated reality? The answer is very l

PRIESTS - The Priesthood of All Believers as a Deconstruction of the Sacred / Secular Divide

The other day I read a story about a primary school teacher who started running the Sunday school in her local church. Before her first Sunday, the church called her up to pray for her. The thought she had as she stood there was ‘that’s great that they pray for the 30 minutes I lead Sunday school. But what about the 25 hours I spend with children each week at school? Are they somehow less important?’ In the scriptures, the apostles talk about how each person within the church is a priest. Martin Luther called this ‘the priesthood of all believers’. It was his belief that there should be no divide between the clergy and laity, between those working full time in the church and those who have chosen other vocations. Each individual can commune with God. When each member of the church is seen as a priest, then there is no divide between the ‘sacred’ work and the ‘secular’ work. Between those who are ‘called’ into ‘God’s work’ and those who choose to work ‘in the world’. When