Wednesday, 29 March 2017

New Directions in Self-Supporting Ministry: Cancelled

I'm afraid we're having to cancel our week-long course, "New Directions in Self-Supporting Ministry."

The retired self-supporting druids all got their forms back at the subsidised rates. But very poor take-up from the ones in employment. So there was no way the course could pay for itself.

I phoned up Fadrick, the guy who runs the La Tene Folk of Luton. He said he couldn't make it because he has "a young family, a day job, and a church to run."

I mean, it was only one a one-week course with 20 hours or so of prep.

Some people have no commitment.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Liturgy of Article 50

Archdruid: Is this really happening?

All: We just thought it was a bit of a laugh....

Archdruid: I mean, yeah in theory I didn't like the EU either.

All: But we didn't think this would actually happen.

Archdruid: Was this really about sovereignty and free trade?

All: No. We just wanted to get rid of the foreigners.

Archdruid: WHAT?

All: We said - we just wanted to get rid of the red tape.

Archdruid: WHAT WAS THAT?

All: What?

Archdruid: That thing. It scuttled into the shadows. Smelt of burning and broken glass.

All: Oh, the spirit of Mosley? He's been hanging around...

Archdruid: What?

All: He just flits among the trees, biding his time...

Archdruid: And he doesn't bother you?

All: Snowflake.

Archdruid: We will now sing Psalm 23. For about 6 years. Or possibly slightly longer.

Monday, 27 March 2017

The Scariest Services

OK it wasn't representative. It was self selecting. And it was Twitter.

But a highly accurate survey of how people felt about the scariness of different liturgical Sundays was conclusive. Quite a few worship leaders are angst- ridden at the thought of leading Mothering Sunday or Trinity Sunday services. And quite a few - but substantially fewer - are angst-ridden about Remembrance Sunday.

This would be especially noticeable, if it were statistically significant, when we remember that Twitter clergy are, for the most part, the most pinko progressives ever to cry liberal tears at the thought that someone, somewhere, might be being mildly disparaging about an endangered species of whelk. Yet they still think the subjects of "Mothering" and "Trinity" are more problematic than marking the casualties of wars many of them probably don't agree with.

How can this be? How did we allow it to get to this state?  Given two services which are meant to be about thanks and wonder-  why are people less worried about Remembrance, where they stagger up the pulpit steps weighed down with assorted colours of poppies they'll have to explain to Major Dumpling  (Retd) later?

Neither Mothering nor Trinity Sunday are in the Bible - so we could lose them. Trinity Sunday is always the week the vicar decides the trainee / lay preacher/  retired newby in town can have a bash. So what's the problem? Surely we should celebrate the Holy Trinity, naturally, in living worship all year - and not save it up for an annual Feast of Modalism.

Of course, it was only an advisory poll. But then so was the Brexit referendum.

The people have spoken. We must take rapid, unwise action.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

New SI Unit Definition: Nanosecond

The time between a peaceful march starting, and someone on Twitter complaining the BBC are ignoring it.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Mothering Sunday - Urgent Update

We've gone through tomorrow's special "Not Offending Anybody on Mothering Sunday" service to ensure it can't cause offence or upset.

We took out anything that could offend or upset people who were adopted; people who wanted to be mothers but couldn't be; people who've lost their mothers; people who can't stand their mothers; mothers who can't stand their children; men; people who were raised by wolves and people who hate other people trying not to offend or upset people.

Which means the liturgy now consists of simply the line "I take it you forgot the clocks went forward?"

So let's take the day off. It's best all round. The potted primroses the Little Pebbles were going to give out are in the potting shed. For those of you who aren't offended by primroses.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

#Westminster

View from Westminster Bridge
Burton Dasset went to work in London today. Same as he always does. Queued up at Flitwick same as he always does. Stood up and was 10 minutes late, same as ever. Yes, I've basically ripped this off "Arnold Same" by Blur.

Burton Dasset isn't heroically standing up to some unfocused, random enemy of Civilisation. He is not a hero. He's not brave. But he is good at sums.

3 people died in London yesterday in a vicious murder. Killed by a narcissistic fantasist. Those three innocent people leave great holes in other people's lives. They were loved. It's an utter tragedy. Even the dead narcissistic fantasist loser leaves a hole in the lives of the people who loved him - yet whom he did not love enough to think they were more important than his own precious ego.

But.

On average, yesterday in the United Kingdom, 10 people will have died in car crashes. 2 people will have died in other murders. In terms of deaths caused in the UK yesterday, this fantasist was irrelevant. He was a legend in his own head only. Even the evil "state" that claimed responsibility had to wait until the British police identified him to say who he was. The only people he really benefited were Katie Hopkins and Nigel Farage. He won't encourage any more people to join Islamic State. Because we've already exported most of our losers to them. And the vast, vast, vast majority of Muslims are nice people, And there are 10 million people who live and work round London. And 3 people are a great tragedy, but a very small percentage.

So Burton went into work. More police, to reassure the public. They're good people. But Burton wasn't particularly worried. London is a big town, and the chances of him dying were very small. He's not brave. But he is good at sums.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Most Useless Battle Ever

"In March 1889, an Imperial German naval force entered a village on Samoa, and in doing so destroyed some American property. Three American warships then entered the Apia harbor and prepared to engage the three German warships found there. Before any shots were fired, a typhoon wrecked both the American and German ships. A compulsory armistice was then called because of the lack of any warships."

From Wikipedia

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Lament for the Loss of Free Coffee in Waitrose

Our hearts are sorrowful within us
And our spirits fail.
For Waitrose want us to buy something
Before they give us a cup of coffee.

As I push my trolley round, I thirst like unto the hart
That thirsts for the spring of water
I'd make the "Deer pants" joke 
Only that works better with John Lewis.

My tears would overflow my cup
If I had but time to catch them.
But instead now I must gulp down my drink
For fear my frozen tarragon might melt before I get home.

I remember how I used to go up to Waitrose
In the days of my youth
When we thought they were a branch of Social Services
Specially for middle-class people.

But now my days are like my coffee.
Long, dark and bitter.

The War on Easter

Can all Beaker Folk please note that today is the first day of "Eggmas." It should have been the Spring Eggwinox same as normal, but St Joseph's Day was transferred because Sunday so Eggmas had to be moved as well.

Eggmas is the first day of the year when you are allowed to complain that the word "Easter" is not on Easter eggs. My favourite complainant from last year was this from Fr David Palmer, quoted by the Telegraph:

“Easter on the back? - Jolly decent of you. I brought 60 Creme eggs for the kids at my Church. Shan't next year.”

Crème eggs are on sale from 1 January. They have never been labelled as "Easter" eggs - or not that I remember. If the good Father knew his history he wouldn't get so over-egg-cited.

Still, the point is valid. After all, the Easter Egg's been in eggsistence ever since that first Third Monday in Lent when Judas demanded to know why Mary Magdalene was busy pouring molten chocolate into moulds so early.

My feeling is that last year's eggstravagant complaints were a clever marketing ploy by the Real Easter Egg Co to get their name in all the papers. But we've got the chance now once again to get Christianity associated with killjoy hysteria so let's go for it. Complain about the pagan eggs! Blame in on fear of Islamic eggstremism, rampant seggularism or Hen Livingstone.

But just remember. We may be called to be all things to albumen. But St Paul told us to be yolked together with unbelievers.