Cool Choirs, Clappy Choruses, Cringy Coffee: Religion Chat Thread No 5

(1000 Posts)
madhairday Sun 09-Sep-12 16:16:19

I thought seeing as our other thread has gone somewhere into the oblivion that is old MN pages, I would start us up again anew for a new term. This is a place for those who are Christians (and anyone who's not, we're not an exclusive little club) grin to chat about life, theology, church, any other stuff and of course Graham Kendrick, as nickel would not forgive me if I forgot to mention him grin

So all welcome, old and new, it would be fun to chat and chew over anything that comes to mind. Lurkers say hello!

Anyone got a nice juicy topic to get the ball rolling then? Or if not come say hi anyway and tell us how you are doing. smile

Tuo Sun 09-Sep-12 20:50:29

Thanks for the new thread, MHD.

Following on from the prayer thread, here's a video for you of 'There's a wideness in God's mercy'. I couldn't find one with the lyrics, but you can read them here. Enjoy!

newlark Sun 09-Sep-12 20:51:21

Hello smile - I'll come and join a shiny new thread - I had lost the old one... Can't wait for all our term time groups at church to restart - the summer holidays seem like a bit of a spiritual desert. Two different bible study groups restarting this week - some old testament reading to do...

niminypiminy Sun 09-Sep-12 20:57:41

Hello MHD (and anyone else reading and/or posting)!

Does anyone else here lead a Sunday school which has their children in it? Mine came back to church this week after spending their summer Sunday mornings at cricket lessons, and DS1 (who has Asperger syndrome) staged a major meltdown and started ripping the pictures off the walls... I finally managed to get him out of the room and calmed down with the aid of biscuits. I can't decide if this is the AS or having to share me, or a bit of both? And if your kids act up when you are trying to run a SS session, what do you do? Any thoughts gratefully appreciated! I was so drained by today I had to go have a sleep this afternoon.

And tomorrow I have an appointment with the new DDO. I'm really nervous, and between that and this afternoon's nap I predict a sleepless night.

SESthebrave Sun 09-Sep-12 20:59:26

Hello! I'll pop my head around these parts again! Hope to be able to join in and journey with you all a bit more again smile

New thread! Yay!
Nimi didn't know you're in the discernment process too!
I had a chat with my DDO today, as he was covering the service at church today.
I had sent him an email 2 weeks ago saying I was slightly worried about the progress, as ideally I would like to start studying next September when my contract finishes here. Anyway it's all in God's hands, isn't it?
I did book to go to Cuddesdon Open Day in October, being 8 months pregnant wink

cloutiedumpling Mon 10-Sep-12 09:19:41

Hi everyone. Haven't managed to get to church much over the last few weeks so is good to "meet up" with you all here.

madhairday Mon 10-Sep-12 09:30:21

TUO, that is beautiful and beautiful lyrics too. I know it's not usually 'my' kind of music wink but it's brought tears to my eyes this morning. Such awesome truths, thankyou smile

Niminy, is there any possibility of you leading a different age group, swapping with someone? I have taught Sunday school with my dcs in it and always find it more difficult than without, as they play me up!! I could control 30 reception kids no problem but two of my own and I'm climbing walls at times! When my dc did act up during a session I was firm with them but then had a talk afterwards and gave a consequence etc. But it was never ideal. Or do you need to be in with him anyway due to the AS? Must be difficult to be teaching and coping with this too, I'm sure some of the others have some there someone who could support in the lesson, a sort of one to one that may help him?

How far are you along with the DDO? Exciting stuff!

Blue, wow visiting theological college at 8m pg - crazy lady grin

Hello cloutie, SES, newlark - great to see you.

I've been thinking about how we as a church here on a rich estate can follow Jesus in action as well as word, in getting involved with the poor and the sick. I think God has been speaking to me again and again about this as both sermons yesterday were on the subject, stuff with the paralympics and it just keeps coming up. I'm wondering what we should be doing, more than simply giving money, which is good but hardly getting hands dirty. With poverty on the rise, maybe it is time to look into helping at food banks. I would like to start a group for disabled people but not sure about how to go about it. Pondering...

gingercurl Mon 10-Sep-12 11:58:27


thanksamillion Mon 10-Sep-12 14:32:48

Ooooh hello everyone. I haven't been around much lately as we're on our road trip of the UK! I can't remember if I updated you all, but when we go back to Moldova in November we'll be moving to another village which is even more remote, and which doesn't have a church at the moment hmm grin

MaryBS Mon 10-Sep-12 15:06:47

<waves at everyone>

Niminy, are you on a certain Christian unrest website? It would be too much of a coincidence if you weren't, I go by a different name on there... have posted on your thread smile

My son has AS, and he plays his father up when he is in the pews and I am "up front" (I'm a lay reader). Having said that, it takes a while to get settled back in anywhere after the summer break, so I guess that doesn't help either. If he's had you to his self all summer, he might find it hard to see you back in that role again.

ballroompink Mon 10-Sep-12 15:33:31

Hi everyone - I haven't posted on these threads before but am delurking to try to get some perspective on things. Anyone want to share experiences of feeling disconnected from church after having children?

I had my first DC earlier this year. Due to being pregnant, I stopped serving at church last Christmas. It's hard to feel connected or involved during services with a baby that needs feeding, changing etc etc. I find that thanks to all this I feel less connected at church and almost invisible. I attend a large evangelical church where a lot of people are very involved in church life, serving, ministries, etc, and being 'on the edge' of it all is hard. I feel like I can't 'give' anything to the church and as if I'm not 'getting' anything from it either (including the teaching). Giving birth hasn't changed my faith in God, but it has changed my relationship with church sad

BitchyHen Mon 10-Sep-12 16:27:34

Hi everyone can I join in? I've been lurking a while.

Ballroom - I felt much the same as you when my dc were small. One thing that helped me was getting together with two other mums from church who had small children. We met together every week or two while the children played we chatted and prayed together. If I was having a tough time I knew I could ring either of them to share and I would have someone else praying for me. Are there any other mums at your church who you could meet with?

SESthebrave Mon 10-Sep-12 16:30:15

Hello all!
Welcome Ballroompink! Am I right in remembering you from May 2012 thread? I had DD in June (she was late!) and also have 3yo DS and I'm finding it very difficult to feel involved in the worship on a Sunday whilst feeding and occupying DS. I keep trying to tell myself that by being there, I am partaking in the community, sharing my faith with my DC and trying to open myself to God's love, grace and sacraments even if I can't consciously do that very much!

Millie - hope you're enjoying your UK roadtrip. Your new challenge back in Moldova come November will be in my prayers. Amazing work that you do.

Hello TUO, newlark, Cloutie, MHD, Mary, Ginger, Niminy too.

SESthebrave Mon 10-Sep-12 16:33:37

Hello BitchyHen - sorry x-posted with you! That sounds a wonderful idea and experience with other mums. I know quite a few people at church but not really well and not many with young children but I will bear in mind if I'm chatting with others.
It reminds me that I'd been contemplating starting an ecumenical prayer group and that may be one way to go with it - starting off with mums. I used to be Anglican and am now RC and still have links with my Anglican friends and am keen to further the ecumenical cause!
Ballroompink - whereabouts in the country are you? Don't suppose you're near the SE?!

ballroompink Mon 10-Sep-12 16:39:54

BitchyHen, yes I know one woman whose DS is a week younger than my DS. Unfortunately don't know anyone else with young DCs - before having DS was very much involved in the 'young adults' side of church where very few people are parents. I should get in contact with this woman , i know!

Yes that's right SES smile I have tried to get into that mindset but what with being so tired as well, I'm finding it so hard to muster any enthusiasm for Sunday mornings. I want to do more in terms of prayer and reading at home but that's also hard! I think at present I would benefit from quieter and more contemplative spiritual practices.

Glad to know that other people have been/are going through the same thing.

niminypiminy Mon 10-Sep-12 17:47:03

Hi MaryBS' yes I am on that other place - too unimaginative to think of another nickname. Good to see someone else in both places!

I think DS1's troubles at church may be one of those things that have to be managed as best they can - I don' think there's a magic answer. But from now on we will have two of us running each session of SS and we're going to adopt a very predictable format, which will help. And I will bring snacks for everyone, because food is often a good way of calming him down. (most reliably frozen peas and fish fingers - I mean still frozen! - but I don't think that will work for anyone else! Goodness knows what will happen if the vocation stuff works out ... but that bridge is still a long way off.

Blue I've been in the discernment process for 15 months now, and it's all been massively slowed down (of cours normally it works at the speed of light wink) because the DDO left last January and the new one has only just started. Now she has a huge backlog to work through. I'd love to have it sorted so that I know what I'm doing by next summer, but we'll see.

MHD maybe we should have a church twinning system. We have loads of poverty, and feel our small numbers overwhelmed by the needs around us.

Which diocese are you in then niminy ?

ballroompink Mon 10-Sep-12 19:26:11

SES I'm in East Anglia!

niminypiminy Mon 10-Sep-12 19:31:10

Ely - where are you?

Lichfield, my MIL's sending diocese was Ely.

madhairday Tue 11-Sep-12 09:31:48

Morning all and welcome to ballroompink and bitchyhen, great to have newbies on the thread. smile The small children and church issue is one that has affected or is affecting most of us at one stage or other, and it is so hard to go through, mine are older now but I still remember clearly how it felt. I always recommend this book which I found in the midst of having a baby and toddler, being ill and not feeling connected in church or with God: Barefoot in the Kitchen - would strongly recommend it, it is very reassuring and helpful smile

You know niminy church twinning is a great idea and one I've thought for ages should happen. Some huge rich churches don't do anything to help their small neighbours on poor estates (some very much do though) and it would be good to spread the load. When we get church going here, we will give this some serious thought.

Will you be thinking of going off to theological college or training where you are? It's all exciting stuff.

Hello Milly - have been wondering how your tour is going and if you were back. Wow at moving to a more remote village - you guys are amazing. So are you planning to start a new church there? We can swap ideas!! Or partner up, our two situations could not be more different but I bet have so many similarities...

Waves to Mary and ginger and everyone else - nice to have this thread going again. Anyone seen nickel around?

SESthebrave Tue 11-Sep-12 09:47:41

Thanks MHD, I'll have a look at that link smile

I'm in Surrey, between Gatwick, Croydon and Reigate. Our parish is spread across 3 churches. 2 of them in pretty affluent areas and the third in a community that is a lot poorer. I'm sure we could do more to help and witness in that community.

DutchOma Tue 11-Sep-12 10:16:35

Nickel had a visit from the Gruffalo

niminypiminy Tue 11-Sep-12 11:35:46

Blue is your MiL still in Ely? Anyway, the new DDO seems incredibly efficient so maybe the glacier will move a little faster. I live in a city with two theological colleges in it so I'm hoping to train at one of them. But it just seems to uncertain at the moment to make those kind of plans. Blue you must be further along in the process - do you have a date for a BAP?

Niminy MIL is now curate in a team benefice south of Cambridge smile

No, not at all further along in the process! I haven't even had conversations with the DDO yet... So a date for a BAP is not on the cards yet sad
Wish I was...
Would love to have some more certainty and clarity about the future, I know it it all in God's hands, but still with DD1 and soon DD3, and DD1 starting Reception next September it would be good to know where we will be...

DO I hope the Gruffalo didn't eat her wink

niminypiminy Tue 11-Sep-12 12:32:12

Blue I know, sometimes it's so frustrating to not be able to plan for the future. I keep turning over timescales in my head ('if I train f/t, if I start next year/will we be moving just as DS1 starts secondary, eek, eek' etc) repetitively. I know that I just have to trust to the process, and stay with the uncertainty and doubt, and that God has the whole thing in his hand. But but but... In the meantime I hope you get to see the DDO soon -- that's really helped me to feel that something is happening. (Although since they can't really give you any encouragement in the early stages it's still somewhat perplexing. A friend of mine says 'you just have to say to yourself, 'they haven't told me not to come back yet').

madhairday Tue 11-Sep-12 13:03:35

It is a long old process and can be frustrating, but yes it's important to trust in the process. dh didn't get through his first bap and that was a really low time but looking back we see God's hand totally on it all as regards timing etc and where we ended up. You never know what God's up to wink

DutchOma Tue 11-Sep-12 13:24:19

No, I think the Gruffalo left and Nickel was still intact.

BAP? that's a bread roll isn't it? smile

MaryBS Tue 11-Sep-12 16:19:39

Its like wading through dough, thats why DO grin. Stands for Bishops Advisory Panel

Tuo Tue 11-Sep-12 21:07:52

The last couple of days at work have felt a bit like having been visited by a gruffalo. Repeatedly. It's no wonder I was convinced it was Wednesday by the end of today. The final straw was being blocked into my parking space by a police van, of all things.

So glad you liked that hymn MHD. I'll have you trading your tambourine for a thurible yet! wink

Niminy and Blue - I have no idea what it's like for you really, but can sympathise from when I applied for a job elsewhere earlier in the year, and spent a couple of months living with that uncertainty of not knowing where we'd be living by the new academic year... However hard you try and tell yourself that it's in God's hands and 'what will be, will be' (etc. etc.), it's so hard not to think yourself into the 'What if...' scenarios.

MHD - I've been thinking about your situation, and thinking that one group of people who really need help and support, even in quite affluent communities, is carers, who may find it hard to get out of the house, be lonely, need help with shopping, form-filling, all kinds of things really. Another group which is often catered for very badly (though also 'hard to reach', often) in the kinds of communities that you've described (if I'm imagining it correctly it's very like somewhere I lived - and was horribly depressed - for a while) are teens, though it's hard to think what you could do with/for that group without premises/facilities. I'll keep thinking anyway.

Tuo Tue 11-Sep-12 21:08:38

Correction: ... like being visited by a gruffalo while wading through dough!

MaryBS Wed 12-Sep-12 07:59:30

A gruffalo, what's a gruffalo? wink

madhairday Wed 12-Sep-12 08:39:50

A gruffalo? Why, didn't you know? He has knobbly knees and turned out toes and a poisonous wart on the end of his nose! grin

TUO - nah, never thuribles <such a good word that, thurible. Thurible> grin - incense doesn't like my chest. Or t'other way round. Oh and I don't do tambourines either, too 70's grin Thanks for the ideas and thinking about it. I'm very much thinking along those lines too, re carers - I am going to speak to my COPD nurse about it next week, see if she knows of any groups and if not to ask advice about starting one somewhere. It's the premises that's a real difficulty...

Tuo Wed 12-Sep-12 10:05:20

'Thurible' is a fabby word, isn't it. DD2 has informed me that when she grows up she wants to be 'a thurifer with a thurible'!

I used not to like incense at all, and grew up in a very low (trad, but low) church which I'm fairly certain had incense filed under 'papist nonsense'. But two years down the cathedral-attending line, I find it growing on me. Mostly I like the pretty patterns the smoke makes with the dust and light. But I can see it's not good for anyone with lung issues. sad

Good luck with the COPD nurse. Re. premises, are there schools in your area, or are they more in the main town? At DD1's (non-church-affiliated) secondary school there's a Christian group which runs a sort of after-school youth club...

Back to work...!

Tuo Wed 12-Sep-12 10:06:09

(That last instruction was to myself, btw. The rest of you carry on as you were. wink)

MaryBS Wed 12-Sep-12 10:48:55

I love incense, I'll quite happily inhale it putting my head over the thurible for maximum impact. I end up stinking of the stuff! grin

Did I ever tell you all about the time our vicar got a phone call to say the church was on fire? I'd overdone it with the incense at morning prayer (I was quite new to the quantities and I was on my own for prayer) and the church was full of "smoke"! He went charging down the church and found out it was OK, and teased me about it - thought it was really funny, thankfully!

niminypiminy Wed 12-Sep-12 11:03:03

I like incense too. One week a month our (sadly incense free) church building is used by a Syrian Orthodox church. You can always tell when they've been in because the lingering smell of the incense (not to mention candle wax on the carpet - candles another thing we don't have enough of sad) is wonderful and evocative.

Ok, must go off to work... <gives self a good shake>

gingercurl Wed 12-Sep-12 11:54:29

I don't like incense. The stuff makes me sneeze, cough and wheeze, my eyes stream and, if it's really bad, I get a stinking headache.

Another one who needs to get on with work!

cloutiedumpling Wed 12-Sep-12 11:55:44

Incense - don't tend to come across that up here. Would love to try it though. Does it set off your eyes like hayfever does?

madhairday Wed 12-Sep-12 12:08:24

I love the thought of incense, all the 'prayers rising up as incense' thing and the aesthetic nature of it, but the stuff in reality makes my chest sieze right up. In fact, ironically, I went along to a healing service where there would be prayer for healing for people, all open to the idea of being prayed for in a more catholic type of way, and I took one step in, couldn't breathe, and had to leave sad Disability access issues in that one....but it's so hard, because so many people find it helpful. I don't know...

Mary, lol at you getting happy with the smoke!!

Back to work for me too....had quite a productive morning here, things really starting to happen and getting mission strategies in place etc. smile Must get back to my book now.

niminypiminy Wed 12-Sep-12 14:18:41

Actually, as an asthmatic, I probably love the lingering smell of incense more than the smoke.

<pokes self with big stick, vowing never to look at mn in work time ever again>

Tuo Wed 12-Sep-12 14:56:10

DD2 likes to count how many spoonsful of incense are used in the course of a service (when she's 'boating') and to report back.

I think her record is 14!

MaryBS Wed 12-Sep-12 16:39:14

I went to a mediaeval service re-enactment once, where they used lots of incense. That is the only time where I've smelled a church, before I saw it! grin I kid you not!!!

SESthebrave Wed 12-Sep-12 20:50:45

I've come to love the incense and particularly the moment the altar is incensed. We often sing "Lord may our prayer rise like incense in your sight , may this place be filled with the fragrance of Christ" at that point which is set to a beautiful soft tune.

Tuo Wed 12-Sep-12 21:50:42

Mary... I loooove that 'church on fire' story. DD2 would adore you!

MHD - that's really interesting to think of it as a disability access issue. I hadn't thought of it like that, but it's obviously a serious issue. I guess that normally someone who had a problem with incense in our place would be able to get away with sitting further back and not near the aisles where the procession passes and they'd be OK. But at the moment, with the nave closed and everyone 'camping out' in the quire, it's pretty hard to avoid.

Niminy - have you ever been to an Orthodox service? I haven't, but I visited a Serbian Orthodox church in Trieste once and it was probably one of the most 'atmospheric' places I've ever been to. Despite the fact that I was still an agnostic back then, it was easy to feel that God was very close there.

Sharksandfishes Wed 12-Sep-12 22:03:55

Hi, can I join?
I live envyn Sydney and became a Christian since moving here two years ago (DH was a couple of months behind me grin)
We go to an Anglican church but because we live in a surfy young area, it's pretty evangelical. Lots of Hillsong music!

Sharksandfishes Wed 12-Sep-12 22:04:43

Don't know what the random envy was, sorry!

Tuo Wed 12-Sep-12 22:14:25

LOL! That's the rest of us going envy at you living in Sydney, I should imagine! Welcome to the thread!

niminypiminy Wed 12-Sep-12 22:17:28

I haven't - but I really want to go. Maybe I should go to the Syrian Orthodox service in our church, but it's hard to imagine in what is essentially a 1960s church hall with folding doors at the end to enclose the altar. Not dactyl Hagia Sophia (not that that's a church anymore). OK I'll find out when they're next in and go, and report back!

niminypiminy Wed 12-Sep-12 22:20:04

Don't know why dactyl got in there confused! Hello Sharksandfishes!

madhairday Thu 13-Sep-12 09:38:26

arf at the random envy and dactyl, what's next? grin

Welcome Sharksandfishes, actually I am a bit envy of you, both for Sydney and Hillsong type church, I have a DVD of one of Hillsong worship conferences and I would love to go there one day smile

The incense one I do find difficult, because I know it's not just me who struggles, many of my friends with my same lung disease say they also avoid 'incensey' churches because they cannot cope with them, and so I think at present the issue isn't highlighted much because people just keep away/go to other churches/don't go at all (in one case I know). BUt when I hear of descriptions like SES's it makes me sad I cannot join into this, but it's just one more thing this bloody disease takes away. I don't know. I wouldn't want to ban incense because I know it aids worship for many, and yet I also know it hinders it for many. What to do? I've had the same issue with lilies in church btw - I went to a service once where they were prolific and had to leave that one too, my lungs literally seized and it was scary.

gingercurl Thu 13-Sep-12 12:16:45

It isn't just people with lung disease that have problems with incense, lilies and other strong smelling stuff. Asthmatics and people with allergies suffer as well and, for some, sitting further away helps very little. I understand that some people like incense and that it might help them in their worship but, having a sister who's had to be taken to hospital with asthma attacks caused by perfume and/or oil burners and similar, I think churches should avoid it as a rule.

madhairday Thu 13-Sep-12 12:19:38

I'm kind of with you ginger....but still torn because of how people find it so helpful. Although, you could say that about anything, and disability access means that people may have to go without something for the sake of access for others, so you may well be right. I do look back on that healing service and try to smile about it, but at the time I was actually very angry and felt very excluded by it, when I went for the very reason the service was for...hmmm.

niminypiminy Thu 13-Sep-12 17:11:36

The issue of access is a complicated one, isn't it?

My sons are both acutely sensitive to loud noise, and can't bear loud music -- DS1 who as AS finds it painful. I've talked to the Vicar and asked him to turn the music down, but he simply won't. That's an access problem too. We could never go to a big worship event with a band. But on the other hand, some people love to be overwhelmed by amplified sound and it helps them worship.

Perhaps these issues could be seen as a good (if unintended) justification for different worship styles.

Tuo Thu 13-Sep-12 23:47:32

I read your posts earlier today at work MHD and gingercurl, but didn't have time to reply. Have been thinking about it since and I agree totally that it's an access issue. In the case of the healing service you attended, I think it was inappropriate, since it was entirely likely that someone there would have a lung disease, asthma or something else that could be exacerbated by the incense. I don't know what to think about churches like mine where it's used routinely in services (for the main Sunday services, at least... don't think it's used at the 8 a.m., and I went once to a midweek lunchtime Eucharist that was smoke-free). As you say, it would be a shame to eliminate it entirely, and yet, it's clearly a problem for some people. As with so many things, knowledge is the key, isn't it? So I reckon we should have a 'health warning' wink 'Warning: This service may contain incense', just so people know. (DD1 is allergic to cats, and she went off to a sleepover last weekend, and it was only when we got there that we discovered that they had cats. Had we known I'd have dosed her with Piriton before she went, but I hadn't thought to ask and they hadn't mentioned it... Now, I do know that you can't just get round the problem with Piriton, MHD, but I was just thinking that the key thing is to know in advance what you're getting into.)

Actually, at a bit of a tangent, I am finding it interesting what is considered 'essential' versus 'optional'. As I said, I grew up attending a low, but quite traditional church, and we always had a crucifer, but never acolytes and definitely no incense. Now, at the more informal (Common Worship) family service, we have acolytes, thurifer and boat-bearer but no crucifer, and the more formal (BCP) service has all of the above plus a crucifer. I'm intrigued by the implied hierarcy of these elements.

Niminy... yes... at least the CofE does cater for all tastes!

Any one have any good ideas to do prayers/intercessions. I'm leading the service on Sunday, we're doing Holy Cross (which is today) but as it is our Parish church name, we're having a family service this Sunday with our music group.
Instead of someone leading the prayers, I would like the whole congregation to participate... Was thinking something like sticking post-it notes on the cross, but if any one has a better idea, please do tell me wink

niminypiminy Fri 14-Sep-12 10:35:00

I know this sounds tacky, but one thing I have used is to cut out hearts and tear shapes and hand them out. People can write their prayers on them if they like, or simply hold the heart and or tear and say their prayer silently. People then came and stuck them on the window (in our case) but it would work very well to stick them on the cross. So it's a variation on the post-its really.

niminypiminy Fri 14-Sep-12 13:30:19

or you could have a big bowl of sand at the foot of the cross, and people could come and light a candle and put it in the bowl of sand (would probably only work if there weren't very many people there)

nickelcognito Fri 14-Sep-12 13:53:41

i only just heard of this one - I love the title!

thank you for tweeting me grin

nickelcognito Fri 14-Sep-12 13:53:57

and welcome to newbies.

i'll now read the thread....

MaryBS Fri 14-Sep-12 14:03:37

Bluetinkerbell, I've got a meditation/poem written by a friend of my brother, called "rocks and stones and pebbles", and what i've done is provide rocks and stones and pebbles, and what you do is take one or several, large or small, signifying something you want to give up to God. So it might be a large rock, or a handful of pebbles. I can PM you the poem? Not sure its really mine to share...

MaryBS Fri 14-Sep-12 14:03:59

and you leave your rocks or stones or pebbles at the foot of the cross

nickelcognito Fri 14-Sep-12 14:09:04

we're back at choir after the hols.

might have a few problems with JC1 this year - he hasn't been to practice yet, (okay only 1 so far), and his mum tells me that he might not be coming to practice until May! because he has been given a part in a play and they rehearse on bogging friday evening! he doesn't know this yet because it hasn't started.

also, there might be a chance that he's got a form of dyslexia, so we're waiting for a referral.

did pronunciation with JC2 on friday. as a typical swale estuary kid, he can't do ththththththth, and it's quite hard teaching 10yo how to speak differently!

nickelcognito Fri 14-Sep-12 14:17:14

oh ballroom i'm sorry you feel that about being involved in services.
it is harder, granted, but DD has been in the choir for all her 9 months.

she's always decided she needs a feed just before communion, which is a pest, but she's recently (in the past month) been fobb-offable with water until the end (or as close as poss!)

I've found if I get up a little bit earlier and feed her before we leave, she lasts longer.
also, a couple of the ladies in the congregation have started taking her off me during communion, and she doesn't feel hungry when she's being entertained by someone who hasn't got milk!

the changing is rather hit-and-miss, but we are normally okay ignoring it until she's uncomfortable. smile

it does get easier

nickelcognito Fri 14-Sep-12 14:17:32

Mary ! shock


nickelcognito Fri 14-Sep-12 14:18:37

that stones thing, we did it once on Good Friday - we had abig wooden cross, andthe vicar put down a massive pile of stones. and you had to put stones on the cross. it was very moving.

nickelcognito Fri 14-Sep-12 14:26:13

ooh, yes, Gruffalo day was fabulously fabulous!

welcome to newbies now I've read their posts grin

incense - i love love love it, but I wouldn't dream of hoping to insist on it because I know so many people have chest problems and breathing difficulties etc that would make church a very unwelcoming place.
I think they should have incense-flavoured wax/furniture polish, so that churches can smell of incense without the danger factor! grin

nickelcognito Fri 14-Sep-12 14:27:06

maybe a video of incense burning?

MaryBS Fri 14-Sep-12 15:04:20

Its nearly there nickel blush

Neales Yard do some amazing frankincense face cream, that sort of smells like incense.

SESthebrave Fri 14-Sep-12 15:45:27

Having a quick lurk whilst feeding DD but wanted to say hello Nickel <waves>
Love the idea of incense furniture polish and incense cream smile

Bluebell - like all the prayer suggestions and we've used stones/pebbles before but I also really like the heart/tear shape idea.

mary please do pm the poem! very interested!

MaryBS Fri 14-Sep-12 21:13:21

OK Bluetinkerbell, sent it smile

lovely thanks smile
might not use it this Sunday, but will definetely keep it for another occasion

madhairday Sat 15-Sep-12 09:37:02

Hello nickel, glad you found it! smile

Incense polish - now there's a thought, good video idea too, though not quite the same I'll admit...

Blue, lots of good ideas there, we have done similar with the post its/hearts etc, we also did folded up paper at the foot of the cross.

Got to go and make dd's birthday cake, she is 12 tomorrow, no way!!

nickelcognito Sat 15-Sep-12 11:11:58

how weird is that! Baroque's eldest is also 12 tomorrow!

madhairday Sat 15-Sep-12 13:10:43

Yes nickel I remember from last year them sharing a birthday, bizarre!

nickelcognito Sat 15-Sep-12 13:27:51


MaryBS Mon 17-Sep-12 08:08:40

Wow, and it happens every year, what a coincidence THAT is grin grin grin

DS will be 11 this Saturday! Eeek!

madhairday Mon 17-Sep-12 09:44:05


Morning all.

DutchOma Mon 17-Sep-12 10:23:57

You are too young to become 'sarcastic in your old age' Mary

nickelcognito Mon 17-Sep-12 11:30:29

Mary, down. [stern]


(disclaimer: i didn't remember it from last year.)

I had a lovely weekend - got on the train to Nottingham Saturday evening, spent the night at my parents', then off to st martin's in the morning to watch my surrogate nephew being baptised.
it was lovely.
just DD and I went - DH couldn't book the time when I had to buy the ticket (cheaper train fare in advance) because Asst Organist was out of action with a bad back at the time of booking. As it happened, he was all better in time for the weekend, but DH couldn't risk it.
Shame, Friend mentioned it would have been nice to force him to play!

St Martin's has gone very very very HC now - the new "organist" (Music Director) does not like the organ, and prefers the keyboards and bands and stuff.
he's got a 4-lady-with-microphone-each-why-it-sounds-bloody-awful singing group, and he stands fiddling around with the keyboard.
he did play 2 things on the organ, but according to friend, he plays as little as possible on the organ: thus creating this chain of events:
organ isn't used much
organ starts to sound rough
music man says that organ is rough so he can't use it
organ doesn't get tuned because it's not used
back to beginning and start again.

Friend reckons it's his very sneaky way of making sure the organ is closed down permanently, because the church can say that they can't afford to sort the organ out.

It's so horrid that this happens in so many churches these days.
mainly because so many pianists are scared of organs!!

MaryBS Mon 17-Sep-12 12:02:58

<Whistles innocently>Aspies don't understand sarcasm, I don't know WHAT you mean, DO wink

SESthebrave Mon 17-Sep-12 12:16:57

Morning all!

Nickel - I read your "HC" initially as "High Church" and thought it most odd that it had led to keyboards, microphones and singing group. Then realised it was "Happy Clappy" grin
It is sad about organs not being used. Ours normally gets used for 2 of our Sunday services and in our family / HC service it sometimes gets used if we have a suitable final hymn.

Blue - how did this weekend go?

Happy birthday to all the DC celebrating. I can't keep track of all DH's nieces and nephews nevermind MN birthdays!

nickelcognito Mon 17-Sep-12 12:19:27


I think it's important that there is the option - it means that you can continue with recitals, visiting organists/musicians etc.

they had an organ recital that same afternoon - proving how important it is that the organ is kept well.

MaryBS Mon 17-Sep-12 12:37:16

I thought it meant High Church too blush

nickelcognito Mon 17-Sep-12 13:15:15

In my mind, High Church is the default and HC means happy-clappy!


madhairday Mon 17-Sep-12 13:24:07

Hahahaha at '4-lady-with-microphone-each-why-it-sounds-bloody-awful singing group' grin [snigger] - I do actually know what you mean looking at you, church I go to and it's too much - better to have two voices and more instruments although happy if organ left unused grin

SES I went really well! One of the ladies on the pastoral panel went to our lay reader and said that what we had done for the prayers (with post-its) was exactly what they wanted to happen more in church grin

I did sing an octave too low in one of the hymns that I was singing solo in <grmbl> but all in all it was a very nice service! Next one up is Harvest wink

What we have noticed is that with different priest coming in every Sunday we do need to give them really clear instructions of what to do and say, as not all of them know what to say at certain times. The one yesterday didn't welcome people and just went into what I had written down in the booklet.

Can you tell me how baptisms are done in your parish? Now that our priest has left we noticed that he had stripped down the out of Eucharist baptism service to the bare minimum and we had feedback from people that they felt (god)parents weren't very involved in the service.
So a few questions:
Can people choose their own Bible readings? If yes, have you got set ones they can choose from or just any?
Can they use non-Biblical readings, like a poem?
Do you have hymns/music?

What do you do for baptism preparation? And afterwards? Are people being invited back to a service?

Just trying to get some ideas together to see how we can move this forwards in the parish (and practising for later on wink)

nickelcognito Mon 17-Sep-12 15:00:30

i don't mind 4 women if the microphone is placed equi-distant from all of them. why do they have one each?
the choir never needed that.

we have a printed order of service that has a couple of optional variations throughout, and handwritten on the priest's one are little bits here and there where it is made very clear we sing this or that, or do the traditional lord's prayer etc.

our baptisms are done by happyclappy old priest, and they're hideous. he still puts in the creed, even though it's in the baptism, and a whole sermon, where he mumbles then shouts randomly, and it's a full-length service with extras. no wonder they never come back hmm
baptism families are allowed to choose a hymn, and if they know what they're doing (ie if they're a church-already family) they can have more input.

they're always on the 4th sunday of the month, so DH always chooses well-known or baptism hymns.

nickelcognito Mon 17-Sep-12 15:02:34

a church warden and youth representative meet with parents - and show a video at their home.
they are encouraged to come to at least a few services before the big event, and they are always conducted in a sunday service unless there's a bloody good reason why not.

nickel I like your 'bloody good reason why not' here they are given the option of during the service or at 12.15pm... most go for the last one hmm

nickelcognito Mon 17-Sep-12 15:26:33

the way we view it is they're being welcomed into the family of the church - it makes no sense why they wouldn't want the family of the church to be there and support.

I know smile and I agree!

nickelcognito Mon 17-Sep-12 15:40:37

although my little sis is painfully shy and chose hers as a private one.

(not relating this to any observation that they all went/go to a cofe primary school but never go to church...)

niminypiminy Mon 17-Sep-12 20:18:23

<adopts shocked voice> but Nickel, how can that possibly be? grin

Tuo Mon 17-Sep-12 20:41:05

Oh bother... typed a long reply and just lost it!

Basically, as far as I can tell, if you get baptised at the cathedral where I go you get the normal Sunday morning 'family' Eucharist, with the usual hymns, readings and what-have-you. The order of service is printed on a sheet, but I assume it's Common Worship, as that's what's normally used for that service (there's a later BCP service too, but the baptisms tend to be done at the CW one). I can't tell you for sure whether it's also possible to have a 'private' baptism (the website says 'For information about baptisms [etc.], contact XXX [Canon Pastor]'), but I'm not aware of any having taken place. Mind you, it's not a local parish church, so I guess it doesn't get the 'passing trade' of those who don't attend regularly but want their child baptised because it's 'the done thing'.

DD2 was baptised in May, but obviously her experience wasn't typical, as she was confirmed at the same time, so the baptism was (I was going to say 'just', but that would be reducing it to something unimportant, which it wasn't) a prelude to the confirmation in that case, and she was part of a 'job lot' (3 girls were baptised, and then about 10 children and adults were confirmed). Also she was old enough to make her own responses and we didn't have godparents... so all a bit different.

I can't say for sure whether, in normal circs, the baptisee's family would have any input into the choice of music or readings, but I assume not. Certainly the readings have always been those set for that Sunday (OT/Epistle plus Gospel) and never anything non-Biblical.

At the church we went to in the US, Baptisms were done four times a year on the feast of Christ's Baptism, Easter Vigil, Pentecost and All Saints. We were there for the last of these and members of the congregation were also invited to go to the font and renew their own baptism by taking a little water and crossing themselves. (Which created a certain amount of angst for my two girls who were not baptised and didn't know what to do...)

I realise that from the above I have made baptisms in my church sound rather joyless and 'conveyor belt' (normal service, bit of water, bish, bash, bosh and off you go...), but it's really not like that at all, and they have felt very special (not just DD's, which was obviously special, but all those I've been present at) and definitely joyful and welcoming. I guess it's just not in the nature of the particular place where I go to move very far from the set order of service (largely sung), choir, incense and candles (see above), etc., and you probably would choose to have your child baptised there only if that's the kind of thing you were after.

SESthebrave Mon 17-Sep-12 21:20:31

Baptisms in our church are usually done after the main morning service and are "just" the baptism. There is enough demand that there is normally one each week and sometimes if more than one family request the same date, two done together.

Personally I would much rather they were done as part of the main family service and if you particularly want that, it can be requested.
The Deacon / Priest normally have their own set readings and hymns but it is possible to have personal input too.

In terms of preparation, there are 2 evenings for the parents to attend to ensure that they fully understand what baptism is and what they as parents and the godparents will be taking on.

Once a year, there is a weekend when all those baptised in the preceeding 12 months are invited forwards with their parents in the main family service and prayed for and presented with a small gift, usually a crucifix.

One question I have about baptism is why so many people call it christening? Why is that term used, even by some churches when there is nothing in the Bible that refers to this term?

Sharksandfishes Mon 17-Sep-12 21:52:51

We had our Assistant Minister's daughter baptised on Sunday smile
Our baptisms are done as part of the service, whether it is the 10am or 5pm family services.

Parents (and I think godparents) who are not members of the church are expected to do our Simply Christianity course which is a 4 week course based on Luke's gospel.

We will be getting DS2 baptised soon, its weird because in the UK, when we had DS1 baptised, although we attended church, looking back I wasn't a Christian. We had the big party, all our relatives attended, etc. This time, it feels more important to get the baptism done. I'm not bothered about having a party and our relatives aren't here anyway! grin

Does anyone's church do dedications rather than baptisms? We have a choice!

niminypiminy Mon 17-Sep-12 22:13:26

Baptisms in our place are done in the main - no, only - service, which then doesn't include communion. I can only remember one in the last year sad. There are times, and thinking about baptisms this is one of them, that it feels like our church is dying sad sad

DutchOma Tue 18-Sep-12 10:14:49

We belong to a Baptist church where there are no infant baptisms, only adults get baptised by full immersion.
There are infant dedications, all of which are done in the main service.
When our grandaughter was baptised it was done in a CofE church in a separate service. They chose the hymns and the readings. It was a beautiful service and nobody seemed to mind that neither parent or at least one of the godparents were baptised themselves.

nickelcognito Tue 18-Sep-12 12:01:47

the christening name comes from when it (usually in RC) was used as a naming ceremony as well.
even now your baptism certificate can be used as proof of change of name in an infant (it can be used to change your birth certificate if you're under 1)

nickelcognito Tue 18-Sep-12 12:06:22

Sharks - i feel that baptism is for the child's life, not the parents', so i don't think it matters if the parents are christians, as long as they are going to put the children the right path. that's why it's important to have /godparents. smile

that's also why it was shameful that in the "old days" they refused to baptise a baby born out of wedlock - why punish a baby for the parents' sins? confused[

nickelcognito Tue 18-Sep-12 12:06:46

sad nimimy

cloutiedumpling Tue 18-Sep-12 12:59:25

We have christenings as part of the normal Sunday service. Minister meets with the parents a few weeks in advance to discuss what is involved. I like it that the whole congregation gets to welcome the child. I think it helps to make the babies more a part of the church community, rather than a noisy incovenience.

madhairday Tue 18-Sep-12 14:35:46

In the church we go to at present, baptisms take place in our all age service which is once a month, and there are often <usually in fact> baptisms. We have a proper baptismal pool thingy in the floor which is cool, the vicar gets in and either dunks the person or more regularly holds the baby and scoops the water from the pool. Funny when it's a toddler who just wants to paddle grin

I'm not sure what they do about baptism prep or inviting back, but a lot seem to come and get done and never get seen again sad

They don't get much input in songs etc which I think is a shame. When our church is set up <in my ideal anyway> grin people will have input in the service, have to do a baptsim prep course, get invited back lots to stuff and generally feel welcomed into the church family. IN his curacy dh would send a card every year to those families he'd baptised babies in, just to say hello and celebrating the anniversary, and would put in any flyers or stuff about upcoming events/services etc, a few poeple came back that way.

I agree that baptisms out of service are a shame and not in the spirit of it at all.

niminy sad what do you think is going on/not going on in your church? I'm so sorry to hear it feels this way.

lalabaloo Tue 18-Sep-12 16:51:24

Hi, can I join you all? I was on a Christian prayer thread a while ago but it slipped off my radar and I didn't find it again. I have a DS (4 months old) and my DH doesn't go to church.

nickeldaisical Tue 18-Sep-12 17:36:22

of course you can join! smile

welcome to the thread!

i think some of the other newbies have been saved the traditional newbie inquisition questions, but here they are:

happy clappy or traditional?
choir or singing group?
organ or keyboards/bands?
hymn books or screens?
and the important one: do you like Graham Kendrick?

lalabaloo Tue 18-Sep-12 18:39:46

Thanks smile
More happy clappy than traditional, singers and band, screens and yes (had Shine Jesus Shine at our wedding)

<sits back and prays I've given the right answers>

MaryBS Tue 18-Sep-12 19:56:12

<yay, another GK fan grin>

Tuo Tue 18-Sep-12 20:03:02

Nickel... Are you keeping a spreadsheet? wink Welcome lalabaloo. There are no wrong answers... only a wonderful variety of ways of getting it right!

OK. I know I am going to sound really ignorant here (no change there!) but I have to ask this. Having only ever witnessed the 'hold baby at arm's length and dab with water' kind of baptism, if you're doing the full immersion kind... what do people wear?

MHD - I love your dh's post-baptism follow-up. That's how it should be, isn't it?

Niminy - It struck me when DD was baptised that there were three of them going forward for confirmation who hadn't been baptised, and I wondered (fairly idly) then whether there was a bit of a move away from infant baptism and more of a tendency to wait till they could decide for themselves? Are there people in your church coming for baptism later, having not been done as babies? Or is it really no-one? I must admit we don't get loads (a couple of infant baptisms a year since I've been going), but I assumed that that was down to the 'cathedral-ness' of it, as I mentioned earlier.

madhairday Wed 19-Sep-12 08:33:22

Hello lalabaloo, welcome <snurks @ nickel with someone else on 'my' side'> grin <arf at spreadsheet> grin Seriously though, we're a group here who love variety and joshing gently at each others different worship styles - love that we're all so different and yet all in God's image smile

TUO, full immersion - I've seen a few ;) Mostly they have worn stuff like trakkie bottoms and a tshirt, and then got changed into their 'naice' outfit after the dunking, though have seen people dunked in full posh gear too which was fun. My friends three boys wore swimming trunks and got dunked in a paddling pool on our college grounds, was a fabulous moment smile

ballroompink Wed 19-Sep-12 08:51:07

sharks, we have dedications at my church, then baptism by full immersion for those who make the choice. Both are done as part of the main service, maybe four baptism services a year (often with about 20 people being baptised) and a couple of dedication services (featuring probably about 10 babies/children). I hope we have a one soon actually as am keen to have DS dedicated.

Tuo people tend to wear something lightweight and loose - shorts, t-shirt, linen-type trousers etc. Have seen plenty of guys get baptised in swimming shorts.

I will do the 'newbie' questions smile

happy clappy or traditional? Happy clappy! Was brought up Anglican though and love a good traditional service.
choir or singing group? Depends how good they are!
organ or keyboards/bands? We have a band at church (couple of electric guitars, acoustic, bass, drums, keyboards, singers, other instruments e.g. violin, saxophone as and when)
hymn books or screens? Screen, although I do enjoy hymn books thanks to my C of E years ;)
and the important one: do you like Graham Kendrick? I don't mind him. In recent years my church has gone more down the 'rock' end of worship (Hillsongs, Worship Central type stuff) so we don't sing much of his stuff any more.

madhairday Wed 19-Sep-12 09:01:41

ballroom your church sounds great, where are you? <you don't have to answer that, I'm just nosey> grin

ballroompink Wed 19-Sep-12 09:13:18

I am in Cambridgeshire smile I go to a large church that has been on television a couple of times, not sure if you've seen it or know which one I mean!

DutchOma Wed 19-Sep-12 10:06:43

TUO in our church you get the choice of wearing a white baptismal gown (with lead weights sewn into the hem so the thing doesn't float over your head) or whatever you like otherwise.

nickeldaisical Wed 19-Sep-12 10:21:58

lalabaloo - you've given the right answers to some of us, and the wrong answers to some of us wink

that's all i'm saying on the matter grin

welcome grin

the best thing about this thread is the diversity of worship styles.
(I do feel it seems to be leaning towards the modern, though... I might have to do some recruiting wink)
oh, yes, as mhd says, you will get joshing about each other's musical preferences, but it's okay, because it's all light-hearted and good fun

nickeldaisical Wed 19-Sep-12 10:27:44

DD got her head properly splashed, hanging over the font, because that's what we wanted.
Friend's baby this weekend was splashed but from a mile away from the font!
but their baptism part of the service was done better than in our church (apart from DD's baptism, of course, because we didn't want aforementioned old man priest because we wanted someone who would hold her, so we had a different visiting priest, and she did us a whole service based around the baptism (and it was the Queen's Jubilee too, so we had God Save the Queen at the end- complete with kids waving flags grin ), so it was different from a normal baptism.

nickeldaisical Wed 19-Sep-12 10:28:49

ballroom - i like your answers - they are all-encompassing and sound very diplomatic.

niminypiminy Wed 19-Sep-12 10:30:26

Hm ballroompink I am in Cambridgeshire too - I'm scratching my head to think which your church is! <also nosy>

I think the problems at our church are longstanding. It's a really, really difficult parish, and the incumbent is very demoralised (and perhaps does not have the ideal skill set for our particular needs), and there are few people around with both the time and resources to give to the church. There is no curate and the incumbent is the only clergy, and we don't even have a lay reader (partly because the incumbent hs never encouraged it). And we are in a community with ingrained deprivation and educational underachievement and low aspiration and general apathy towards community action. There's no culture of doing stuff. So it is all very difficult, and sometimes I feel, glumly, as if the diocese is just waiting for the incumbent to retire and then will close the church.

nickel I hope you are really doing that spread sheet. It could be a very important sociological document smile

MaryBS Wed 19-Sep-12 10:47:33

Ballroompink, would you happen to have a pastor called Dave? smile Am also in Cambridgeshire and wonder if its the church I am thinking of...

ballroompink Wed 19-Sep-12 11:21:20

Mary yes that's right smile

MaryBS Wed 19-Sep-12 13:37:14

In that case, I have friends who go there too, I think smile. Used to meet in a school hall? I went with them once smile

ballroompink Wed 19-Sep-12 14:03:48

Yes! Although I wasn't there during the school hall years - have been attending since 2008.

Tuo Wed 19-Sep-12 14:14:04

Nickel: You need to add 'Are you in Cambridgeshire?' to the spreadsheet!

[I'm not, though now I'm kind of wishing I was, as there seems to be a bit of a cluster of us there...]

I'm at work and meant to be in a meeting (but I said I'd be 15 mins late, so I am determined actually to be 15 mins late) but just felt that I should come in a waft some virtual incense over Nickel just to keep up the 'trad' side of things...



Thanks for all the answers re. full immersion. That sounds kind of fun. DD got properly wet when she was baptised too, but that's because the Bishop was a bit over-excited with the water (Happy Splashy, as it were...). He gave the congregation a good sprinkling too, whilst chuckling and saying 'You should know better than to give me a sprig of rosemary and some holy water'. We have a video of the service which features my (not really church-going) dad looking slightly startled! (This was the suffragan bishop. The other one is a bit less ... how can I put it? ... lively!)

Anyway... two mins to get to my meeting now and I shall be exactly 15 mins late. Hooray!

nickeldaisical Wed 19-Sep-12 14:38:28


and thank you for the incense.
feel a lot less GKd now!

madhairday Wed 19-Sep-12 14:44:06

grin at happy spashy!

Nickel, tell you what, I'll say 'thurible' lots for you. Thurible. thurible thurible smile thurible smile thanks THURIBLE thanks thuriblethuriblethuriblethurible.

Feel better? grin

I don't know cambridge much, I am further ooop north.

gingercurl Wed 19-Sep-12 15:50:30

I'm not in Cambridgeshire either.

I was baptised in the sea by full emersion and wearing baptismal gown (wasn't really given a choice on that). I had bruises on my shins afterwards where the lead weights had been banging against my legs when I walked. There were three of us baptised at the same time. We walked in procession from the church to the shore aobut half a mile away, two guitar-wielding pastors at the front grin. Seems very 80s now, thinking about it blushgrin.

niminypiminy Wed 19-Sep-12 16:37:18

Wow gingercurl that is actually a very lovely picture. I'm embarrassed to say that mine was a dribble of water on the head without even a decent font in sight. But it was still very lovely and moving (for me, anyway) occasion.

Tuo I think your virtual incense may be the answer to our health-related incense problems...

nickeldaisical Wed 19-Sep-12 16:42:52

are you saying it properly, though?
with a thththththtth through your teeth and a rolled rrrrrrrrrrrrr?


Tuo Wed 19-Sep-12 16:48:04

I hereby appoint myself as the thread's virtual thurifer.


MHD can follow me around saying "thurible"!

Gingercurl... I agree that that sounds amazing. The sea is very special to me, as I grew up near it but live very far from it now.

Got an urgent message at work today to ring the cathedral back before the end of the day with DD's measurements from neck to floor for a new alb. My PA was a bit confused hmm

Planning for the event I'm running on Saturday with the local theological college/outreach centre. It's very exciting... and humbling to think that quite a sizeable number of people are willing to give up their Saturday to come and listen to us and talk with us.

lalabaloo Wed 19-Sep-12 18:36:32

DS was baptised with just a smidge of water on his head. I'm not in Cambridgeshire either, just to balance things out

SESthebrave Wed 19-Sep-12 18:40:08

Another one "not in Cambridgeshire" smile

Also love "happy splashy"

I agree that I love sharing different styles / preferences and denominations.

madhairday Wed 19-Sep-12 18:46:01

Tuo that made me splutter and dd looked over my shoulder saying 'what the heck is a thurifer? Now I feel I must mention the word thurible in each post to you. In fact, we need a [thurible] emoticon grin

ginger that does sound lovely, but did they have rainbow guitar straps with sticky fishes on their guitars? And were they singing GK songs? Were they? Because only authentic 80s if so grin

I'm in a silly mood, porb due to being high on too much codeine for ouchtastic toothache. Have dentist appt in morning, filling has fallen out.

madhairday Wed 19-Sep-12 18:48:59

Oh and nickel, I can't roll my rrrr's. You're being rrrrrr-ist grin

TUO that day sounds great, what are you speaking on? arf at the alb measurement call!

DutchOma Wed 19-Sep-12 19:50:51

So a thurifer carries incense in a thurible? How does that work out <forgivemeforbeinganonnativespeaker> emoticon

Tuo Wed 19-Sep-12 19:59:51

Here you go, DO. It's basically not unlike those hippy-ish incense sticks, except put into a wafty-abouty thing and ... err ... wafted about. (That's not a scientific explanation, obviously; nor a very theological one. But that the basic drift.)

I can't really say too much about Saturday's thing without totally revealing my identity (not that I'm famous... just that there are not many people who do what I do!), but suffice to say that it involves poetry and art and music and a couple of mini-lectures and some discussion. Or at least, it will if I ever finish putting this powerpoint together!

gingercurl Wed 19-Sep-12 22:07:33

Your "wafty-abouty thing"-thurible explanation had me spluttering, Tuo.

It was a special day, but with no GK mhd, I'm afraid. He wasn't heard of in Sweden in 1982. (I'd only come across him on a couple of occasions when I moved here in 1995) BUT, yes, they had rainbow guitar straps and fish stickers and one of them had his roots in the Jesus movement shock. WHen I met him he'd gone on to study theology at uni and become quite respectable, but with a lovely quirky fun streak.

DutchOma Wed 19-Sep-12 22:28:55

Oh Tuo I knew that, at St Matthew's church Northampton (High as a kite) there is a very beautiful black man who swings the thing around with ernest gusto and everyone bowing and scraping, no I was after the linguistic connection.

Tuo Wed 19-Sep-12 22:40:23

Ah, the wiki link had the linguistic bit too, though!

gingercurl Wed 19-Sep-12 23:22:37

tuo Just out of interest, does doing the wafting bit have a specific word? "Thurifering"? Or is it referred to as simply "wafting"?

Have been thinking about your question Mhd and the lack of GK is Sweden. It has occurred to me on several occasions lately how little influence Scandinavian and British church music seem to have on each other's traditions. Apart from a few Wesley hymns and the like and Christmas carols (imported via the US) there appears not to be much that has migrated across. Likewise, apart from How Great Thou Art (origin of the music is disputed but the original words are Swedish) I cannot think of a single hymn of Swedish/Norwegian/Danish origin that is sung in church here. If you go to the STates, however, the situation is quite different as Scandinavian and British immigrants brought their traditions with them. I guess that, although not miles apart theologically, culturally Lutheranism and Anglicanism are separated by oceans.

MaryBS Thu 20-Sep-12 07:49:09

The wafting bit is called "censing" smile

The thurible to beat all thuribles

MaryBS Thu 20-Sep-12 08:45:38

Had to LOL at the wording of this phishing email:

"National Westminster Bank has been receiving complaints from our
customers for unauthorized use of the Natwest Online accounts.

As a result we periodically review Natwest Online Accounts and
temporarily restrict access of those accounts which we think are
venerable to the unauthorized use."

Venerable to the unauthorized use? Sounds like some sort of dodgy liturgy grin

SESthebrave Thu 20-Sep-12 09:38:22

Mary - that thurible is A-MAZ-ING!!

cloutiedumpling Thu 20-Sep-12 11:08:01

What if the rope breaks?

cloutiedumpling Thu 20-Sep-12 11:08:38

Love the music though. Have always fancied learning to play the organ.

nickeldaisical Thu 20-Sep-12 11:09:29

it's not a rope, it's chains.
each corner of the thurible is held by a chain which join together to make the long hanging chain.
it'd be a big disaster to get them all to break at the same time, although if one broke, it might swing funny.

nickeldaisical Thu 20-Sep-12 11:12:52

can you play the piano cloutie ?
it's only a short step to the organ from there.

the world is desperate for new organists.

cloutiedumpling Thu 20-Sep-12 11:20:53

Yes, but struggle to keep up with the instruments I play already. Also, our church doesn't have an organ. I also get ridiculously nervous about playing in public. If I have time when the kids are older I'd love to learn. I love Bach and Handel and think they sound so much better on an organ than on a piano.

nickeldaisical Thu 20-Sep-12 11:59:58

if you play he piano, then that's great. smile

shame you don't have an organ ready to go.

basically, the pedals are a third hand, they are useful to beginners to play the really low notes on the bass clef when you can't make your fingers stretch 3 octaves! it's laid out in exactly the same way as a keyboard
the only other thing you have to worry about is stops. but on most organs, you just pull out one or two and off you go (each stop makes the organ sound different, so you can play around and see what sounds best).
you normally only have to change stops when you are changing movement.

okay, most organs have 2 or 3 manuals (keyboards), but all they do is play different ranges.
you could use one for left hand and one for right hand - very useful if the music swaps over and the left hand is higher than the right hand! and in hymns, when the alto line and the tenor line are the same.

madhairday Thu 20-Sep-12 16:08:10

Wow at that thurible!! Don't think I'd do very well being there!

lol at the venerable natwest accounts grin

INteresting ginger about the lack of cross over between Scandinavian and English church music. I didn't know How Great Thou Art was of Scandinavian origin, it's one of my favourite hymns smile Thinking about the words, they are obviously written out of stunning scenery and weather, not typical English drizzle and grey!

I bet there's some great songs we're missing out on ought to teach us some smile

thanksamillion Thu 20-Sep-12 21:04:21

Hello all and special hello thread newbies
Just popping in to say hello. We're still on the road round the UK but nearly finished. Went to a fantastic church on Sunday with a fab mix of organ and worship band. The DCs are getting a bit fed up of going to a different sunday school (or whatever you want to call it) practically every week but we're coping grin.

Tuo Thu 20-Sep-12 23:21:43

Whoah! That is quite a thurible! Can't wait to show that to dd2 tomorrow! Blimey!

Hello Millie! Nice to see you...

niminypiminy Fri 21-Sep-12 12:00:11

Now that's what I call incense...

Has anybody else here ever been on a Cursillo weekend? I went on one in February, and am going to help out at one this autumn. We have our first training day tomorrow - very exciting. I'm really looking forward to being with other people as they go through it. It's quite an intense, but also a very joyful experience.

DutchOma Fri 21-Sep-12 12:57:09

Is that in the UK Niminy? Never heard of it, seems very intense.

MaryBS Fri 21-Sep-12 14:22:00

I've not been on one Niminy, although I've heard of it. One of the Readers I trained with was and I presume still is, heavily involved with it in our diocese smile, you probably know her...

SmileItsSunny Fri 21-Sep-12 14:31:33

Hello. Could I join you, just to pop in and out?
I've had similar issues to ballroompink but finding a church with a great creche has saved me!

nickeldaisical Fri 21-Sep-12 15:41:15


of course you can smile

do you want to answer the newbie questions?

happy clappy or traditional?
choir or singing group?
organ or keyboards/bands?
hymn books or screens?
and the important one: do you like Graham Kendrick?


BitchyHen Fri 21-Sep-12 18:10:06


popping in again to answer the newbie questions

happy clappy or traditional? My church is quite happy clappy but I do enjoy a traditional service too - as long as the sermon is good.

choir or singing group? Choir -I used to sing in a choir before I had children.

organ or keyboards/bands? Love any live music in church we don't have either at my church currently, we rely on CDs for music.sad

hymn books or screens? screens much easier to follow the service.

and the important one: do you like Graham Kendrick? yes my favourite is The Servant King.

SmileItsSunny Fri 21-Sep-12 21:27:10

Hi, thanks nickel

My church verges towards the happy clappy, I've had enough of traditional for now, though do like some of the 'proper' hymns!

Choir or singing group? Ummm not sure. Our church has a rota of the musical people who make up a band each service.

Organ or keyboards/bands? Love the sound of organ, but it doesn't suit all types of music. I think there's a place for both :-)

I'd be happy with either hymn books or screens - I think screens are a good use of modern technology, but a PITA when they don't work / aren't operated competently.

Graham Kendrick? I'm afraid I'll have to google that, give me a mo...

SmileItsSunny Fri 21-Sep-12 21:29:07

Oh wow he is very prolific isn't he?!

I can't say I recognise too many song titles. I was baptised in May, and have been attending current church for about a year.

nickeldaisical Sat 22-Sep-12 11:08:28

Smile - i'm shockshockshockshockshockshockshock that you haven't heard of GK! shock
if you've been attending church for a year, you'll have done at least 80 of his wink

even us traditionals seem to have to suffer him regularly. grin

you might know:
servant king
shine jesus shine

oh, god, i can't cope with looking for any more wink

lalabaloo Sat 22-Sep-12 13:29:33

So now I'm starting to get the hang of this, nickel is not a GK fan! But some of us are smile Family have just sent us the video of DS baptism, it's nice to watch it again, they even captured the bit where our minister went to give him back and we said no you can keep him, oops! blush

nickeldaisical Sat 22-Sep-12 13:41:09

grin how did you guess? wink

i like some of his stuff, though. Thorns in the straw and the sad good friday one.

nickeldaisical Sat 22-Sep-12 13:41:43

grin about the baptism.
we wanted to film DD's, but the camera keeps having a funny turn.

lalabaloo Sat 22-Sep-12 15:44:56

Aww, I meant to ask are you nickel from the home birth thread?

nickeldaisical Sat 22-Sep-12 15:53:48

yes, I am grin

Tuo Sat 22-Sep-12 17:17:57

Phew! What a couple of days. Yesterday I broke my tooth and spent half the day phoning around trying to find a dentist to see me (don't ask why I don't have a dentist, I know it's bad, but I had a bad experience and adopted the head-in-sand approach, which obviously backfired badly when I needed a dentist urgently). Then my powerpoint for today's event froze on me and wouldn't save. Consequently, I spent half the night preparing for today, instead of being all organised and early to bed (which never happens, but I can dream). Then I got a text at 7.00 this morning from my colleague... his baby was ill and they were in A&E. I was doing one lecture and he was doing t'other one. And he had half our material for the day. Manic rushing about followed, and I managed to find some notes that would help me fill half an hour in case he didn't make it. Which he didn't. My stress levels were through the roof already before 8 a.m., which is never good!

BUT but but but but... the day went so well, the feedback was really good, and the place was so peaceful that in the end even my stress levels receded somewhat! I am exhausted now, but really happy.

Oh, and colleague's baby is home, so nothing too serious there either, thankfully.

Welcome Smile! smile

DutchOma Sat 22-Sep-12 20:29:09

Was listening to radio 3 this morning, some very involved music which turned out to be from the Eton Choir Book. Couldn't get a handle on it, couldn't hear the words, very polyphonic.
Thinking to myself: "I wish I had the music, I might not be able to sing it, but I might just follow it."
Lo and behold, not only is there a budget price CD, but the music is also available and I have cheerfully squandered my birthday money on both of them.

Tuo Sat 22-Sep-12 20:55:25

Ooh, lovely!

niminypiminy Sat 22-Sep-12 21:00:00

DO that sounds lovely! Thinking about the choir workshop day that you had to miss - I'm in a choir that has a mailing list with choral workshops and come and sings and stuff like that - some might not be too far from you (if I am right that you are in Northamptonshire?) would you like me to pm you anything I hear about? Singing is so wonderful a release I find and all one's troubles go away and you're just in the music.

Just back from the Cursillo training day and wondering why I felt like it was a good idea to say yes to helping on a four day retreat in the middle of a busy term ... (btw, mary I think I know who you mean, if so she's leading it this time).

Tuo well done for managing the day (and getting something done about your tooth!), it sounds like it was really hard work but so worth it.

DutchOma Sat 22-Sep-12 21:06:29

Yes, thanks, Niminy, although I am of course very tied with Bob being so poorly. But it would be good not to be tied down to our own choir all the time and do a bit of stretching.

madhairday Mon 24-Sep-12 14:38:58

Afternoon all.

Having just had a rant on the prayer thread about misinterpretations of Paul's writings about women and how he is accused of misogyny, I wondered if anyone wanted to continue the conversation here. It frustrates me how his writings are twisted to oppress women, and I wish people would look closely at the passages and translations, and see that Paul didn't think that way at all....any thoughts/experiences? Anyone had these passages used against them? A friend attended a somewhat conservative church where women weren't even allowed to speak in home groups. Not even allowed to pray. I can't get my head around this....she has left it now and did struggle with it.

gingercurl Mon 24-Sep-12 15:28:46

Yes, I have! don't get me started!! angry I used to attend the Cof E closest to our house but stopped going because everyone in leadership, including the women, were misogynist. Examples: The men in the congregation were invited to attend a course that would prepare themto be able to do the sermon in the service. When I asked why this invitation was not extended to women as well I was told that "women don't preach. There is a prayer group for them." Women can only preach to other women or they can teach the children or in a groups such as a house group, never in church. I was told that women who are clergy were mistaken in their calling and God will only send a woman if there is no man around who is willing to go! Talking with the unmarried, female youth worker one day, I was told that my husband was the head of the family and therefore I should obey him, even in situations that I knew for a fact that I was right and he was wrong. If I couldn't convince him otherwise, I should submit to him because as my husband he is "my loving leader". That is not to say that my husband isn't loving or sensible or quite knowledgeable, but I wouldn't just go along with something I thought was wrong just because he said so! On the church website there was a link to a society (the Church Society? not sure) that holds this archaic view and referenced Paul left right and centre in support of it. In the end, I got so angry with them, I stopped going and stayed away from church for five years. Since then, I also get very wary when I hear people say of their vicar/pastor/priest that "they are very good because they preach the Bible." Whatelse would they preach? The Complete works of Shakespeare? The London A to Z? Preaching the bible seems to be code for misogynist reactionary twerpery.
In another context, when I was seriously considering training for the ministry, I was told by someone that women could not hold leadership positions in the church because the Bible (read Paul) is against it and churches led by women are spiritually weak or even unhealthy. shock angry

cloutiedumpling Mon 24-Sep-12 15:29:40

I'd struggle with that too. In fact, I wouldn't have gone back. I struggle with a lot of Paul's writings because I find it difficult to know what has to be read in the light of the prevailing culture at the time and isn't really so relevant now, and what is just as important now as it was then. Anyone got any reading to suggest on this?

Never really had any of Paul's comments used against me. Only my Gran telling me as a kid that my long hair was my crowning glory and that I should never get it cut. She had long hair that she wore in a bun all her life. I think she just liked long hair. I got my hair cut short many years ago.

gingercurl Mon 24-Sep-12 15:30:57

That came out as something of a rant, I'm afraid. Sorry, for my incoherent spouting. blushblush

cloutiedumpling Mon 24-Sep-12 15:32:45

We've had women ministers for years in the Church of Scotland. On reading ginger's post I think it may have led to a slightly more liberal attitude here.

gingercurl Mon 24-Sep-12 15:43:13

Maybe should have said I'm from a Baptist background and have been used to female ministers all my life so I guess that's another reason why I find the attitude so offensive.

didn't there use to be another poster on these threads who decided she couldn't believe in God anymore after she couldn't take anymore of the the misogynist treatment of women by her husband shocksad and her church. I think her NN was KayHarker? I've wonder every now and then what happened in the end and how she is.

madhairday Mon 24-Sep-12 16:42:06

Oh ginger, I would have walked out of that church too, how utterly miserable and what utter bollocks they spouted sad sad This is what gets me so cross, men twisting words to suit their own agendas. Women have mistaken their calling? Heard it all now hmm

Cloutie, I'd recommend Tom Wright's 'For everyone' series on Paul's letters - read the Ephesians one and you'll love how he describes the context and the accurate original meanings in the 'man as head' passage. It's utterly liberating. I think Paul has been much misunderstood, twisted and misinterpreted for a long time, and looking into some of his more 'difficult' passages has been fascinating. I think his view of women is far different to what is imagined. Any particular passage you really struggle with? happy to discuss smile

madhairday Mon 24-Sep-12 16:43:03

Oh yes, I remember Kay, I did wonder how she was getting on sad

niminypiminy Mon 24-Sep-12 17:08:32

I sometimes think when I read Paul that I'd love to know what was in the letters he was replying to. Those churches in Corinth and Ephesus were probably full of complete nitwits who wanted him to give definitive rulings on all sorts of little things that he probably didn't care about that much. You can see him now, thinking 'oh bollocks, what do I care about whether women have their heads covered, got to say something though since they're all running around like headless chickens in Corinth (or Ephesus, can't remember where that bit comes)'.

madhairday Mon 24-Sep-12 17:21:01

grin Yes, especially as he says different and seemingly opposing things in different situations, ie 'women should not speak' and 'I commend to you Lydia, leader of so and so church in <can't remember> etc etc...

Tuo Tue 25-Sep-12 18:02:53

I used to be married to someone whose family were Brethren, so have had a little (very much second-hand) experience of people taking Paul very literally in their views on the position of women. Indirectly, probably part of the reason we're not still married (though a large part of that was also me being a truly awful person for a while... not proud of it at all sad).

Anyway, how are you feeling MHD? Are you a bit better?

madhairday Wed 26-Sep-12 11:23:03

I'm doing OK, thanks TUO. Saw my consultant yesterday and she said if I'm not cleared up by next week to give her a ring to arrange for IVs again. Really don't want to, but do feel like I am improving so it won't come to that this time I hope. How are you?

Yes at the strict brethrens, must have been hard to live with, but I do know some brethren women who are more than happy with the way thigns are, some mormon women too...who am I to say they're wrong and all that but they are grin

cloutiedumpling Wed 26-Sep-12 14:52:04

Thanks for the book recommendation MHD. Hope you are feeling better today. I'll look the book up on Amazon. I'd like to be able to try and put Paul's writings into context. As has been pointed out, on the face of it they sometimes seem contradictory. Also, although I've heard people say that he was supportive of women I've never really understood the basis for these comments apart from the reference to Lydia.

It is funny to think about the role of women. I've a guilty pleasure - watching Real Housewives of Orange County - and it struck me yesterday that although the women involved seem very glamorous and confident many of them defer to their husbands over many things. Yesterday showed two of them being in a bit of a quandry over whether or not to increase work committments because their husbands weren't happy about it. Made me think that being expected to defer to the husband isn't just a religious thing but a strong cultural one too.

ballroompink Thu 27-Sep-12 09:37:54

I used to attend a church where women were pretty limited in what they could do - certainly no preaching or teaching other men, nothing that could be construed as being 'in charge' of something. Some men in the church were very vocal about their views on 'women's roles'. We left, partly because I felt there was no place for me there.

I have family members who are very firm on Paul's teachings meaning that women cannot lead or teach, and that men are the leaders/heads of their marriage, submission expected of women etc sad Incidentally they are fine with no headcoverings and women praying in church, but there was an incident where a family member was not happy that a woman had prayed from the front at church without speaking to the pastor first. He told her husband to 'rein her in'!

madhairday Thu 27-Sep-12 11:57:49

hmm pink, that's awful, and yes what double standards, I like to ask these people if they are happy to cut out their eyes if they fancy someone, or eat pork or something such grin

I wish people would educate themselves, and can't wait to see what St Paul has to say in heaven grin

DutchOma Thu 27-Sep-12 12:02:55

The Levitical questions are still the funniest in this respect.

moonbells Fri 28-Sep-12 14:06:35

Hello, I've been lurking on here a while now. Been a Christian for (um) 25 years this coming January, and thought I'd finally stick up my head and say hello.

I guess you'll want the newbie questions answering smile

happy clappy or traditional?
Bit of both really. I like the old hymns for the words, newer ones for the good old praise. I've an Anglican background (mostly).

choir or singing group?
Singing group.

organ or keyboards/bands?
I like both, but we've got a band and some talented keyboard players

hymn books or screens?
depends if I've forgotten my reading specs. Screens are deffo better if you're hanging onto a child at the same time!

and the important one: do you like Graham Kendrick?
Some of his stuff. Some has been overplayed. I think every other song at CU when I first became a Christian was his.

"In Christ alone" is my favourite song (not a GK!) but I can never manage to sing it through as I end up howling my eyes out.

nickeldaisical Fri 28-Sep-12 14:07:44

I agree about hanging onto a child - the choir's hymnbooks are music copies, so they stay open (because they're heavier!)

welcome to the thread smile

MaryBS Sat 29-Sep-12 09:52:17

Welcome Moonbells.

Tom (NT) Wright has written a thoughtful article on Women in the church, it can be found here:

cloutiedumpling Sat 29-Sep-12 23:37:34

Thanks for that link Mary, it was really interesting. As has been said above, it would be really good to know what was in the letters that had gone before. It's good to read some stuff that puts it into context.

cloutiedumpling Sat 29-Sep-12 23:40:18

Hello Moonbells

I agree about screens being better when you are trying to keep a child under control. DS2's favourite trick used to be crawling under the pew and dancing on the seat of the pew behind because he knew my arms were too short for me to reach over and grab him.

Tuo Sun 30-Sep-12 12:08:18

Hello all... Today DD2 was officially 'invested' as a server [proud mum emoticon]. We also had some rather fabulous angel-related hymns to celebrate Michaelmas [hums 'Angel voices ever singing'].

Oh, but I feel the need to share with you all - esp. nickel - that we have had GK for the last two Sunday's running!

Going to have a read of Mary's link now...

Sharksandfishes Sun 30-Sep-12 13:14:36

Hi, haven't posted for ages -can never be bothered on iphone to post long messages! blush
Tuo - you must be so proud. I really hope both DSs get involved as they get older.

Here are my newbie answers
happy clappy or traditional? - Definitely happy clappy
choir or singing group? - singing group - lots of Hillsong. Our music minister (yes we have one of those!) was the lead singer of a well known Christian band which toured the US until recently
organ or keyboards/bands? - band. The organ is used every week at our 8am service. We go to 5pm (there is also a 10am and 6.30pm)
hymn books or screens? Screens
and the important one: do you like Graham Kendrick? Haven't heard any of his stuff since my teenage years in a methodist church. Lets say it brings back memories....! grin

This weekend is our town's jazz festival so we had a jazz band in church today. The church is right in the middle of town so there were lots of visitors who came in just to listen to the music. We get this a lot normally, because our band is very "rocky", but today people stayed for the service, rather than leaving after the music - which was great.

madhairday Sun 30-Sep-12 14:00:50

Wow Sharks your church sounds good - which band is it? Can you give me a clue wink

Tuo aw at dd2 being invested and the lovely hymns smile

Mary, good link, yes it's basically a summary of some of the stuff he says in his 'for everyone' books on the letters etc - really enjoy his work and find it easy reading.

Welcome moonbells.

Tired today, went to a diocesan renewal day yesterday, was good. Got ds' birthday party in about an hour, he's having a laser quest party so thankfully not having ten 8 and 9 yr old boys in my house <phew> - but will still be knackering. All sorted I think...cake done, party bags done, what have I forgotten?

niminypiminy Mon 01-Oct-12 12:27:57

MHD hope the birthday party went ok -- we flatly said to DS1 (who's just 9), you're too old for parties now, you can take 2 friends for a treat. He was relieved, I think, finds parties worrying and stressful (he'd been trying to formulate a list of invitees for 6 months). But it was so wonderful not having to do the whole party thang.

We had 24 children, only 5 of whom came with their parents, at church yesterday and it was my turn to do Sunday school. Yikes! and all sorts of other stuff going on -- someone in tears during the Peace because she isn't coping with her son who has learning difficulties and challenging behaviour, a big extended family ruckus going on over the appearance in church of a problematic family member. Double yikes!!

In the afternoon DS2 and I went to choral evensong in Ely cathedral and it was so blissful have lovely music and surroundings, and nobody crying or shouting, and not to have to worry but just rest in God's presence. (It would have been even more blissful if the Cathedral choir hadn't been replaced for the evening by the choir of Milton Keynes Central church, good though they were, but you can't have everything.)

Tuo lovely news about dd2. Good to know that even cathedrals can't keep ol' Mr Servant King out wink

Sharksandfishes Mon 01-Oct-12 12:42:48

MHD its Revive. I personally hadn't heard of them but I have only been a Christian for 2 years! Apparently they supported Third Day a few times! It's really improved the music having him here, people literally walk off the street to come in and listen smile

nickeldaisical Mon 01-Oct-12 14:15:57

we had a lovely day yesterday.

our communion service was harvest festival together with st mary's and we had Come ye thankful People Come and we plough the fing fields and fing scatter hmm (my US spell-checker doesn't recognise the word plough...confused) and a Michaelmass hymn - Christ the fair glory of the holy angels, and St Mary's provided a CD with a holiday club song on it. you might know it - God made me
and it was with actions, which obv i joined in with and all the old folks looked bemused. grin
(don't tell anyone)
and we did Thou Visitest the Earth as our anthem and St Mary's did a stuart townend which was lovely but i can't remember which one it was.

then we went to st mary's for bring and share lunch and beetle drive grin
i've never done a beetle drive before and it was sooo exciting!

lalabaloo Tue 02-Oct-12 22:16:42

I love beetle drive! They don't happen often enough in my opinion!

MaryBS Wed 03-Oct-12 06:40:57

We do a beetle drive and quiz every year (tbh its getting a bit monotonous)

nickeldaisical Wed 03-Oct-12 10:42:31

There's one at the WI in a fortnight. grin

nickeldaisical Wed 03-Oct-12 10:43:11

ah, Mary, you cynic! grin
The kids love it though

(quizzes I don't like so much because I know there's no chance of me ever winning)

MaryBS Thu 04-Oct-12 07:20:19

I like the quiz part of it. And DD likes the beetle part of it (usually because she wins).

Have booked to go on a retreat day, about St Teresa of Avila, am looking forward to it smile

gingercurl Thu 04-Oct-12 23:46:47

<ignorant foreigner raising hand emoticon>

What is a beetle drive?

MaryBS Fri 05-Oct-12 06:43:27
niminypiminy Fri 05-Oct-12 09:36:07

Mary that retreat day sounds great envy

As monotony-inducing ways of raising church funds go I see your beetle drive and raise you a table-top sale wink

MaryBS Fri 05-Oct-12 11:25:17

We've got a table top sale this Saturday (you're welcome to come). I trump your table top sale with a Beer Festival grin

Niminy Quiet day is at Bishop Woodford House on 15th with +David, if you are free...

nickeldaisical Fri 05-Oct-12 11:53:57

Our church has got an Art and Craft fair this Saturday. (ooh, tomorrow)

Normally, I would be very excited about it, but they've decided to do it at St Mary's this year, which is great, because they've got changeable space, but!
having it at St Michael's meant there was a chance that visitors to the Fair might then come into the town and look in the shops here. (including my shop, of course)
St Mary's is in a residential area, which means that people will go and then go home.
Plus, it's rather hard to park there.

gingercurl Fri 05-Oct-12 13:04:18

Thanks, Mary. smile

Tuo Fri 05-Oct-12 13:32:46

We (I use the term in the loosest sense, since there is no way that you'll ever catch me participating) seem to have a bit of an abseiling obsession. People forever seem to be dangling themselves off the tower.

Dangling in mid-air while participating in a beetle drive... Now that'd be a fund-raiser! wink

Just got confirmation of my place on my 'quiet day' in December. I'm between excited and nervous. I don't think I am a very 'quiet' person (internally or externally).

cloutiedumpling Tue 09-Oct-12 21:50:08

I've got fond memories of beetle drives. Haven't done one for years but when I was a teenager the Womens Guild at the church used to invite the youth group to their meetings a couple of times a year and always had a beetle drive because it was one of the few things that absolutely everyone would join in.

DD was a bit of a monkey in church on Sunday. We were sitting near the front and she decided she wanted a feed. I'm still breastfeeding her and she seemed to think it was self service and was trying to latch on through my clothes during the praise items. When I did sit down to feed her she then decided to use her free hand to pull my v neck top as far away from my boobs as she could so everyone could see my bra. So far I've been feeding her to keep her quiet in church but I think I'm going to have to find another distraction!

I like the sound of a quiet day. Sometimes a quiet hour would be good, never mind a day.

nickeldaisical Wed 10-Oct-12 11:10:15

We never got as far as abseiling, but when our roof needed to be repaired, there seemed to be a lot of tea parties and services on the tower roof. (oka,y there was one of each)

cloutie - that's brilliant! grin DD tends to stand on my lap and then try to latch onto any bare skin she can find - usually my chin (that she bites down on!)
How old is she? Everyone in my church seems to love the fact that she's mobile and loud (especially during any bits where we aren't singing)
sometimes she'll be happy with her cup of water or a cream cracker, but most of the time, she'll want to feed before communion. Which is annoying to say the least - it is very difficult to be cool, composed and sing nicely when you're standing with a 10month old baby shoved up your surplice. (mainly because of the weight, not because it looks like a bodged boob-job!)
If she hasn't started hankering for milk before communion, I can normally pass her over to one of the ladies, and that distracts her so I can sing, but then as soon as she comes back to me, she's straight for the boob.

madhairday Wed 10-Oct-12 11:48:30

Hello <waves>

Back from land of bleurghyness. smile

cloutiedumpling Wed 10-Oct-12 12:02:20

DD is seven months now and likes to snack when she feeds so she'll latch on, have a little drink and then push herself off for a little look around (while exposing me) before going back for another drink. Soooo embarrassing.

nickeldaisical Wed 10-Oct-12 12:48:50

yeah, they do that.
DD has done that to me twice this morning in the shop.
I've given up thinking of my boobs as parts of my body now.

nickeldaisical Wed 10-Oct-12 12:49:16

hey mhd - are you poorly?

madhairday Wed 10-Oct-12 14:31:06

Hi nickel, yes I have had a pretty lousy week, but am coming out of it now, I think <hope>. smile

nickeldaisical Wed 10-Oct-12 17:17:54

i hope so too. smile

plaingirly Wed 10-Oct-12 18:52:30

I think I am giving up the hunt for a church. sad

I just can't seem to find one that I can get to and that "fits" well.

Tuo Wed 10-Oct-12 19:12:15

Welcome, plaingirly! That's really sad. I only started going to church again (after a very long gap) a couple of years ago, but I really miss it if I can't go for some reason... it sort of 'sets me right' for the week, iykwim. Don't know what to suggest, though, as it sounds as if you've done some extensive searching. Come and talk to us on here... It's not quite the same, but we're a little community of sorts. smile

madhairday Wed 10-Oct-12 19:23:26

Hello plaingirly, and second what tuo says - come and join in here. smile What sort of church are you looking for, or are you not sure? I'm guessing you've done an online search etc. It's hard when there doesn't seem to be an exact fit, but I have found that it is often a case of making the best of it and going in with the attitude of giving what I can to make the church a better place <doesn't always work> grin but sometimes going along somewhere you may find you settle there even if it doesn't feel quite right at first.

plaingirly Wed 10-Oct-12 20:54:38

I am kind of old fashioned so I would prefer that sort of church - not sure if they exist though! I did some online quiz that said I was a Baptist.

There are a few churches in town here and I have tried a couple. One was really unfriendly and another was so modern and basically was a pop concert with a tiny bit of God tacked on.

I have tried 2 Methodist churches but there is also a C of E church, another Methodist, a Catholic and some new age type place.

Maybe I am just too picky!! grin

moonbells Wed 10-Oct-12 22:08:55

Hello plaingirly
I sympathise, I've had a couple of times in my life when I've moved and it's been tumbleweed for churches that I'd feel at home in. Over the years I've been to all sorts of church. Yet there were a couple that were full of students and seemed really alive, that I just couldn't click with. My current one I went once to midnight mass on Christmas Eve and knew I'd be going back. That was 14 years ago! Keep looking, it might just find you first though!

madhairday Thu 11-Oct-12 11:16:35

Hope you find a better fit soon, plaingirly. Horrible when you go somewhere and it's unfriendly. Sounds like you might like a good old CofE service, maybe try your local one, although they vary from very traditional and high to low and more like the second one you mention <I'm more that end, but would hate it if there was 'only a bit of God' tacked on - for me it needs to be all about God>

nickeldaisical Thu 11-Oct-12 11:17:32

ah, plaingirly welcome to the thread grin

another one for the traditional side
join me on the choir bench wink <pat pat>

I have found that the old-fashioned churches don't even exist anymore - ours is old-fashioned, but not old-fashioned enough for me. Evensong and early morning BCP services are better, but unless it's a choral evensong, you don't get much music.

nickeldaisical Thu 11-Oct-12 11:19:19

mhd - i think i know what she means - it's the music. to me, the pop type christian rock doesn't feel like worship, it feels like a gig.

madhairday Thu 11-Oct-12 11:23:01

I think it depends how it's done. If it's all about the band, esp the singer, it feels wrong, but if the band are simply facilitating worship and more in the background so to speak, despite obv having to be at the front, then it feels better. Either way, for me it's about bringing worship to God, so it doesn't necessarily matter in what way it's done, it's where my heart is at, iyswim. I love the band led worship though and find it a much more natural way for me to come close to God. But we're all different smile

madhairday Thu 11-Oct-12 11:24:02

nickel are you keeping a spreadsheet of people on this thread with 2 columns of trad and HC? grin wink

nickeldaisical Thu 11-Oct-12 11:27:41

grin think i might. <hides spreadsheet>

yes, i see what you mean - i've been to a couple of churches where, to me, although everyone is joining in, it feels like a gig. even if it's a CD playing. very loud, too.
It has to be interspersed with prayer and comment. I think often, the HC churches seem a bit too try-hard and miss the mark with me.
of course, i'm glad that they've found their way to worship God. i don't think it needs to be so "trendy" though grin

madhairday Thu 11-Oct-12 11:32:11

Why not though? Organs and early hymns were seen as 'trendy' and groundbreaking at the time. For example, some of the famous Wesley hymns were plagiarised popular pub tunes! People complained about the use of organs and such hymns because they were too 'common' and of the time.

Nothing new under the sun.... grin

amillionyears Thu 11-Oct-12 11:34:50

Hi ladies, and gents if there are any on here,
I have been thinking for a while about starting a prayer support thread on the Mental Health board.
I have ok'd it with MNHQ.they said it was a lovely idea,and suggested I link it to here.I think it was this thread they meant,unless they were talking about a prayer thread somewhere?
So if it is ok with you, I will do that sometime in the next few days.
Hope that will not be a problem. Let me know on here or pm me if necessary.

madhairday Thu 11-Oct-12 11:35:12

I agree that prayer and comment is good too, and find services broken up in such ways helpful, but do love a good old prolonged worship session too - I see worship as prayer as well, and as connecting with God in the most intimate way, and sometimes the 'hymn sandwich' just isn't enough depth to do this - for me.

It's a good thing there are different church styles out there - we'd all be so frustrated if we had to stick to one dictated style!! smile

nickeldaisical Thu 11-Oct-12 11:35:21

that's very true.

and they were also Annoyed that they were replacing bands in village churches!

madhairday Thu 11-Oct-12 11:37:15

million I think they probably meant this thread Christian Prayer Thread

Come and chat on here anytime you like btw, would be lovely to see you smile

nickeldaisical Thu 11-Oct-12 11:37:35

amillionyears - there is also a prayer thread on this board. here
definitely put a link on there.
and of course you may put a link on here too smile

madhairday Thu 11-Oct-12 11:37:46

grin nickel indeedy!

nickeldaisical Thu 11-Oct-12 11:41:23

ooh, mhd - i don't like the hymn sandwich.
in my original church, almost everything was sung - the gloria, the gospel responses, the eucharistic prayers, the creed, the kyries, the agnus dei.

as well as hymns (5) and choir items (and i think they usually did a psalm)

what i mean is, i don't like the hymn sandwich, i think it should all be singing! grin

DutchOma Thu 11-Oct-12 11:53:33

Everything sung is wonderful, but you have to be in the choir, not just a listener.

cloutiedumpling Thu 11-Oct-12 11:54:35

Hello Plaingirly. I hope you find a church that you like soon. Sometimes, I think it is worth trying a church more than once to see if it changes from week to week.

I like lots of singing too - it drowns out the noise of the DCs. Seriously though, I do love singing and like more than a hymn sandwich. A lot of people don't though. My Dad is tone deaf and very aware of it. He hates singing because it makes him feel awkward. I think to be inclusive that the average Sunday service should try and be a mixture so it has something for everyone. I do like a praise service too but think it should be an occasional thing or held at a different time. I also don't like music that is too loud. Not only does it drown out my DCs, it hurts their ears. Personally, I like a mixture of music - everything from Be Thou My Vision to Stuart Townend. Actually, maybe they aren't too far apart in some ways. I like stuff with a good tune that people can belt out and not be scared that they are going to get the tune or the rhythm wrong. I don't ask for much do I?!

amillionyears Thu 11-Oct-12 11:58:56

Thanks for the links.

I dont think I can contribute much on here. My church is very old fashioned and then some.Most of the congregation hate having to change anything at all. My kids did like going though because of other relatives being there,so I stay on.

nickeldaisical Thu 11-Oct-12 13:12:27

I don't know Oma - at my church, everything was the same every week for years, so the settings were sung by everyone.
and the choir bits were sung when everyone was getting communion.

In choral evensong, most is sung by choir and the congregation just do the hymns, so, yes, I can see that is true for that.

nickeldaisical Thu 11-Oct-12 13:13:46

amillionyears - it's not just about music on here smile

You lot dropped of my TIO list again... smile

madhairday Thu 11-Oct-12 15:27:01

amillion - this is chat about anything and everything, we just happen to mostly have faith in common smile Jump right in!

nickel, I went to a church when I was little where I was in the choir and it was all choral lead evensnog etc. I didn't like it too much....maybe my feelings for what I like were developing even then grin I can appreciate good choral music, but it doesn't reach me in the way a good belting singalong does somehow...I don't know. Except for Christmas carols. Then it really works...I know. Inconsistent me. grin

nickeldaisical Thu 11-Oct-12 15:44:58

well at least you're back tink

agree with mhd , years we talk about all sorts of stuff, and our common theme is that we are all christians (so far - we welcome other faiths too if they want to join in!)
and please feel free to turn the conversation to whatever you like smile
it stays music so much because most of us seem to like to use music in our worship (whatever style), and it's important. But we can talk about anything!

plaingirly Thu 11-Oct-12 18:45:28

I don't mind singing - I sing Jerusalem LOUD!!

It was all about the pastor's wife - she was the singer .... of every song.

I have Mennonite pen pals and that sounds more me - perhaps a little strict though!

Has anyone heard of the Mennonite Bible Conference in Wales in December?

I'm getting all excited about our visit to Ripon College next week smile

madhairday Fri 12-Oct-12 12:31:24

Oooh Blue, that is exciting! smile

Morning all - or rather afternoon.

niminypiminy Fri 12-Oct-12 14:26:41

Afternoon all! I'm in the middle of trying to write an essay for the DDO on 'Why I am an Anglican'. It's really difficult!

MHD so glad to hear you are better, and good to see you again Blue. Hope the visit to Ripon goes well, I daredn't even think about visitng a college yet, the whole discernment process seems to be going so slowly.

madhairday Fri 12-Oct-12 16:46:30

Ooh niminy that does sound a difficult one, you could talk lots about Henry VIII, the thirty nine articles etc etc but that may be more persuasive of not being an Anglican grin have fun! Hope you get it done ok. I kind of miss essay writing <probably wouldn't say that if I had to write one> grin

moonbells Sat 13-Oct-12 07:01:40

I've always said that the Anglican tradition goes from Catholic to Pentecostal with everything in between, so there's a church group for everyone. My parents go to a very high church (everything sung) which was also the one linked to my junior school. So we got taught everything, the sung prayers, the lot.

When I was at uni, dithering about what I believed, I was taken to something I was sure I was going to hate - a charismatic, evangelical Anglican church with 2+h services (and that just the evening one!) and using the Pentecostal hymn book. I heard the gospel preached and that was that! Stayed there till I left and still miss the place.

Now at one somewhere in between (though I still don't like overenthusiastic drummers). So niminy I think there are a lot of strengths in the Anglican community. And so many potential divisions because of it. People just see those and take their eyes off God, which is sad but so very human.

Tuo Sun 14-Oct-12 12:18:17

V. happy Anglican here this morning!

(That doesn't help you at all, does it niminy? But... you know, just sayin'!)

madhairday Mon 15-Oct-12 12:46:28

Morning smile

niminypiminy Mon 15-Oct-12 14:33:06

Afternoon! I'm at home with a vile cold, and the dcs have a less vile version, so I (weakly) agreed that they could have the day off school, so we are all here disappearing under a pile of used tissues.

I'm still struggling with the essay on Anglicanism. But tonight it MUST be finished. And that's final.

Anyway, the 39 articles and the diversity of Anglican belief will be in thee somewhere, even if the six wives don't make it smile

good luck with the essay niminy

I can totally echo the slowlyness of the discernment process wink
I saw the DDO yesterday as he came to do our Eucharist, we had an informal chat. Said I will be seeing my vocations adviser again on 2nd November and see where it goes from there.

madhairday Tue 16-Oct-12 12:53:49

Hope you can get the essay done soon niminy.

Blue, exciting stuff. So you'll be seeing the vocations adviser before the baby is born - just? smile

Hope all is well with everyone.

I'm still not so well here, it's getting tedious really. Trying to use the downtime to get more writing done but come across a bit of a block, a bit of a 'what is this book about anyway?' grin Help...

niminypiminy Tue 16-Oct-12 19:36:32

Oh, MHD, that's tough. Being ill is horrible, and having writers block is horrible. Having them both together though - yeurgh. I'll be keeping you in my prayers. (what's the book about <nosy>?)

I've just about done the essay - and now have to get everything done that I've put off while I was writing it. Blue, great that you are seeing the Vocations Adviser. I have a link saved somewhere to a CofE document that explains all about the discernement process and why it is so long. PM me if you'd like me to send you the link.

madhairday Thu 18-Oct-12 09:25:39

niminy it's about disability and the church, health and healing, usefulness and uselessness. How the church reflects society in valuing people by what they are able to do for the church and how this can be destructive to people with illness and disability. etc etc. Getting there <ish>

niminypiminy Thu 18-Oct-12 09:39:23

MHD that sounds like a book that really needs to be written. (So no pressure, then wink

madhairday Thu 18-Oct-12 12:36:47


I know, I'm just sooo bad at motivation. It would help if the internet went down or something grin

niminypiminy Thu 18-Oct-12 14:08:52

Tell me about it! I've sent off my essay to the DDO though, so tht's one small achievement <looks at piles of work, washing etc still to do>

nickeldaisical Thu 18-Oct-12 15:52:24

ah, I missed your essay niminiminimini

nickeldaisical Thu 18-Oct-12 15:55:31

MHD - what about church entrances?
we've only noticed this in our church since having a pram, but every bloomin week we have to unbolt the 2nd entrance door to make it wide enough for the pram (and i keep telling them!), and they're big heavy bolts.

It's enough to turn away pram users, but people in wheelchairs would stand no chance! (pram pushers can open the other door and go "cooo-eyyy" but wheelchair users cannot really jump out of their chair to fetch help!)

madhairday Thu 18-Oct-12 18:20:11

Don't get me started on such things, nickel....

Meggymoodle Thu 18-Oct-12 19:12:54

Hi ladies - hope you don't mind if I join you for a bit. I haven't read the whole thread. I just wanted to come where to garner some opinions about how to deal with the whole Halloween thing. I don't like the thing at all. Our church (middle of the road evangelical Anglican) is doing "The Treat" on the evening for older kids but my kids are toddlers. Our street, which is a great street in every respect with lovely neighbours want to do a dressing-up street party with hot-dogs etc. I've said we don't really "do" Halloween but can you give me some opinions about how to avoid this (other than just being out!). The kids will be really sad to miss all the festivities but I hate the idea of exposing them to all the nonsense of halloween before I really have to.

All the best for all the essays by the way, I have to say I don't miss the studying days!

We're managing to avoid Halloween for now as it is DD1's birthday. Not sure what will happen when she's older though... she's only 4 this year.

newlark Thu 18-Oct-12 20:06:02

In the past we've been known to turn the lights off and go to bed early on halloween... We don't tend to get many knocking round here though and most of the neighbours would ask first - there seems to be a convention that you don't knock unless there is a pumpkin or similar by the door.

However, there was a recent post on the good book company blog suggesting handing out sweets with a little leaflet (not keen on the word tract!) like these here - not sure if I'm brave enough...

With the dcs I just say that we don't celebrate Halloween as it isn't a Christian festival and talk about the Christian festivals that we do celebrate and that we can look forward to those.

MaryBS Fri 19-Oct-12 08:04:58

DD is asking again this year if she can go trick or treating. She's now 13, and we don't do it. I've explained to her that many of the old folks get scared and intimidated by it, and have given her examples of things that have happened in the past. Whilst my feelings are ambivalent about it all, that is a good practical reason, although she does feel left out.

We went to a light party once, as I think I've mentioned before, and DS got terrified by the pastor and wet himself sad. Much younger than he is now, but it stopped us ever going again, it wasn't handled very well.

cloutiedumpling Fri 19-Oct-12 22:53:25

Is TUO about? I'm filling up our Link Romania shoebox tomorrow for it to be handed in at church on Sunday. Despite the name of the charity it also dispenses shoe boxes to other countries in that region. I just wondered what is appreciated particularly by the recipients?

MaryBS Sat 20-Oct-12 10:35:33

On the prayer thread, it says she's gone away for the weekend, cloutie.

I had a theological debate with a Cambridge professor of divinity this morning! About the unforgiveable sin against the Holy Spirit!

DutchOma Sat 20-Oct-12 11:14:08

Cloutie, is it TUO or thanks a million you want? She is in Romania. Not sure that I have seen her on line just recently.

DutchOma Sat 20-Oct-12 11:17:27

Ooer Mary, what happened? What did (s)he say?

cloutiedumpling Sat 20-Oct-12 11:41:31

Oops, yes, I meant thanksamillion. Sorry. Does anyone have any ideas? I'm going shopping this afternoon but so far I have small bottles of shampoo and shower gel, toothpaste, toothbrushes, colouring in pad and pencils, toy cars, novelty pencil and sharpener, small toilet bag, sweets and a candle. There is still a bit of space though. Most of these things are listed in the leaflet that I received but there doesn't seem to be anything there for a man.

I was thinking about your book MHD. In a church that I used to go to there is an aging population. This has meant that they have a large percentage of retired people and they rely on the retired people to keep everything running smoothly. I suppose this is the case in many churches. My Dad tells me that many retired people, especially men, feel they have lost their purpose a bit. I'm rambling, but just thought it was a good example of the church being inclusive of a group who can feel marginalised in society.

I don't particularly like halloween. The kids love it though and I enjoyed going guising when I was a kid (I refuse to say trick or treating). I'm trying to reach a compromise with the DSs - they can dress up as pretty much anything they want provided it isn't the devil. It just feels wrong to me to encourage your kids to dress up in a devil costume.

nickeldaisical Sat 20-Oct-12 11:47:35

I'm in a minority here, I think.

although I won't allow DD to do trick-or-treating, I don't mind if other kids do (we have a bowl of sweets and things that we then eat the leftovers of!)

I will teach DD the proper origins of All Hallows' Eve and how it relates to All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day.

St Mary's has a party thing called "The Alternative" every year on Hallowe'en and loads of kids go to that - it's great fun and loads of activities, but no scary costumes allowed.

nickeldaisical Sat 20-Oct-12 11:48:15
nickeldaisical Sat 20-Oct-12 11:48:55

cloutie - i think that's why a lot of people put in socks, gloves and scarves - it bulks it out a bit smile

niminypiminy Sat 20-Oct-12 12:16:47

I don't have any particular views on halloween - my main objection is that it's an over-commercialised American import. I feel about it a Jewish friend of mine feels about Christmas: it's fine, but it's not our festival. Our church has a Light Party which the children like because there are fireworks. I think it's a bit phoney, and it feels itself like an American import, from American evangelicalism. Basically I'm a bit meh about the whole thing.

MaryBS Sat 20-Oct-12 12:18:12

DO, she said she thought it was despair, which I found very hard to understand. Christians though have speculated for centuries on this. Myself, having been in despair at times, felt it too much of a burden to think of my despair being an unforgiveable sin. I felt more like that the unforgiveable was demonising the Holy Spirit, which is all goodness, saying that the good that comes from the HS is from a demon. So we talked about that. It seems she didn't mean that if you felt despair you'd committed an unforgiveable sin, but I'm still not 100% sure what she did mean.

newlark Sat 20-Oct-12 17:41:42

I've got the impression from somewhere that the unforgivable sin might be permanently rejecting God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) - so if you've turned to God and believe and trust in Him (which would be through the Holy Spirit working in you) you can't be committing that sin. Will try to work out where I've got that from...

madhairday Sun 21-Oct-12 09:33:18

Couple of interesting discussions here, have been offline this weekend.

I don't know what she can mean by despair being the unforgivable sin, and tbh that could just pile a whole load of guilt on some very depressed people. sad Would be interested to hear her theology on that one? I had a friend who used to be terrified about this unforgivable sin thing, used to tie herself up in some dreadful knots about it and accuse herself all the time. It was sad. I always tried to say to her that if she was worried she had, then she definitely had not - the whole caring too much thing meaning she loved God. She never believed me though - she thought all her thoughts sinned against the HS. There is a lot of guilt out there, not needed imo. I don't know what the unforgivable sin is, but Mary's description sounds close. Not sure about rejecting God because I know people who totally rejected God and went against him big time then returned and are v strong in faith.

Halloween. Hmm. We're torn, but if our street were having a party it would be more important for us I think to be community minded so we'd probably join in, do some fun games etc. We don't do Halloween as such but we are having a party at our home on halloween and doing pumpkin carving, apple bobbing etc and I will have a big bag of treats to give out to ToTers, however, the dc won't be dressing up in halloween costumes as we don't believe in celebrating darkness. I believe there are spiritual realities and I believe there is an enemy. Not always a popular view, but having had some experience with this I think it is wise not to go anywhere near it, even in fun. However, I do believe in celebration, and in celebrating All Hallows Eve and all Saints Day, and helping our dc see that we are no killjoys smile It's a difficult one though. ds is not going to the halloween disco at school, he doesn't want to go.

DandyDan Sun 21-Oct-12 09:57:19

Although I'm not keen on the trick-or-treating aspect, I have no problem with my kids dressing up for Halloween. I don't think it "celebrates darkness" to put scary costumes on - kids do it for a laugh really and don't take it seriously. One of my kids' birthdays is Halloween and we've always had a carved pumpkin for that, and one year she had a birthday party with her guests dressing up suitably.

Kids want to dress up - the one year we did a church "Halloween alternative" but said "come in costume", we got hordes more kids than for the years it was a "Light Party": they did the same fun activities and were not roaming the streets, knocking on random doors, but they had the fun of dressing up. Our entire family dressed up - looked a bit like the Addams Family. It was a safe fun party for the local children without taking away the thing they principally liked - the costumes.

I certainly always put a pumpkin in the window and provide sweets for any trick-or-treaters brave enough to come down our lane.

Tuo Sun 21-Oct-12 20:14:32

I am also a bit 'meh' about Hallowe'en. I liked it better when we were in America, two years ago, because there everyone celebrated it, but the dressing up was not necessarily 'scary', and there were clear 'rules' about ToT-ing. If people's porch lights were on, it was OK to approach them, and if not, it was a complete no-no. Lots of householders also dressed up, or decorated their porches for the kids coming round. We went with some American friends, and visited the local old folks' home, as well as individual houses, and there the people were delighted to see the kids... it felt like a really nice thing to do. Here, I do not let the dds go ToT-ing, because I know that a lot of people don't like it, and it's not clear whether people are likely to welcome it or not, but I don't mind them going to parties and have even held one in the past, when they were younger.

Mary... I wonder if your Prof was the same one who came to a conference I helped organise a couple of years ago? It did not go entirely according to plan. [Shuddering at the memory!]

Cloutie... You need Millie. But I agree that soft things - socks and gloves, hankies, etc - are a good idea.

Niminy... Well done for getting that essay in!

Just popped on really to say that I am not going to be around for a few weeks. I need to take myself off to finish some work things that have become quite urgent (and stressful) and I am banning myself from pootling around on the internet in order to concentrate fully on what I need to get done. I've just had a lovely weekend away with some friends, so now I am aiming to get my nose to the grinstone for a few weeks. I'll be back soon, though, I promise.

niminypiminy Sun 21-Oct-12 22:12:23

Tuo - good luck with getting the work things done - and with staying away from the internet - you may need to share your tips on this afterwards smile.

Anyway I just popped in to say we had 'The Servant King' today which, against still competition from 'Such love' is probably my least favourite GK song. Such a dreary tune. I always want to try and fit the words to 'Heaven knows I'm miserable now' by The Smiths to it.

niminypiminy Sun 21-Oct-12 22:13:21

Stiff competition I meant. Doh!

madhairday Mon 22-Oct-12 10:29:28

grin niminy! I'm in full agreement wink

TUO - good luck with the work stuff and keeping off the internet, it's something I keep meaning to do and never quite get there. The halloween celebrations in the states often do sound lovely, sounds very community minded and like everyone is out on the streets being friendly with each other - would love an equivalent celebration here, but not of halloween as such - or at least not what it has become.

Dandy, I agree with much of what you say but still believe the dressing up in halloween stuff isn't that great, it's been influenced by dd especially being absolutely terrified - she is dyspraxic and when she was younger would scream and sob seeing anyone in such costumes (she couldn't watch Dr Who for years) - now she is fine, and a big HP fan, but something about halloween doesn't sit right with me spiritually. I don't want to make a huge thing out of it, I'm hardly Mrs Conservative, but there is something wrong there and I often feel oppression on the night. However, as I've said, we celebrate in other ways and do the pumpkin carving and games etc. Maybe I am wrong...feel like that quite often at moment. It's interesting to get all your views.

cloutiedumpling Mon 22-Oct-12 16:11:04

I agree with you MHD. There is something about halloween that just leaves me feeling a bit uneasy. I believe there is an enemy and I think it can be dangerous to make light of some things; for me it means that I may not take things as seriously as I should if I make light of them. I did love halloween as a kid though. It is not all an American import here (the Americans got halloween from the people from the celtic nations who emigrated all those centuries ago). We did dressing up and went guising as kids where there wasn't any threat of a "trick" but instead you had to perform a turn. The adults had to guess who the kids were who were dressed up which meant that you only went to the houses of friends and family. That's what we're going to do next week. I've let a few folk know that we'll be calling in that night.

Shoebox is wrapped up and sent off. I know some people on MN don't like the whole shoebox idea but in our house it means much more to the DSs if they can see things going into a box, rather than Mum and Dad writing a cheque. The Link Romania shoebox scheme also means that a donation is given for every shoebox to cover transportation costs. They also have a policy of not giving out literature with the boxes and as far as I know don't insist that the kids have to attend Sunday School type events to receive them.

I'm no scholar, but I thought no sin was unforgivable? I've never heard of it before.

MaryBS Mon 22-Oct-12 16:49:37

Cloutie, its in Matthew 12:31-32

"Therefore I tell you, people will be forgiven for every sin and blasphemy, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. "

DS got terrified when he was younger, still struggles with people in masks, which is why he got scared at the lite party, the pastor was wearing a mask.

newlark Mon 22-Oct-12 17:00:25

googling "unforgivable sin" brings up a few links - as ever with the internet there are a range of views smile

nickeldaisical Mon 22-Oct-12 17:12:16

I don't get how she can interpret that as Despair, though confused

cloutiedumpling Mon 22-Oct-12 17:15:53

Hmmn, yet another thing that I struggle to get my head around ...

MaryBS Mon 22-Oct-12 18:24:27

If you google "unforgivable sin despair" it comes up with some answers, like this one:

MaryBS Mon 22-Oct-12 18:25:53

This one is more informative

nickeldaisical Wed 24-Oct-12 13:47:24

still confused, but it does explain rather a lot.

i don't like it, though. a blasphemy against the holy spirit is not the same as despair. I suppose they're using despair to be the absence of all hope, and the absence of all hope means that you must not believe the holy spirit is the hope of the world.

MaryBS Wed 24-Oct-12 20:17:16

If you suffer from depression or feel despair at times, its a bit of a kick in the teeth though

nickeldaisical Thu 25-Oct-12 12:01:12


MaryBS Fri 26-Oct-12 09:04:29

Meant to ask, would you like a look at my sermon for last week, Nickel? Might be able to turn it into an article for your mag? No worries if you've got enough or don't want to...

MaryBS Fri 26-Oct-12 09:04:29

Meant to ask, would you like a look at my sermon for last week, Nickel? Might be able to turn it into an article for your mag? No worries if you've got enough or don't want to...

MaryBS Fri 26-Oct-12 09:04:57

And apols for the double post, not sure how that happened...

TessOfTheBurbervilles Fri 26-Oct-12 12:20:01

Hello - I hope you don't mind me joining you all.

Just to tell you a bit about myself...

I'm Tess and I'm one of those progressive Christian types!

I was raised in a Methodist household, and educated at a private Christian school, and went along happily with it until the age of 15. Then I went through my rebellious 'religion is **' phase.

I headed off to university in London, and at the age of 19, I fell pregnant. It was the moment I found myself drawn back to the church, because when I found myself feeling lost in my situation, I knew what I needed was spiritual guidance. I discovered there was a progressive and all-welcoming progressive church near to the university, which has roots in the Methodist faith, so I went along one Sunday. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

I felt (well still feel) blessed that despite that period where I turned against faith, God never lost his faith in me, and I believe He called me back to the church when I needed Him the most.

Fast-forward 13 years and my faith is stronger than ever. I have three beautiful children; two sons, Jack (12) and Alexander (6), and a daughter, Sarah (who will be 3 on Halloween). I am happily married to a wonderful Christian man, who didn't judge my past, and was happy to take me and my son on. The five of us live together in a leafy part of Surrey, but not too far from the edges of London, and we attend that same church I sought guidance from 13 years ago.

So what else can I tell you about me?

I love swimming, films, playing the piano and researching my family tree. Oh and I eat far too many Jaffa Cakes!

niminypiminy Fri 26-Oct-12 20:22:57

Welcome Tess! It's great to have you here!

... And in case Nickeldaisical isn't along quickly to ask the question we really need to know the answer to ... how do you feel about Graham Kendrick?

Popping in to say hello. I'm new here. I'm a curate and in a new town and don't know many people. Three boys, all teenagers, a husband and three mad cats all in a clergy house. Fun though.

Woodlands Fri 26-Oct-12 21:32:23

Hello, can I join you all?

Here are my newbie answers:

Happy clappy or traditional (I think this was the question but seem to have lost it!)

choir or singing group?
Choir! Though I don't sing in my church choir as I have a 2-year-old. I'm singing with them for a wedding tomorrow though.

organ or keyboards/bands?

hymn books or screens?
Hymn books

and the important one: do you like Graham Kendrick?
Not much!

As you can see I'm a bit of a traditionalist! I was brought up very Low Church/Methodist, but am now quite high church.

DutchOma Fri 26-Oct-12 21:54:14

Well, what a load of newbies, how wonderful. I would give the exact same answer as you, Woodlands

TessOfTheBurbervilles Sat 27-Oct-12 10:34:54

Ooh here are my newbie answers...

Happy clappy

Singing group

Keyboard/bands (my son, Jack plays guitar in the youth band)


I wouldn't say I'm a huge Graham Kendrick fan but I do like some of his songs, particularly Knowing You.

nickeldaisical Sat 27-Oct-12 11:35:20

Mary is that the one you sent me or a new one?
if it's a new one, then yes please, I'd love to look at it. smile

nickeldaisical Sat 27-Oct-12 11:37:11

hello Newbies grin

one for each side i see wink

the GK question is the running joke - there's a lot of discussion and banter about him, but it's alll in good fun grin

nickeldaisical Sat 27-Oct-12 11:37:56

Tess what a lovely story. i'm glad you were able to find a supportive church when you needed one smile

nickeldaisical Sat 27-Oct-12 11:39:10

i missed greenheart's post in the middle blush

welcome all three. smile

nickeldaisical Sat 27-Oct-12 11:39:40

are you newly curated?
our parish is looking for a vicar.... wink

nickeldaisical Sat 27-Oct-12 11:43:24

woodlands - don't worry about your 2-yo.
i have a 10mo dd and i sing in the choir. DH is the organist/choirmaster too.
people are quite nice about it, and there's always someone willing to whisk her away if i need them to.
maybe you should get a creche going? then you can send your 2yo off to it for most of the service.
or ask someone to watch him/her. they're never that much hassle in the stalls (at my old church, 2 of the choristers had 2 pre-schoolers each at any given time prolific breeders and the church worked around them so they were always able to be part of the choir smile )

madhairday Sat 27-Oct-12 12:36:16

Welcome newbies, great to have you on board <gets spreadsheet> grin

greenheart, I'm a clergy OH so kwym re madness of clergy household, dh finished his curacy last yr and is now a pioneer minister. Where did you train? <nosy>

Lovely story Tess.

Had an utterly crap week health wise, but starting to recover, I think.

thanksamillion Sat 27-Oct-12 22:29:34

Hello all, sorry I've not been around for a while and I see you needed my limited expertise last week and I wasn't here. We're heading back to Moldova on Thursday (probably arriving Tuesday) so I won't be around again for a bit - depending on how quickly we can get internet sorted!

cloutie we actually work very closely with Link Romania and distribute between 6 and 7000 boxes for them every year. They also fund some of our ongoing projects, and you're right that they don't put any conditions on receiving the boxes. I know it' too late for you now, but other ideas would have been a small torch (ideally wind-up but not necessarily), a mini tool kit (screwdrivers etc) and postcards/pictures for people to put up on walls.

MHD hope your recovery continues.

will be back online more soon...

MaryBS Sun 28-Oct-12 08:30:27

Emailed you nickel...

Welcome back TUO, and welcome to everyone new smile

nickeldaisical Mon 29-Oct-12 14:41:27

thank you dearie smile

nickeldaisical Mon 29-Oct-12 14:41:53

oh, yeah, we've got a new vicar !!! gringringringrin gringringrin gringringrin

MaryBS Mon 29-Oct-12 16:56:13

Woohoo! grin

nickeldaisical Mon 29-Oct-12 17:04:18

i know! grin

DutchOma Mon 29-Oct-12 17:04:57

Tell, tell and say what answers you think they would give to the essential questions.

niminypiminy Mon 29-Oct-12 19:13:18

Nickel that's brilliant! smile smile When will he/she be inducted?

nickeldaisical Tue 30-Oct-12 10:43:02

well, obviously not wanting to out the new vicar (but quite frankly, there's not a lot of secrets I hide, so they would be outed just by people knowing what church I attend)

this is his current church
click on the newsletter and see his face on the editorial message.

I think his answers would be:
anything goes

he's okay, but there are other composers out there wink

and we think he'll be starting in the new year, but not sure exactly when.

madhairday Tue 30-Oct-12 17:12:11

Great nickel! smile His current church looks thriving and more of 'your' all good? grin

nickeldaisical Tue 30-Oct-12 17:15:48

exactly! grin

i think he's the curate at the moment - it says they're in interregnum and their p-in-c post has just been advertised.

he looks quite "young and trendy" (that makes me sound old - he must be a similar age to me - early 30s I was told!), but is used to the traditional, too, so hope he will encourage and nurture both aspects of our Parish.

thanksamillion Tue 30-Oct-12 20:44:24

Fab news nickel! Did you know that they were interviewing again?

nickeldaisical Wed 31-Oct-12 11:01:10

oh, yes, they interviewed a fortnight ago.
that's how long it took to make a decision, i suppose.

Saw my vocations adviser this morning... I've been referred to the DDO! grin very happy

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Fri 02-Nov-12 13:06:08

yeay! grin

madhairday Fri 02-Nov-12 15:45:27

smile smile smile Yay Blue!

How are you feeling? <stupid question I know...> grin

niminypiminy Fri 02-Nov-12 16:27:26

Blue that's fabtastic news! Hope the DDO appointment comes through quickly.

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Fri 02-Nov-12 16:35:40


not going so well here - just trying to update the parish website, and can't figure out how to make the table of events look pretty like i did before.
so I thought, no problems, I'll just upload a picture of the timetable instead.
i have ended up with a blank page.
no idea how to fix it confused

will wait until tomorrow when it's saved overnight and see what's happened.
why didn't they get someone to design a website that doesn't need html to update it? hmm

I'm feeling exhausted, but I guess that's normal at 38 weeks pregnant! Sunday is last day of work, after that I will be lady of leisure and laziness... and possible meetups smile

I need to send my vocations adviser some paperwork which she will forward to DDO, she would like to do that this side of Christmas, not sure whether I will see DDO first time this side of Christmas but at least we're a step further ahead now smile

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Fri 02-Nov-12 16:45:28

38 weeks already! doesn't seem like yesterday when you first announced it....

(you are a week ahead of my due dates last year wink )

no way nickel are you telling me that E will be 1 year soon! Time does fly! wink

Been away on holiday, so thanks for the welcomes. I trained at Ripon if that helps place me!

Really good news about the DDO referral Bluetinkerbell.

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Sat 03-Nov-12 12:05:26

no, she'll never be a year wink

madhairday Sun 04-Nov-12 14:07:06

Ooh Blue - 38 weeks, it's gone so quickly - yes to meetup, definitely!

nickel, also can't believe she'll be one whole year - remember your labour thread like it was yesterday smile

Hello greenheart.

Just been to a confirmation service, was very moving and lovely. First time I've been to church in over a month.

DutchOma Sun 04-Nov-12 15:28:14

So pleased you were able to go MHD.

madhairday Wed 07-Nov-12 18:30:07

OK quick poll:

Christmas carol events: One big one, say outside with mulled wine/mince pies in eg school hall if we can swing it,

Or 3 or 4 smaller ones, say at the pub, down the street, with small gatherings after?

What is better community wise?

Or both? - but resources v thin, people numbers to bulk it out etc...

One big one!

DutchOma Wed 07-Nov-12 21:27:14

In your case: one big one. We have several, but that is to cater for known attenders eg community, our own elderly mums and tots etc.

MaryBS Thu 08-Nov-12 07:46:24

I vote one big one too, well publicised

madhairday Thu 08-Nov-12 10:49:06

oooh thanks for thoughts. We're thinking of both! Being brave smile People on our street are really keen on doing a street one....we'll have to see what we can come up with. I'm loving doing this community stuff this christmas, last year I was ill and we were new and all much quieter. smile

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Thu 08-Nov-12 12:07:27

one big one, couple of smaller ones.

the smaller ones can be a crib service or a pub after, and the big one, school hall, choir, music groups (preferably school ones!), mulled wine, mince pies, etc

In my last church we did beer and carols in a local pub on a Sunday evening before Christmas. The publican was happy for us to go along as it was a quiet night for him and every year I went it was standing room only.

The event was advertised through all the churches of the town and in the pub and there would be around 50% church people and 50% people who had just seen the notice.

It was tremendous fun with a keyboard player from one of the churches providing the accompaniment.

So what do we think of the new ABC?

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Fri 09-Nov-12 11:06:43

oh, i haven't seen anything about it!

i'll quickly go and look.
the news today has been all about phillip schofield and dave the rave....

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Fri 09-Nov-12 11:08:23

oooh, I know of him.
he's quite "modern" isn't he.

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Fri 09-Nov-12 11:09:37

greenheart - that sounds lovely.

in my villages, a group of singers go round all the pubs and sing for half an hour in each pub. it's lovely smile

If he can become archbishop after 1 year of being bishop, how long do you reckon it will take for me to become bishop? wink

DandyDan Fri 09-Nov-12 11:28:59

I think it's a good choice (out of all the possibilities): I am a big fan of Rowan, and +Justin is quite different - were it not for his health and sanity, I would ideally want Rowan or someone of his ilk to continue.

But it's a bit rubbish for Durham - my diocese - it's been more than two years of "announcement of +Tom leaving, interregnum, appt of +Justin, arrival of same, then uncertainty over ABC possibility within a few months". He would have been a good long-term bishop here, but will do well at Lambeth, I have no doubt.

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Fri 09-Nov-12 11:36:18

yes, you do lose a Bish, don't you sad

madhairday Sat 10-Nov-12 10:48:19

Thanks for all thoughts! we've decided to go for both types smile

Hope you're all having a good weekend.

Have been asked to do a seminar at large well known christian camp wink

Too, too scary?

shall I go for it??

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Sat 10-Nov-12 12:39:49

have you really? wow! grinshock

yeah, go for it! grin

PandaG Sat 10-Nov-12 12:55:59

Hi all, and welcome to newbies smile- not been around on MN much recently - had a week away at half term and a busy week afterwards.

As some of you may know we moved a few minutes up the hill in April to live nearer to the rest ofour Missional Community (like a cell group but more outward focused). Really delighted to say we've just started a STOMP group for Y3-Y6 children - loud games and competitions, prizes, music, worship and a 'silent seats' slot for a Bible message. We had 11 kids on Wednesday, who all heard the Gospel message - all churched children so far, but we need to start in order to have something to invite new children into. I'm helping run it - in the background doing the signing in, clearing up after the messy games etc. I really want to be available to make relationships with any new parents that bring their children, to build community.

MHD - Go for it! If it is when I think it is I'll come along to hear you, and for moral support!

madhairday Sat 10-Nov-12 12:58:53

That sounds fab Panda! smile So pleased it's going well.

Yes it is where you think it is. The thought is making my stomach turn to mush grin dh thinks I should do it. aaaaghhhh...but yes if I do please come and hold my hand!!

cloutiedumpling Sun 11-Nov-12 20:53:22

MHD - I think you should go for it. You wouldn't have been asked if they didn't think you'd do a great job.

I missed the service this morning. DD's latest trick is blowing raspberries and just the thought of trying to keep her quiet for two minutes was enough to make me nervous. We went to Mothercare instead, where she did blow raspberries during the two minute silence but at least you can get away with it there. I'm also not a huge fan of the national anthem.

madhairday Tue 13-Nov-12 12:16:59

I've said yes...


cloutie good to see you! How's it all going for you, apart from raspberry blowing dds? grin

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Tue 13-Nov-12 12:39:25

DD did make noise during the 2 minutes' silence.

It didn't really matter though (not loud noises really)

Our priest had planned to do the silence at 11, which is normally jsut after the consecration, so just before we go up for communion.
He managed to rush through the service and it was just after 10 to when he'd got to that bit, so he talked a little bit about his experiences in the war (he was a child living in London), and then DH played a piece on the organ. then we sat in silence for another minute or so and then stood to do the silence.
So our 2 minutes' silence was actually closer to 8 minutes' silence.
But the priest did it so well, he didn't do a "oooh ooh panic, got to fill time!", he did it gently and carefully and made it feel like a proper tribute smile