Responding to Dominic Cummings

It is not often that a single story dominates everyone’s online conversation—yet that is what happened over the weekend, when I found that just about all my Facebook friends were commenting on the same issue. And it is not often that the bishops of the Church of England appear to speak with one voice on … Continue Reading

Looking to God for help in Psalm 121

Richard Bauckham writes: Psalm 121 is one of the psalms that seem especially appropriate for a time of pandemic, and so it may be helpful to explain and reflect on it a little. It is a quite well-known psalm, remembered especially for its distinctive opening line: “I will lift up my eyes to the hills.” … Continue Reading

Effective communication in online preaching

Earlier this week, I had a fantastically stimulating discussion with Bryan Wolfmeuller, Pastor of St Paul Lutheran Church, Austin Text, and Jesus Deaf Lutheran Church, about the challenges and opportunities of online communication. I previously linked some of his material, including his instructional video on tips for pastors when preaching online, in an earlier post. … Continue Reading

Where is God in a Coronavirus World?

Savvas Costi writes: The coronavirus has destabilised the world we all knew. In these uncertain times, John Lennox has delivered an engaging and accessible little book, Where Is God in a Coronavirus World?, designed to be read within a couple of hours (I did it in two sittings). It’s not meant to be a treatise on the … Continue Reading

The Comfort of the Apocalypse

Jonathan Parker writes: Did somebody say, “Apocalypse?” When things get dire, as in our current, terrifying pandemic, I hear the word “apocalypse” come up a lot more often. “Religious” people start saying, “Here it is” or “No, this isn’t it” (often you can guess which based on their given political or cultural background). The “it” they … Continue Reading

Preaching online in virtual church

In what ways is preaching online to a virtual congregation different from preaching in a physically gathered church? How might we need to adapt to this new situation? Before answering this question, it is worth pausing to reflect on why we need to address it. First, we are likely to be in this situation for … Continue Reading

Ministry in this strange new land

Mark Ireland writes: Last night in my role as archdeacon I inducted a new Vicar to his new Lancashire parishes behind closed doors. Instead of a packed church of congregation, community and friends from previous parishes, there were just three churchwardens, the priest’s spouse, the patron and the bishop – all sitting spaced as far apart … Continue Reading

Praying at a spatial distance

Nick Moore writes: With ever stronger advice against social interaction and the prospect of restrictions on personal movement along the lines of those seen in China and other European countries, the concepts of ‘social distancing’ and ‘self-isolation’ have become everyday talk. Then in the last couple of days, as the Church of England has suspended … Continue Reading