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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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44 Responses to 491

  1. Ian says:

    Really like this.

    Thought provoking and comforting at the same time.

  2. Mark says:

    Every Church is an island?

  3. Forrest says:

    Hey Mark;

    Some of them just north of us in Missouri and 112 miles further north up in Iowa sure are!!!!

  4. dawn says:

    we’re all in the same boat……

  5. subo says:

    thats a beautiful image, thanks jon

  6. soniamain says:

    is that an image of the church or us as individuals?. I often feel all at sea:)

  7. dennis says:

    Hey thats powerful.

  8. Miriam says:

    Is that the church “all at sea” ?

  9. beatthedrum says:

    Ah but shouldn’t the church be build on a rock?

  10. Robb says:

    Are we all at sea or is that a generalisation?

    I’ve heard that the fishing is better out in the middle of the sea than back on the rock.

  11. Chris F says:

    It’s me, I’m the Jonah – throw me overboard

    To be honest, maybe I already threw myself overboard! – bit dark and smelly in here…

  12. zefi says:

    A man once said that the Church is like a ship at sea; in contact with the water, but not of it, or IN it. (see similarity with John 17:15-18)

    Perhaps the day when the Church is ONE with the world, is the day when it has sunk.

  13. Robb says:

    I thought we were not ‘of’ the world because we were created for heavenly things but we were firmly in the world.

    “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” and “you sent me into the world”…

  14. Robb says:

    Sorry, my cut and paste is pants:

    ….”I have sent them into the world”

  15. doctor ruth says:

    This reminds me of the time Jesus was asleep in the boat and the disciples woke him up because of the storm. He dealt with the storm but was a bit disappointed with them for their lack of faith. Mind you, I can be grumpy too when I get woken up.

  16. zefi says:

    “I thought we were not ‘of’ the world because we were created for heavenly things but we were firmly in the world.”

    Is this a question posted to me?

  17. Ros says:

    Chris F –

    I expect we all feel like Jonah sometimes. I know I certainly do! :D

  18. Chris F says:

    After feeding 5000, Jesus sent disciples back across lake – tough row, in dark and against wind. “We understand Jesus why you wanted to go off alone for a bit – but couldn’t we have camped overnight on beach at least (got plenty of food – 12 baskets full!) and we can all go on together tomorrow”

    But no. So out on lake having rough time, Jesus comes by late on in night, on foot, not recognised at first. When he is recognised and gets in, the head wind drops

    So maybe it’s HIS idea all along that the church is working hard in the dark and against the odds. Our job is to keep rowing and recognise that it’s his idea, and he’ll come by and get on board in his own good time

    Which he will. When he says “let’s go to the other side” in the other lake story, he does not mean “let’s sink somewhere in the middle”

  19. marcus says:

    I’d love to be in the belfry in that church on the boat, what a sound those bells would make!

  20. JF says:

    Any port in a storm

  21. Carole says:

    Yes, Doctor Ruth, that’s the one that instantly sprung to mind for me, too.

    I choose to interpret this as more personal than church (She says, refusing to acknowledge the church on the boat. As ‘viewer’ I reserve the right to respond in a personal way, rather than always seeing it as a church politics thing). I can’t even remember the hymn, (it wasn’t Rock of Ages, I thought only the Waltons sang that) but as a child I remember singing lots of hymns at assembly. That’s what happened back then. Although I’ve forgotten the hymns, they have left images on my memory. One such image is the idea of being in the midst of a wild stormy sea but finding shelter in the cleft of a rock. A strong and comforting image and not entirely lost on the 8 or 9 year-old at the time.

    I love the sea but also find it quite frightening. I remember being out on a boat trip around the Farne Islands on a rather choppy North Sea (not bad enough to cancel sailings). It was both scary and invigorating.

    I’m also reminded of St Brendan, stepping out into the deep in faith. Another of my favourite images. I am in a state of flux at the moment in church and in other matters so the cartoon is pertinent.

  22. AnneDroid says:

    Ian White, Christian singer, who hails from town where I live (she says proudly) has a song called “Though I feel afraid” and I’m always struck by these words:

    “A ship that’s in the harbour
    Is still and safe from harm,
    But it was not built to be there,
    It was made for wind and storm.”


    Once we all find our sea-legs we’ll be just fine. But I do feel slightly sick just now.

    P.S. My ONLY claim to fame is that I’m mentioned in the sleeve notes of the album Pre-Revival Days that song is on. Woohoo!

  23. subo says:

    “I’d love to be in the belfry in that church on the boat”, – it just occured to me that I’d like to belong to this little church, out there on the waves, a church that’s a good place to be.

  24. TyTe says:

    All at sea… but floating!

  25. Clare says:

    At least the church in the toon looks like it is going somewhere!!

  26. Robb says:

    Zefi – don’t feel persecuted. You were the inspiration for the q, yes. It was more idle speculation….

    I love to think. Make me think!! Erm. I love the bible! Make me think about that!!

    You have succeded!!

  27. zefi says:

    Don’t worry Robb, I don’t feel persecuted. I just wanted to be sure.

    When I wrote it, I already suspected that the word “in” would be misleading, which is why I provided the second sentence to clarify.

    “In” not as in viewing us Christians IN the world, but rather like when we have already sunk into them, being IN them, indistinguishable from the masses.

    Sure, the body of the ship remains, but they’re nothing more than worthless planks and are already irrelevant.

  28. Forrest says:

    Bells in the belfry – that Marcus brought up there in #19 – those raucously ringing bells would be heard through the stormy winds announcing to all that the church is here, alive, and moving: come! come to us!
    We will help you stay afloat and not drown, lost in the bottomless depths of this world of danger and chaos.

    Though the church is itself storm tossed in that very same tempest that is life in this world; there are within it “old salts” who can advise and guide you through the rocks and reefs that would render the vessel of your life a sunken hulk.

    This storm tossed church, though itself pitching and rolling through the chaotic waves of life; is a refuge safe and dry.

  29. Forrest says:

    Off topic, a litle bit, today is my birthday and my stepson Rusty and his girlfriend Brenda have come to visit Kathy and I for the weekend. :-D

    Good Lord, I’m 45 – how did THAT happen?!?!?!?

  30. lolori says:

    I really like this one. Actually, the toon is quite beautiful visually as well. Nice work, Jon.


  31. AnneDroid says:

    Happy birthday, Forrest. Have a lovely weekend.

  32. What if it gets shipwrecked?

  33. buzz says:

    hmm. this toon makes me feel a little sad actually. its almost as if we have gone back to a time when Jesus was lamenting the fact that Israel was like ‘a sheep without a shepherd’. Have the church in fact become their own saviour?

  34. subo says:

    Happy Birthday Forrest, have a lush time with your own crew

  35. subo says:

    “What if it gets shipwrecked?” – it might well do, and yet God is somehow able to hold on to us.

  36. drewman says:

    Its tiny looking in the expanse of the sea, Its grey, the world is grey and there are no windows.

    sorry having a cup half empty moment!

  37. janetp says:

    Visually, I find this one quite beautiful. The church may be tiny in the grand scheme of things, but it looks strong & cosy. Who knows where it will end up ….

  38. Carole says:

    Happy Birthday, Forrest. 45? A mere slip of a lad! :)

  39. gilly says:

    spose it all depends if the church…is a boat…and is supposed to be all at sea.
    If it is…

  40. Linus says:

    seeing as i’ve had the priveledge of Robb’s company this weekend, maybe i should stop lurking and jump in to this community.

    I love this one. I think that it represents a church community that acts as a lifeboat. I want my church community to be like that. I want my heart to be like that. Amen.

  41. Robb says:

    You have have you? That makes you one of two people then :lol:

  42. Linus says:

    yes, i often feel like one of two people…

  43. Robb says:


    Welcome to the party!!

  44. Pete Rehn says:

    Cool! Maybe the one i like best.
    Do one on my Ravings&rantings.

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