Tuesday, 12 November 2013
Sunday, 10 November 2013
I've never actually had a reading week before, despite my rep as an eternal student. To read or not to read?
Let me adjust your expectations of this blog post. I'm not going to say anything theologically insightful. I've had six weeks of theological boot camp, hardcore, abstract, mind-blowing stuff, no easy start building up in baby steps, but full-on Master's level philosophizing. I'm exhausted!
So I have done what I often do when I need to escape the hamster-wheel of talking and listening, reading and writing.
Because in baking, it's one egg or three. Not three and yet one.
Whether you're an empiricist-fundamentalist or a post-modern relativist, 500g of flour means just that. Easy. Go on, contextualize the masculine literalness of number, I dare you.
Mistakes are made in baking, like getting your new Swiss roll tin lined, greased and filled with batter, only to find it doesn't fit in your oven. Oops. So you bake it in five minute intervals, open the oven and turn it at a different slant each time. Worst case scenario - not inadvertent heresy - just a misshapen roulade. I can live with that.
It's been a productive reading week. I made spiced pumpkin soup, a lemon tart with a fun blackberry jelly layer on top, and a (misshapen) chocolate and pistachio cream roulade.
Man, it felt good to dissolve that gelatin sheet into the blackberry syrup. I was following bullet point instructions. Bliss.
|Photographed from this jaunty angle, you'd hardly know it was baked at a 30 degree slant!|
|Lemon tart with a blackcurrant jam layer|
Sunday, 6 October 2013
Saturday, 5 October 2013
Thursday, 26 September 2013
Wednesday, 21 August 2013
'Digesting the Word: a triptych and proposal on dietary choice', The Other Journal 19 (Fall 2011), 25–34
‘Christian attitudes to animals’, Compassion in World Farming website, March 2010
Monday, 19 August 2013
From November 2011
Wednesday, 14 August 2013
1. They make life easier.
2. They don't cost a fortune to use.
3. They aren't impossible to wash up.
1. Garlic Zoom
4. Hand grater
Friday, 9 August 2013
A few days laid up with a sinus infection was the perfect opportunity to watch the BBC sit-com Rev all over.
Yep, there's just one thing harder than being a vicar. Being married to one!
The series one finale depicts a crisis of faith and vocation. That one was an eye-opener, as well as a tear-jerker. It's a must-see for anyone considering ordained ministry - although the House of Bishops may decide the language is slightly too colourful to warrant being included in a selection conference.
New series to air in 2013! Yeroo!
That's what I took from the day's gospel reading. Even harder, perhaps, than mastering those elusive Hebrew verb patterns. But - I predict - also fun.
Monday, 15 July 2013
Sarah and I have decided to stay in Derry. My course, the MTh for ordinands, runs just half the weeks of the year, and we feel extremely settled in this town we have come to call home. I only moved here in my mid-twenties, yet this is the place I was confirmed and we were married, and where Sarah has found a fulfilling role working for the Bishop, and we have found our spiritual home at Christ Church, and made friends.
Wednesday, 3 July 2013
Monday, 1 July 2013
“Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: 4 You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." (Ex. 19:3-6)
God was concerned at the suffering of his people, their oppression, their cruel treatment, their tears. And he acted to rescue them.
Both opportunity and responsibility, people are in need of wholeness and the church must respond. And we have to do more than fix problems and ills of society, we have to draw people into relationship with God.
Maybe we could design a new 'R&R' service, 'Rescue and Relationship' incorporating both strands? (Think electronic music for the canticle 'Song of the Sea'! That would be pretty cool!)
And/or start parallel 'Sinai' congregations in our parishes, perhaps in new housing estates, student halls or inner cities, wherever there are people in need of 'R&R'?
So, maybe my naïve ecclesiology is that churches are Sinai communities. Groups of people who have this experience of rescue and relationship, tying both in some way to Jesus Christ.
And I think Exodus, this paradigmatic event in the Salvation Story of the Bible, can help those of us involved in growing church, in including more people in this Sinai experience.
Wednesday, 12 June 2013
|The After Shot ... how long can I keep it this tidy?|
Since finishing the Foundation Course with St. John's, I have been enjoying some more mindless tasks. Sarah is enjoying having a husband who isn't too zonked reading theological tomes to wipe kitchen surfaces.
Obviously, there are more books in some categories and others are almost mono-tome, but I'm very pleased at how over the years all those books have formed a good overview of theology. Now I just have to read them! (And lend them - seeing all my lovely books made me feel very blessed and in need of sharing the wealth.)
I am considering going completely OCD and buying colour coded stickers for the spines.
Interestingly (to me), it wasn't as easy as I expected to designate books 'theological' or 'not'. Many are straight forward enough: 'The Atonement Debate'? Theology. 'Essential Norn Irish'? Not.
Some are less straight forward. 'A Dollar a Day'? 'Making Poverty History'? 'Living in an Age of Absurdity'? Anything by Michael Moore?
I suppose in real life, things aren't so easily labelled 'sacred' or 'secular'. And when we try to divide the two, that's when the trouble starts.
When education, politics, economics, psychology, are considered 'secular' and beyond the remit of theological significance.
Actually, the Bible has a lot, an awful lot, to say about how our human life is to be celebrated and ordered, about poverty, philosophy, economics, leadership ... and not just cult and spirituality.
And if I only read theology and am ignorant about wider society and the realities we experience every day, how people are affected by globalization, by cuts to education and neo-liberal market policy, and the history of our country ... well, the theology might come across as a bit irrelevant.
So, I decided in my categorization system to be generous and open-minded in deciding what goes under 'theology'. As an ordinand and hopefully one day as a priest, I hope to be the same in my approach to life in general!