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notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK
Tuesday, March 23, 2004Last night's thank-you speech two bookable offences...
Funny the people who influence you ... Big Duncan ... yesterday at St Lukes we learned that the nation has voted as its favourite mother - Marge Simpson.
I've been thinking about the people who have influenced me along my journey, those who have in a way brought me here tonight. There are hundreds; many of you included; but just now I'm thinking especially of three:
My two grandmothers - not extraordinary people but women who showed me and many others quite plainly and simply what it meant to live a good Christian life;
Jim Punton - in his own words "a youth leader and Church of Scotland minister, interested in radical theology and an enthusiast for the Kingdom." I picked up on his enthusiasm at the National Baptist Youth Assemblies I attended in the late 1970s, and he (long passed on) continues to be an influence today;
The people of The Good Shepherd and the three Norris Green Churches who over the past decades have worked hard to bring the light of God to this local community:
- I celebrate all these tonight and look forward to joining with the people of this church, Christ Church and St Christopher's as together we seek to keep that light shining here.
[Thanks to all who have come, especially those who have made sacrifices of time, money, personal sacrifices to be here....]
I would like us to charge our glasses to toast The Church - God's people, united, at one in Christ and his mission.
Jim Punton often talked of Christ's mission being about creating shalom - complete well-being of body, mind, spirit, community, economically, politically - the whole of life [Download his paper The Community of Shalom]; and he liked to quote Jeremiah:
"Seek the shalom of the city where I have sent you ... and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its shalom you will find your own shalom."
Friends - let's drink to that: shalom.