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Showing posts from October, 2010

Unofficial Redistribution..

The cuts are upon us. As a church leader in an area where 86% of people receive benefits I feel a bit stuck. This community, which is I think 80%+ social housing, will have budgets cut around it. There may be a little bit more money for the school but only if it buys into the idea that poor people are not capable of looking after their children (extra nursery hours).. or that everyone wants the upper middle class work an family set up.

In my church I am aware that a quarter of my folk could face their benefits (incapacity) disappear even though they are not fit to work.

This will be tough.

But I'm not going to just moan and complain.. I'm hoping that we can do something about it.

Yes, I will follow the long tradition of Christian socialism and will campaign and be civilly disobedient if necessary.

But I will also subvert, and I will ask the church to be involved.

So people I am asking you to consider unofficial redistribution. Remembering this gospel is about the other, I ask …

curveballs, cries and justice..

Life just throws curveballs sometimes. I really could use life slowing down just for a few days- to get to a point of semi closure before some annual leave. But life is not like that. Its certainly not like it for the people I have the privilege of serving.

For those folk life throws curveballs. Tragic death; insane stories of ill health, money issues. Life might even start with some curveballs. Only 17% of children in the primary school here arrive having reached national average development levels.

I'm learning that being in this setting is a huge challenge. I want to fix, to make better.. and yet I often feel so overwhelmed that in my best moments I turn and fall into the arms of a merciful God. More and more I am aware that if I have any priestly representative function here it is, on behalf of the church, to hold this place before God.

Before this God who the gospel tells me hears our cries for justice and acts. This week's readings are about the persistent widow. …