Saturday, February 06, 2010


I had to put on my thinking cap this morning. I've been asked to give a talk about climate change and the churches for an ecumenical Lent group in Ely. I know which direction I want to take the talk, but the challenge is concentrating the key information without it becoming too technical and abstract (and no Powerpoint presentation to hide behind either), in order to be able to raise the questions that are relevant.

Plans are now in place for an meeting on Climate Change and Faith Communities, sponsored by the United Nations Association on 26th March at the Friends Meeting House. I've been asked to chair this, which is a lot easier, unless you're not very comfortable controlling an open meeting - a very different skill from presiding over the liturgy.

I met again with the two Confirmation candidates at tea time, going through the PACTS basic guide to prayer, but also pre-empting some introductory work on how to read the bible. This was because Bethan has sent me a Powerpoint presentation in the week which expounded the awesomeness of the Bible (Revised King James Version), by showing a number of trivial statistics about the number of chapters, pointing to God being in the middle of it all. It was packaged with nice nature images and a chain letter style invitation to proflerate its content.

It was very American in its piety, also very misleading, as if RKJV wasn't one of many editions and translations of scripture into different languages, ignoring the Deuterocanonical books, as Protestant fundamentalism does to its own discredit. So, in acknowledging her contribution, I had to give a preliminary introduction to the idea that the Bible is a portable library of very different books, with a lot more to it than meets the eye. It's not easy for 11-12 year olds to grapple with, when there is so much casual literalism amongst adults as well as children.

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