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Re: Nowhere to hide
Very interesting - and very timely especially for me about to move as Associate Pastor from a small church (where I was alone) to a large church (where there is already a full time Pastor and a paid Youth Worker). Thanks you!
Chris Goswami

Re: Plain sailing - or sinking?
What about "We're exhausted - we want to keep on rowing but we simply don't have the energy any more"? That could sum up some folk's position, I think.
Andrew Kleissner

Why do I always check the source of anything I buy?  Apart from Boycotting Israel, China must rank as the best country to Boycott with its massive economic invasion of the West.  This gives us an opportunity for a non-violent struggle of one of the great modern dictatorships.  A court in Xinjiang convicted five Christians on 18 April for “gathering a crowd to disrupt social order”, sentencing them to three to five years in prison. The ruling by the Chongji City People’s Court follows a trial on 27 October 2016.   Yang Zhaocun , was sentenced to five years.  Wang Lulu , 28 ,was sentenced to five years. Cheng Yajie , 26, was sentenced to four years. Liu Yan, 40,was sentenced to three years in prison. Zheng Lan , 68-,was sentenced to three years.  The five were part of a group of around 40 Christians from Xinjiang and neighbouring provinces who gathered in Changji City on 5 March 2016 for a Bible study group.  A large group of armed police broke up the activity. They detained Yang, Wang, Cheng, and Zheng at the meeting, initially on suspicion of “illegal assembly” before changing the felony next day to “gathering a crowd to disrupt social order”. A week later, they detained Liu Yan, who had helped transport attendees to the meeting.  Police formally arrested the five on 11 April 2016. Prosecutors reportedly sent the case back for further investigation twice before indicting them.  Obviously they were determined to continue the crackdown on Christians which even recently saw Bishops arrested and sent foe “re-education”. 
Brian McKenna 

Re: Where the sacred inhabits the ordinary
I have been surprised by the number of Baptist churches in the North West who are encouraging their members to keep lent. This is pure tradition and clearly not exhorted in the New Testament and dissenters ought not to keep to the Established church systems which are often a substitute for a want of spiritual life. I was recently speaking at a funeral in a large Baptist church and one of the ministers, who led us in prayer, read a written prayer and requested a response after each supplication, from the congregation. It was like being at an Anglican service. The Methodists are joining up and it looks to me as if the it won't be long before the Baptists join up too.
Evangelist Greg Hanley

Re: 'Nothing good comes out of Wythenshawe?'
A baptist minster who 'swears' and would like to stop!! Read 2 Corinthians 5 v 17, 'If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature, old things pass away and all things become new.' See John 3 v3, 'Unless a man is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.' What has happened to the standard in the Baptist ministry?
Evangelist Greg Hanley

Re: Minister tops national comedy heat
It is hard to believe that a minister of the gospel would enter such a competition. Comedy, by its very nature is, trivial. When we consider the problems in our society and we are called to address these issues with a spiritual application; how can we want to make people laugh. The message of the gospel starts with repentance and leads people on to faith. Repentance means facing up to the wrong things in our lives, it means being sorrowful and desiring forgiveness and a longing to change, these things are to be joked about. It is tragic that the 'contemporary church' will try any means to influence people as an addition to the gospel, of which the Apostle said it was, 'the power of God unto salvation...' You don't need to add anything to it. Could we ever imagine the Apostle Paul with his team in the Acts looking for a comedian to join with them.
Evangelist Greg Hanley

Actually I can imagine the Early Church having fun.....Paul, maybe not - after all he couldn't abide women could he? But then he could argue the hind legs off the commentators of his day and philosophers. Everyone to his/her gifting.
One just has to read Proverbs and translate it into words for today - or hear Jesus jokes. If we only "preach" with long faces, we aren't likely to get many listeners - like the man I heard yesterday "preaching" in the open air while everyone walked past. No one stopped to listen to his "serious" message - how was that winning souls for God?

God created us with a sense of humour and he wants us to use it (including to reach others). If he didn't want us to use that gift, why did he give it too us? Think of Tim Vine, Roly the Clown, Olive Drane and many others that God has used through their gift of humour.
Moira Kleissner

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State matters
Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022)
Fresh Streams leadership statement following summer theology school
Response to Pension Scheme news; Following the Zeitgeist; A Theology of Unity in Diversity
Annual review; walking club; Rwanda
The Queen; does Jesus heal today?; Child Q
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