Saturday 29 September 2007

Herne Bay beer-bibber & sinners' friend

Thanks to the delicious & whimsical Heather's Poor Excuse for some painful ordination weekend viewing. Priests, put those pints back in the closet where they belong, and discover one reason, on Back to Church Sunday, “why UK people don't go to Church”.

According to Vivien's website, which is also pretty much a Matthew 7:1/ I Corinthians 4:5 free zone, she is none too crazy about Buses numbered 666.

Heather has written a kind prayer:
Lord, grant that we may see Vivien’s distress as a by-product of her love for you rather than annoying, hubristic or beyond-the-bounds-of-reason-and-good-taste. And grant your fervent servant, Vivien, the peace of knowing that you, in your infinite wisdom and loving kindness, love her and have got everything under control. (And Lord, please do not smite me for wanting to give Vivien a drink.) Amen.


Anonymous said...

What a fool never meet such a closed minded christian is this on your blog to chellenges us or what!

The Key to witness is to build relationship and to take the church to the people not to ram it down there throats as she thinks you need to do

Who knows that cleric may have been ministering to the freinds he was with at a level thy can relate too too.

Bishop Alan Wilson said...

I'm sure she means well, but without vision people perish. The clever vision is to forget our expectations of other people and see them the way Jesus does — even other Christians! When we do the kinds of things he did, like sharing our lives with anyone, we find ourselves being his body in the world.

Anonymous said...

At our church we have an initiative called "Pint-sized church", where once a month, the men from church and the non-churchgoing husbands/partners of women at church go down the pub. What on earth would she make of that?

My husband isn't a Christian, but he goes to pint-sized church, and he now regularly becomes involved in church events. He even made it to a harvest service the other week!

Its a form of witnessing, but she obviously doesn't see it as that! I wonder what she would have said to Jesus sitting down with the tax collectors and other sinners?

Bishop Alan Wilson said...

I don't remember the exact date, Mary, but back in the 70's there was some research done that established that the average journey length from outsider to real faith commitment is four years. I saw something last year from (I think) Billy Graham's lot that made it five years. These are just average figures, too, so the range is probably like the range of times people go out together before they get married (weeks to years), but they establish how important it is to hold people in love and prayer in the middle distance between inside and outside committed faith. As a bishop I get to hear all the stories when people get confirmed, and they often are really inspiring. It sounds like your church is really onto something in providing a zone in which people can build relationships, be themselves and be accepted — I'll be praying for you both!


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