Rev Sam’s thought for the day

Christianity is quite simple in the end. I think it has two stages:
1. You are convicted of your sin;
2. You accept the grace of God.
The consequence of these two things is ‘love, joy, peace, gentleness, self-control…’ etc etc. In particular, judgement of one another is abandoned – it is left up to God.

And obviously these things are more or less embedded in us, and we make mistakes etc etc. But this is the ‘road map for holiness’.

Fundamentalism is formed when either of these two stages are ignored or belittled.

When 1. is put aside, then the self-righteous Pharisee is formed, and there are judgements left, right and centre.
When 2. is ignored, you get the fear-driven apocalypticism, like Left Behind, and you get the semi-fascist imposition of order, to prevent sin from happening.


For the last six weeks or so, one of my favourite blogs has seemed to be down (this one) – I just assumed the author was off doing some particularly intense research. Turns out it was just a computer bug of some sort, so I’ve just spent a little while catching up, and laughing out loud in long overdue fashion. I want to be Spider Jerusalem, but I think this man succeeds. See this one in particular…

I’ve been identified

Great book review here about ‘crunchy cons’:

Dreher spends a good portion of his book criticizing the holy reverence of the corporate-controlled “free market” that has hijacked modern conservatism, often at the expense of families, local communities, and the environment — three priorities conservatives like Russell Kirk, whom the author evokes as one of his biggest philosophical influences, used to place the foremost value on: “The fundamental difference between crunchy conservatives and mainstream conservatives has to do with the place of the free market in society. Crunchy cons believe in the free market as an imperfect but just and effective means to the good society. When the market harms the good society, it should be reined in.”

That’s exactly what last week’s Learning Church was arguing (not posted yet).


Why do you only read the Quranic verses of mercy and do not read the verses of killing? Quran says; kill, imprison! Why are you only clinging to the part that talks about mercy? Mercy is against God.
Khomeini speech 1981

Opus Dei

This has nothing to do with the Da Vinci code or the catholic order – it’s more that I wanted to make a list of all my official duties, as part of something else that I am working through at the moment. So it’ll be revised on a regular basis. This list is not in order of priority.

1. Incumbency duties. Fundamentally this is about discerning God’s will for four church communities; more mundanely these are the unavoidable administrative elements of my job. So: chairing four parish church councils; the associated committees (worship, teaching, communications, standing etc); regular meetings with wardens (eight of them!); all the paraphernalia associated with this.
2. Staff management. There is quite a team developing here, so as well as things like arranging the rota, this includes bilateral meetings on a regular basis with the various members of the team.
3. Worship. The leading and preparation of worship, especially at major feasts. This includes music, which varies in its demands on my time.
4. Pastoralia. I have lead pastoral responsibility for the parishioners; in practice much of this is now delegated, so I have more of an oversight role. I do see a handful of parishioners for spiritual conversations, this is a variable load.
5. Occasional offices. Baptisms, weddings and funerals.
6. Teaching. Including sermons, bible groups, confirmation classes and the Learning Church sequence.
7. Intercession and private devotions. Praying for the parish and for particular individuals within it; making sure I have enough spiritual fuel in my own tank.

8. Chair of Churches Together in Mersea
9. Warden of Ordinands for 3 deaneries
10. Tutor for ERMC