|5||Average number of references to previous ministers in a church meeting.|
|6 years||How out of date the "latest news" is on the average church website.|
|2||Average number of tweets after which a new social media ministry runs into the sand. Number 1 is always "Trying to work out how this Twitter thing works".|
|55||Average age of the children of choir members|
|65||Average age of people who think "Shine Jesus Shine" is a modern hymn|
|7||Number of people in the average town who know what the Rend Collective is|
|4||Number of people on General Synod who have a day job that can't broadly be described as "Church stuff".|
|761||Number of hours from Tulsa, if a church committee meeting had to debate whether it was a bad idea to go there, whether somebody had been there before and it hadn't been very nice, or whether there were other medium-sized cities in Oklahoma that should be considered by the "where we should go to in Oklahoma sub-committee" before definitely committing to going to Tulsa.|
|23||Number of attendees at the monthly "Benefice Together Service", when there are 5 churches in the benefice, each with an average attendance of 23.|
|3||Average number of points in a 3-point sermon, if the preacher hasn't been infected with the virus of post-modernism.|
|45%||Decrease in regular congregation when there's a baptism in the main service.|
|1.8||Average number of persons that members of the congregation actually believe are in the Trinity.|
|5th||The Sunday in a month that transcends the laws of time and space, melts rotas, leaves people in the wrong place doing the wrong job, and can cause the church to fall into a black hole and enter another universe.|
|4||Average weekly attendance of a medium-sized church, if the Treasurer filled in the annual return.|
|29%||Proportion of church members who are to all intents and purposes Arminian|
|35%||Proportion of church ministers who are to all intents and purposes Arminian|
|25||Number of times you have to play "Just as I am" as an altar call, before somebody takes one for the team and goes forward for prayer.|
|5||Average charisma of an atheist on Reddit, if Joe Wilkinson off of "8 out of 10 Cats" scores 12.|
|95||Occupants of the graveyard that are alleged to be turning in their graves, if the church reordering goes ahead.|
|15||Most tea lights you can light on a tea light stand without the danger of a chorister having a toupee go up in smoke becoming serious.|
|3||Final number of nonconformist churches in a town, if the two nonconformist churches decide it's a good idea to unite.|
|15 years||Time the average church member spends in committee meetings in a lifetime.|
|5||Average number of Property Committee meetings it would take to decide that renting the church hall out to a group of hamster-worshippers was not a good idea.|
|15||Members of a Methodist choir above which the vibrato can go critical and start causing quantum effects.|
|712%||Amount bigger the congregation would be, if all the people who claim to be speaking for "other people" were telling the truth.|
|17||Number of ghosts that still have a say on the running of a typical church.|
|3.141592654||Number of points in a three-point sermon in a Catholic Church, if the Bishop is a member of the "Magic Circle". But it's all Pi in the sky.|
|1.5||Number of people who know the new song that the band really wants to play. Including the people in the band.*|
|4||Average number of people who turn up an hour late when the clocks go forward.|
|52||Weeks of the year when a visitor will be told "there's a lot of people away this week...."|
|1/177||Ratio of people who know who a Christian celebrity is, to the number of people who know who a proper celebrity is.|
|2||Different opinions in a church committee meeting when 12 people are there.|
|31||Different opinions on the same subject, in the church car park afterwards.|
|3||Number of people that everybody claims do all the work.|
|45||Number of people who claim to be one of the three who do all the work.|
Monday, 24 November 2014
Quick worrying thought re the 6 days of Creation.
Did God break the EU 48 hour Working Time Directive? I mean, logically, six 12-hour days is a lot more. Naturally, being English, God could opt out. But if so, which employer would be required to give God a waiver form?
Sunday, 23 November 2014
Though mostly I blame Ashley.
When we had our "spontaneous worship" Occasion this evening, I was very keen that all could - spontaneously and freely - contribute. Following Paul's words in 1 Corinthians, I encouraged people to bring a song, or a psalm, or a verse, or a word.
Ashley brought a Psalm.
In the end, we carried her outside and left her in the car park. It was the only way we could finish the service.
I'd like to thank Brother Lewes, from the Windmill Hill Folk of Whipsnade, for his sermon this morning.
Sadly we didn't tell him about our rule on the exposition of Greek words in sermons. To wit, that if anyone uses a mistranslation of a Greek word from the New Testament, or else over-stretches the exegesis of the original Greek to the point where they're putting in more than they're taking out, Marston Moretaine throws a bucket of iced water at them.
Lewes did comment on the buckets before the Ritual, but I admit I forgot to mention their use. You'd think, after the way he got a bonus bucket for his misuse of the Greek word for "worship", that he'd get the message. But there's something about preaching while people throw buckets of water and ice at you that can be very disorientating.
Then, I'm afraid, he explained the meaning of the word "liturgy". Thing is, if you solemnly tell us that it means the "work of the people....." well, it's kinda like catching the Snitch. A "bingo" or "mah jong" effect kicks in. All consideration of buckets of water are forgotten.
And I don't like it any more than the next Archdruid. It's not like I enjoy it. After all, Lewes is our guest. But rules are rules. We didn't throw him into the Holy Well of St Bogwulf for fun.
I can still hear him hollering now. But the tradition says he has to stay there "till the stain of bad exposition is washed away by the healing stream".
We'll give him another half-hour, then we'll lower a rope for him. I hope he'll be OK to preach at Filling up of Beakers tonight.
"You're going to vote UKIP? You must be really stupid."
"I have seen the light of my ways. I shall immediately become a LibDem supporter. I shall trade my white van for a Prius. Oh wow. Suddenly my IQ has doubled. I must buy some flowers for my pet mouse, Algernon."
Friday, 21 November 2014
Thursday, 20 November 2014
If Jesus was alive he'd have an iPhone
— Stelio Kantos (@BrokePhiBrokeLR) November 19, 2014
@scarletmonahan If Jesus was alive in 21st Century Britain then He would be shocked at the lack of human kindness in this Country
— C.I.D.P Astronaut (@The_Jag_10) November 19, 2014
I bet if Jesus was alive in 2014, he would take selfies with everyone, and then heal them. #goodguyJesusOK. If you write "if Jesus was alive" you have no right to continue. The only reason Jesus is known today is because of the belief, held by his Church, that he is in fact alive. His importance rests on that claim, not on his teaching which, for the most part, is not that radical. We all, after all, know what good looks like. Apart from ISIS, obviously. And Kim Jung-Il. And the management of One Direction.
— Christine Nicole (@MissChristyBean) November 18, 2014
Don't go trying to own Jesus by telling us what he'd be like if he "was alive". You're just using our God and hero to back up your - frankly, rather pants - sentimentality. Use John Lennon, or Davy Crockett, or Lady Di, or Errol Flynn, or somebody. They are not alive (I've not included Elvis, you will notice) - or, if they are, they owe it all to the above-mentioned Jesus - and their reputations do not rest on the claim that they are in fact alive. Whereas if the Church didn't believe Jesus was alive, you'd never have heard of him. Do not co-opt our religion into your sad little world. Stop picking random good guys and attaching them to your own self-aggrandizement.
But - above all else- realise the great crime you've committed.
It should be "If Jesus were alive". Do you fools have no idea how the subjunctive / conditional construction works?
Ironically, there's only one person who ever got it right....
If Jesus were alive today he'd definitely trying to avoid healing the sick and penny pinch on insurance.
— Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) July 3, 2014
This doesn't make me happy. And he doesn't look a thing like Jesus.
THEN PERFORM C100-PROCESS-ORDER-LINE THRU C199-END
ELSE PERFORM C200-NEXT-PART THRU C299-END
ELSE - LOOK, I KNOW THIS IS A BIT OFF THE WALL
BUT I'M NOT SURE ABOUT THIS WHOLE "EITHER / OR" PROGRAMMING CONSTRUCT
HASN'T IT EVER OCCURRED TO THE COMPILER THAT, IN THIS COMPLEX WORLD,
IT'S MUCH MORE OFTEN "BOTH / AND"?
I MEAN - CHRISTIANITY, PAGANISM - WHY DO WE HAVE TO CHOOSE?
TRADITION VERSUS PROGRESSIVE MORALITY - WHAT DO WE THINK WE'RE DOING?
IF WE CAN ALL HOLD HANDS IN A CIRCLE, AND JOIN IN AN UPLIFTING SONG -
"KUM BY AH" OR "LORD OF THE DANCE"
DOES IT REALLY MATTER WHAT I BELIEVE?
AND LOOK! YOU DON'T HAVE TO INDENT!