Sunday, 30 October 2011

I told you I was humble

Post by Ash

The address at New Meeting this morning was about the pathway, the continuum even, from humility to over-confidence and arrogance, that we all perhaps struggle to effectively accommodate throughout our lives. Sometimes it seems a constant battle-did I say the right thing, did I intervene appropriately,was I too outspoken, did I `back-off` when I should have said something ?

After the service we wandered in discussion if there were any contemporary examples of political leaders who had been convincing in achieving this `balance`. Was it really possible to attain such prominence in public life, and yet still be considered humble ? Isn`t this increasingly what we now desire from such leaders ? Has there been a lag between what the public want in this respect, and what politicians perceive is `best` for the public ?

A number of names were suggested; Mo Mowlam, Ann Widdecombe, and Mrs Thatcher. At least one of these suggestions might be considered contentious ! It was interesting that the immediate response resulted in female candidates being nominated; women are still in a serious minority when it comes to the world of politics in the UK.

Can we have humble leaders ?

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Faith Works and Smiles

Post by Graham.

Some years ago I submitted an article for the Midland Unitarian Association the subject of `Are We Angry Enough ?". My thesis was that anger achieved little in life; problems had to be looked at in the cold light of reason and, as someone who in earlier days was prone to lose his cool on many occasions (particularly when playing Rugby !), I felt it had done little to develop me as a person. After all, aren`y our watchwords Freedom, Reason, Tolerance - surely that`s enough to stop us getting hot under the collar at the slightest provocation.

And yet lately, I seem to be reverting to type, getting angry at bankers` bonuses, the injustices that exist in the world, the plight of the poor (although these are bad enough to make one explode with anger) and with so-called religious people of every denomination who seem to `talk the talk` but not `walk the walk`. There are religious people everywhere who can hardly bother to share a `Good Morning` with you as they rush off to their bible class or prayer meeting, and as for exchanging a smile: forget it ! They also seem oblivious to the plight of their neighbours, the aged, the infirm. As long as they can cling to their idea of salvation by confessing their sins and professing their allegiance to Jesus, they are content.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

An Observatory without a Telescope

Post by Ash

Like many churches, we spend  a lot of time thinking about how best to serve the spiritual, physical and  practical needs of those in our community. We tend therefore to focus for much of our time on the future, and planning for that as carefully as we can.

It was therefore very refreshing to be reminded of some very fine and inspiring advice from the much loved John Mellor, a long-standing supporter of our church,who very sadly died last year. Found amongst his papers were various writings used by him many years ago when he led services.A loving, talented, and creative man, he believed passionately that `imagination` was a gift to be treasured; for him  it was a way to people`s hearts , a route possibly towards unlocking spirituality. Churches even should take heed if they were not to stagnate.

His words below remain as relevant today, as when they were written.