POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

Does anyone remember Robert Lindsay as Wolfie in “Citizen Smith”?

It was a TV series at the end of the 70s; Wolfie was the self-proclaimed leader of the revolutionary Tooting Popular Front (the TPF, merely a small bunch of his friends), the goals of which were “Power to the People” and “Freedom for Tooting”. He was, in fact, a bit of a loser, who did not very much to reach these goals!

I’ve been starting to bring my own “Power(points) to the people” as I’ve been putting together Power Point Presentations to go on t’internet before our Church services. A mixture of images, Bible verses, and quiet music, lasting about 7 or 8 minutes, we hope these will (a) tell people that they’ve logged onto the right place and (b) help people to settle into a more worshipful frame of mind. Otherwise there is slightly inane “chat” on the Chat function. It developed out of my Good Friday meditatative service – basically a PPP with music, readings, pictures and poems. It was well received; and gave me a bit of confidence. I’ve been exploring the “Design” settings, and the “add video” options, and I’ve had fun putting them together. I think I’ll be quite sorry (in a very small way) when we go back to “real” church, and I won’t get the opportunity to do them again!

But I wonder if, as we’re so spread out as a congregation, whether a mid-week Zoom meditative service – basically a PPP that someone has put together (me! me!) would be welcome. I’d enjoy doing that, I think. I shall suggest it, I think.

Our Zoom Church meetings have been going well – they’re not very technical or wizzy; you can’t see the speaker (so I may try to put together a PPP for when I’m giving the sermon next week, if I feel brave enough!!), but they are something that keeps us all worshipping together. And when we unmute, and switch on our cameras for “coffee time” afterwards, it’s chaotic but good to see everyone!

If you’d like to join us, let me know in the comments, and I can give you the link for Sunday.

Poems VIII (and a picture too)

I hadn’t envisaged my “Poems” series going any further than last week, but some of you have sent me poems – thank you – and others have mentioned poems in the comments section. So I will share those too, but I’d like to share a poem and a picture, both of which were on FB

This poem is beautiful, and captures the feeling of this “Locked Down Easter” perfectly. I won’t post all of it, but I urge you to click on the link to read it.

EASTER 2020

by Malcom Guite

And where is Jesus, this strange Easter day?

Not lost in our locked churches, anymore

Than he was sealed in that dark sepulchre….

 

The other is this powerful painting that was also posted (follow the link to see it)

Good Friday 2020′ by Polish Jesuit, Vyacheslav Okun

An interesting debate (or rather, couple of comments) followed the posting of this painting

A: What so many people do not realse realise is that even of there was a state of the art resus team at the foot of the cross….. he was DEAD!!!!!! There is absolutely no dispute about that…. what happened next? Aaaaahhhhhhh that’s question that so many people want an answer…. but if they read the book!!!!

B: that’s really interesting take on the picture. I took it completely differently that the medics were ‘being Jesus ‘ and Jesus was all of the people who were sick and dying from this virus

What’s your take on it? I think I saw it more like the second commentator – Jesus suffering as those who suffer from the Covid-19, and the medics as those sorrowing friends who took Jesus from the cross, little understanding that there is more to Life than death.

Poems VI

 

EASTER SATURDAY

Elizabeth Rooney

A curiously empty day,
As if the world’s life
Had gone underground.
The April sun
Warming dry grass
Makes pale spring promises
But nothing comes to pass.

Anger
Relaxes into despair
As we remember our helplessness,
Remember him hanging there.
We have purchased the spices
But they must wait for tomorrow.
We shall keep today
For emptiness
And sorrow.

Poems V

This one wasn’t one that was sent to me, but one I found when looking for resources for my Good Friday service…

Here it is, on Good Friday (with apologies that I cannot get the breaks in the right places.):

A QUIET ROAR

 

one

 

he lays his left hand along the beam

hand that moulded clay into fluttering birds

hand that cupped wild flowers to learn their peace
hand that stroked the bee’s soft back and touched death’s sting

two

 

he stretches his right hand across the grain
hand that blessed a dead corpse quick
hand that smeared blind spittle into sight
hand that burgeoned bread, smoothed down the rumpled sea
three

he stands laborious

 

sagging, split, homo erectus,
poor bare forked thing
hung on nails like a picture
he is not beautiful
blood sweats from him in rain
far off where we are lost, desert dry
thunder begins its quiet roar
the first drops startle us alive
the cloud no bigger
than a man’s hand
Veronica Zundel 


	

A thought for today

Can I direct you to this sermon, or thought, or whatever, from Bishop-in-Charge, Mark Edington. It’s a longish read, but it’s worth it.

Unexpected Graves

Poor Mark and his wife Judy, who live in Paris, have been caught out by the closure of flights, and are in Massachussets (sp?) I think they have family and friends there, but all the same, it must be hard for him to be separated from his flock at this time! He joined us for our Zoom service (which I think was very generous of him, considering it was about 4.30 am where he was!) He was going on to join in other online services from the Convocation.

We are truly blessed to have him as our Bishop in Charge.

by Jorge Cocco

Words for the Year…or the decade…

…or for life!!

I was reading back over omd posts and discovered that I had, in past years, had “words for the Year” which I promptly forgot about after each January had passed!

I was mulling over the possibility of choosing another “word” when three words popped into my head

Do Not Fear

It strikes me that these are actually really important words – with the craziness that is world politics, and the terrible fires from hell in Australia, and North Korea’s dictator talking about new strategic weapons, and the recent US attacks on Iran, and the rise in poverty and hate related crimes all over the world, and the climate crisis…well, there is a lot to fear.

But, despite it all, we have to trust that (unlikely as it seems at times!) God does have a plan.

So, the long version is the verse from Isaiah, which was my touchstone through my cancer (two years ago!!)

For I am the Lord your God,

who takes hold of your right hand

and says

Do not fear: I will help you.

And the short version is:

Do not fear

A Pause in Advent…

Angela over at Tracing Rainbows is hosting “A Pause in Advent” where bloggers blog each week about Advent, giving us a pause from the business and maelstrom of Christmas preparations to think about what is coming…

I haven’t joined in as I wasn’t sure how much I’d feel like blogging (see Black Dog post from earlier) but I thought I’d add a few links…