Jesus (and Peter) walking on the water in Matthew 14

The Sunday lectionary reading for the Ninth Sunday of Trinity in Year A is Matt 14.22–33, Matthew’s instinctive account of Jesus’ walking across the water and Peter’s response to it. I am finding this recent, sustained immersion in Matthew’s narrative very interesting. We have often noted how Matthew’s accounts are more compressed than the other … Continue Reading

How to lead all-age Communion

There were some very interesting responses posted, on the blog and on social media, in response to the case I made in the previous post that we can do all-age worship well, that it is important to do so, and offering guidelines to make it work. But there was one particular response from those living … Continue Reading

Can we do all-age worship well?

There was a time, a few years ago, where there seemed to be a significant movement arguing for good, engaged all-age worship as an important part of our ministry to and with children. As I visit different churches, usually as a visiting preacher, it seems to me that movement has died away. It might be … Continue Reading

Where can worship leaders find wisdom for their leading?

John Leach writes: The role of the ‘worship leader’ and the ‘worship band’ are relatively new on the church scene, coming into mainstream denominations with the rise of charismatic renewal from the 1960s. Before that a worship leader, at least in Anglican circles, was the minister (often but not exclusively ordained) who led the congregation … Continue Reading

Why does Notre Dame matter?

Isabelle Hamley writes: Growing up in France, I never really thought of Notre-Dame de Paris as the best French cathedral. Or the best example of early gothic architecture. Or even a place of deep spiritual meaning for me. It was – well, that’s it, it just, was. And so I wasn’t really prepared for the … Continue Reading

How often should we be fasting?

As we being the season of Lent, traditionally a period of discipline and denial, the subject of fasting naturally comes up. But before we think about fasting for ourselves, we need to ask: How often did Jesus and the first generation of his followers fast? Was it an occasional thing, focused on specific events or … Continue Reading

Preaching on Genesis 2 and Revelation 4

For those using the Revised Common Lectionary, the readings are Genesis 2.4b-9,15-25, Revelation 4 and Luke 8.22-25. The gospel reading is very short, and is set alongside two other significant readings that it might be odd to by-pass. I therefore share two reflections I have written on Genesis 2, and two on Revelation 4. The comments on Genesis … Continue Reading

Does the Spirit need liturgy?

At the second Festival of Theology last week, the first talk was given by Graham Hunter, Vicar of St John’s Hoxton in London. This is what he said. Introduction – Trellis & Vine I spent the second half of August this year with my wife and children in a Provencal Mas – a converted farmhouse … Continue Reading

How can we be distinctive disciples?

The churches in the West face a major challenge of culture and discipleship. The radical changes in culture over the last 30 years or so appear to have taken society further from the values of the gospel, and despite all our efforts, both members and leaders of our churches appear to being formed deeply by … Continue Reading