Today has been a great day. I read one of the Bible readings at my friend Vicky’s ordination service this afternoon: the only clergy person not dolled up in cassock, gown, alb, stole etc! In fairness some of them only wear them because Anglicans have to, but it’s quite nice being conspicuous sometimes!
Anyway, it was a great service and Vicky’s husband George – a retired priest – preached a very good sermon on clergy being ambassadors for God: I particularly liked the idea of us being sent to represent the monarch in a foreign country.
I guess that’s true for all Christians, we have to get used to representing God in a society that doesn’t think it needs him.
As someone once said, we are the only institution that exists for the benefit of the non-members, or at least we would be if the Church did its job properly.
Let’s get back to the point. It was a great service and then I went on to one of the small country chapels I pastor for a service bringing two people into membership: that was terrific and such an encouragement for the chapel.
Yes, a good day. A God day.
It’s the big Live8 day tomorrow and I’ve just been watching the BBC South West news programme from the Eden Project. They are hosting Africa Calling, a day of African music as part of the MPH events.
If the G8 leaders have any sense, surely they will take the opportunity to slash debt for the world’s poorest countries.
Of course it’s not the only solution but it is something we can do and, more crucially, it is something we should do. If it is combined with more and better aid and proper trade rules it will make a difference.
At the Methodist Conference we heard from Bishop Robert Aboagye-Mensah, the Presiding Bishop of The Methodist Church in Ghana. He said: “You can see it like this. People talk about wanting a level playing field and if you have free trade then the playing field is level. However, we have a saying in Ghana that if the giraffe and the antelope are standing on level ground their situation is not equal if all the leaves are high up in the tree. We do not have all the advantages of the West the industry, the transport and the large commercial farming. Therefore we are not equal. Sometimes the antelope needs to be lifted up to be able to compete on equal terms.
What we need is flexibility that enables us to develop our own trade policies. At the end of the day we need fair trade not free trade.”