The Story of the Shoes

The Story of the Shoes

Sometimes the delivering the children blessing can be quite tricky. It can be a difficult task to pitch it at the youngsters while keeping the rest of the congregation engaged. I recently used this poem by Leanne Freiberg called ‘The Shoes” and found that it connected well. So I thought I’d share. I showered and shaved, I adjusted my tie. I got there and sat in a pew just in time. Bowing my head in prayer, as I closed my eyes, I saw the shoe of the man next to me touching my own. I sighed. ‘With plenty of room on either side,’ I thought, ‘Why must our soles touch?’ It bothered me, his shoe touching mine. But it didn’t bother him much. A prayer began: ‘Our Father.’ I thought, ‘This man with the shoes, has no pride. ‘They’re dusty, worn, and scratched. ‘Even worse, there are holes on the side!’ ‘Thank You for blessings,’ the prayer went on. The shoe man said a quiet ‘Amen.’ I tried to focus on the prayer but my thoughts were on his shoes again. Aren’t we supposed to look our best when walking through that door? ‘Well, this certainly isn’t it,’ I thought, glancing toward the floor. Then the prayer was ended and the songs of praise began. The shoe man was certainly loud, sounding proud as he sang. His voice lifted the rafters. His hands were raised high. The Lord could surely hear the shoe man’s voice from the sky. It was time for the offering and what I threw in was steep. I watched as the shoe man reached into...
Assembly: How not to be compassionate

Assembly: How not to be compassionate

I’m aware that sometimes teachers/chaplains/youth workers stand up in front of young people and tell them all the things they should be doing. Today’s assembly was on compassion so I took the opportunity to be honest about how difficult doing the right thing can be. Rather than presenting myself as someone with all the answers I think it’s healthy to be upfront that even as someone employed by the church I find some of Jesus’ most basic commands about loving others and being non-judgmental incredibly difficult. What follows is a story about a recent trip to New York and some of the people I encountered there that formed the basis of a short school reflection… When I visited New York in January it felt like I spent most of my time on the Metro. You sure find some interesting characters on the underground – you never know who we’re walking past! Most of the time you try keep your head down and pretend they’re not there; all in the hope that you get to your destination without any bother. This was my experience in Manhattan. “I’m the New York Candy Man,” he bellowed. A young entrepreneur holding a box offering a selection of chocolate, Oreos and M&Ms explained eloquently that he was trying to help fund his studies.  No one flinched or looked up from their kindles and IPad’s. America has an incredibly expensive education system – this is how the Candy Man finds the money to pay his way through school. On another trip a man in a wheelchair shared his story about how his health bills caused him and his family to lose their house. A woman reached over offering...
Where is God Powerpoint

Where is God Powerpoint

This is a simple PowerPoint slideshow adapted from a 13 year old girl’s poem ‘Where is God?’ Where is God Poem PPT The full poem is below… Where is God? God’s in the snowflake that melted But not in the snowball you threw She’s in the midnight shadow that might Have been there if the cloud only moved God is in the words of the story But not in the book’s printed page She’s in every word that was shouted But more in what you never dared say God lives in the living fur’s touch But not in the leather punk boots He is in the cool stars of midnight But more in the dawn’s golden fruits God’s in the first fair trade chocolate But not in the millionth Kit-Kat She’s in the succulent pork meat But more in Quorn. That’s a fact! God’s not always in my heart Or even in my head But God can be there every step of the way Even when he’s just one step ahead Rose Fisher...
Hoods – A poem by Mr Gee

Hoods – A poem by Mr Gee

Are young people really as bad as the media makes out? Are they any different from previous generations? A poem by Mr Gee. To Hood! Or not to Hood! That is the question. Whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows for wearing such an outrageous fashion statement. Now that is perplexing. You’ve got good hoods. Bad Hoods. From Boy-hood to Man-hood. Happy Hoods! Sad Hoods. Shopping centres banned hoods. Was Robin Hood just some chavey bloke who was misunderstood? Or should his merry men be handed out ASBO’s for being up to no good? Knighthoods. Priesthood. Obi Wan Konobi’s hood Cotton hoods Forgotten hoods. The likelihood of being searched and stopped in hoods. If a hoodie receives a text in the middle of the forest with no credit to his name, does anyone hear his ringtone? Religioushoods Prestigious hoods Ski holiday, alpine slope exquisite hoods. It’s time to revisit hoods. Your cheap labour lives in hoods. That’s why every city, town and village is built with hoods. Hood? The choice of the new generation? Or perhaps it’s just another overused fashion statement. By comparison is it really so bad when we review down the ages And see all the fads that people had in their youths as teenagers Hmmmm….Let’s see Punks walked freely with chains and spikes Skinheads had steal toe-capped boots neatly laced up tight Bikers sported leather jackets with skulls emblazoned on the back New Romantics had huge shoulder pads like they were braced for attack Are you trying to tell me that the hoodie looks more dangerous than that? The...