Monthly Archives: October 2013

Church Politics

Standard

I love church. And I love people that think Christians are those that have it all worked out. Even more I love those that think Christians are just a bunch of people that have come to an agreement on the big questions in life like “where did we come from?” “Why are we here?” and “What is the meaning of life?” Realistically, in the words of Milton Jones: “Sometimes people think of church as being like a giant helicopter. They don’t want to get too close in case they get sucked into the rotas. Others think of it as a Winnie the Pooh pyjama suit. Safe and warm, but they hope to goodness no one sees them in it. And to some it’s a baseball bat. For most of the time they play a nice little game with their friends. Then once a year they go out into the High Street and hit someone over the head with it.” I went in to my church the other day and saw a sign directing people to the “Hampshire youth offenders team” – are we really so offended by the youth that we need a team to offend them back? And organ donation, that’s got to be a good thing right? Because I’m all for it in our church, in fact, I think we should have got rid of ours long ago. So, if you find yourself falling into any of the categories I mentioned earlier, here are some facts you might not know about church (many of them tend to sum up the age and mentality of the general congregation):

  1. The majority of the sound operators are at least partially deaf (as with about half of the congregation)
  2. We have a handrail to enable the congregation to mount the four five-inch steps to the stage area
  3. We have a church choir called OMG (Occasional Music Group)
  4. The teenage group are only capable of pouring squash – most of them don’t know what a percolator is let alone how to use one
  5. There were many meetings held to decide which new boiler we should get
  6. Everyone appears to be overly willing and enthusiastic…until the rotas come out
  7. Multiple people left the church when we changed hymn books
  8. The scratch youth worship band was described as a debarcle
  9. We run a coffee shop each morning selling cups of coffee at 50p, if they were £1, this would probably sort out our deficit
  10. We were asked to do a risk assessment for playing conkers
  11. The flower arranging cupboard is strictly out of bounds at all times
  12. The teenagers are the only ones in the church to actually get biscuits
  13. We have a Hampshire youth offenders team
  14. We argue passionately about the speed of hymns
  15. Most people stick to the same seats as religiously as reading the Bible in fact, if you sit in someone else’s seat it will be the talk of the coffee room and the victims will probably still be complaining about it by next weeks service

So there you have it, Christians aren’t people who have it all worked out, they just know someone who does. They certainly don’t all agree on the big questions, they just tend to agree that the big questions are never the most important. It’s the little questions that matter, the how are you’s and would you like a cup of tea? 

“Visitors to a church often find themselves thinking ‘What am I doing here?’ Sometimes so do the members.” (Also Milton Jones) So why do we go? I find myself asking that question quite regularly but I guess it’s because that even when we choose the wrong boiler, scratch our knuckles playing conkers or inflict a single chord introduction or even a weak cup of tea on our congregation, there’s still someone who thinks we’re to die for. Someone who puts a reason behind all the nonsense. So, whether you take six granules of decaff or a double espresso, whether you wear socks and sandals or wellington boots, whether you fall asleep in the sermon or run around at the front keeping people awake and whether you believe or not, we welcome you. Come, add to our imperfections, share in our good times 🙂

Surprise, Surprise!

Standard

Ever tried to organise a surprise party? The secret phone calls, the sneaking around, the hiding of the cake. Well, last week, I was involved in my first surprise party and the best bit was, it was a genuine surprise. Always good with these kind of events. 

With just one week to go before the big day we were busying ourselves with guest lists, decorations, food and all the usual party preparations. I was in charge of the cake for the my Dad’s actual birthday and I made a hedgehog novelty cake – vanilla sponge entirely covered in chocolate icing, chocolate flakes and chocolate buttons. I also had to have an excessively large, last minute layer of butter cream in the middle as, to begin with, the head wasn’t entirely in proportion with the body. Unfortunately, I wasn’t put in charge of the candles. I can’t be trusted with much but for my Dad’s 47th birthday three years ago, I was put in charge of one thing and one thing only and that was obtaining the candles. I got 47 candles (naturally) many of them re-lighting and one of them a singing candle. It didn’t help that we had the cake at Frankie and Benny’s and almost set the smoke alarms off, causing the manager to come over and forcefully eject the candles into a bowl of water. I haven’t been on candles since. 

We did have fifty cupcakes for the party though which, as you can imagine, took quite a lot of engineering to invade the whole kitchen and start work on fifty cakes, so, when someone says they’ll be home “sometime in the afternoon”, coming home at eleven o’clock in the morning isn’t the most helpful. There were many close calls and when Jesus told people that lying was never acceptable under any circumstance, he had obviously never tried to organise a surprise party because we had excuses to win an Oscar. 

When the day finally arrived, we got there early, turned off the lights and it was all party poppers and cheers when he arrived. Success I believe, as they would say in Harry Potter, mischief managed 🙂