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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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26 Responses to 1021

  1. Jo Malone says:

    The ‘sermon’ (or the bit between worship/singing and when the kids come back from kids’ church) is my favourite bit – but then again, my pastor isn’t the same week after week, and he or she doesn’t stand in a pulpit, but on the same level as me. Maybe that makes a difference?

  2. roy says:

    please tell me you have these controls in the ASBO shop….please….pretty please…..PLEASE!!

  3. now this I could wear!

    although the sermon is my chance to update my FB status and check the weather, the news, how much battery life is left in my phone and so on …

  4. goodfield says:

    You can do that on pod casts! :-)

  5. Marcus says:


  6. subo says:

    how zany to find this image after some recent thoughts I’ve had. Asbo’s having an effect on how I think about my faith.

    I deeply remember a friend talking about how as Christians we need to sing the blues – perhaps as an acknowledgement of how far our society has slipped from the vision of a just and free society hinted at in scripture. and a key text for me has been Paul’s challenge for us to come alongside each other, weeping with those who weep, and laughing with those who laugh.

    yet recently I’ve begun to really feel how far from this vision, my church experience can be at times. I started to feel that church has become a place for people to impose their leadership dreams on it’s unsuspecting members, I feel talked at and directed and worked on. I feel subjected to all kinds of experiments and ideas. at times I just give myself a break, and don’t worry about it, at others I’ve wondered what drives this image of ‘leader led services’, why is it so hard for us to come along side each other?.

    I do think it’s something to do with our western culture, but I also think it’s the model we’ve had from baptism to cremation. we’re preached at when we get married, and at times of morning, and yes – every Sunday we’re fed from the word. sometimes I’m fine with this, it’s just that I think we haven’t learnt to come alongside each other – or maybe it’s me, just needing a bit of support and understanding, and I know I need a break from being directed and led by great ideas and shiny books, – just at the moment, because I long to sit alongside someone who cares about me and doesn’t see me as something to give the word to

  7. Stuart Carley says:

    Hmm, I have mixed emotions about this one. Part of me agrees with what has been said. I’d love that our fellow travellers in each of our little part of the body were more loving and gracious to each other and to the community around. As some one who married into a church which had a totally different approach to everything I’ve been used to in the past. I’ve struggled and at times wanted to fast forward the whole service not just the sermon! However, I’ve come to realise that

    1) I’m not there to just to enjoy it, I’m there to worship the one who made it all possible with
    those God has placed me with . Don’t get me wrong sometimes I’m screaming inside WHY!
    but I have to do it with an act of will and look to God to speak (which he has)
    2) if we switch off or fast forward the sermon me may well miss the very blessing God is wanting
    to give us.
    3) Don’t take a break! – get invoved if you want to change stuff. Who knows maybe the irritatiion
    you feel is the Holy Spirit prompting you to get up! In my experience if you want to be loved
    you have give love first. If you want to be valued (just like our leaders/preachers) we have
    to value others first.

    We all long for the destiny that God has for us but usually our destiny comes wrapped in a problem to over come, the greater the destiny the greater the problem! Maybe thats what our irritation with the status quo is? – the beginnings of unwrapping our destiny?

  8. goodfield says:

    Combining with #1020 pehaps :-)

    2 Timothy 4:3
    For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

  9. Tiggy Sagar says:

    They make them far too long. I usually have to go to the loo in the middle. There’s a South African guy who preaches at my church and he always includes long, boring sports analogies in his sermons, he ALWAYS goes way over the time and he’s a waffler. I think he feels inadequate so he’s scared to finish.

  10. subo says:

    thanks for the thoughtful comments Stuart Carley, – ‘our destiny comes wrapped in a problem to over come’

    I guess I think we are called to be like children because children expect fun, they expect to feel liked and they don’t hang arround when someone slips into to waffle mode

    – just imagine what would happen if one sunday morning every church member was tuning in to their inner child – at the very least there’d be a lot of giggling

    my guess (or hope) is it would be the end of the punitive approach to church

  11. jonbirch says:

    @ Roy. I wish. I’d be a very rich man! :-)

  12. Tiggy Sagar says:


    ‘just imagine what would happen if one sunday morning every church member was tuning in to their inner child’

    There would be a lot of wet pants.

  13. JF says:

    Tiggy says there will be be wet pants. Goodfield says there will be pet wants. Who’s right?

  14. goodfield says:

    JF: The two are not mutually exclusive! :-)

  15. jonbirch says:

    brilliant punning/spoonerising, jf, sir. very clever. :-)

  16. subo says:

    I’m just wondering if anyone else can see connections with Richard Rohr’s meditations, and some of the thoughts on asbo?

    when I first signed up for them, I thought it was just so much air, but found the thoughts on permaculture have rooted something of my restless existential soul, and also noticed this set are from his work for an emerging church conference

    there’s a whole set, this is the first one, and link to web page.

    Mere beliefs do not necessarily change the way we live in this world. What we have been calling “Emerging” Christianity or “Lifestyle Christianity” involves a real movement toward simplicity—at all levels. A return to a simple lifestyle is the only way we are going to be able to respect this planet and create honest community instead of this social climbing we are involved in today. We Americans cannot continue to live at this high level of consumption. It is quite literally unsustainable. Up to now this has not been on the radar of most Christians as a spiritual issue.

    In fact, the very notion of sustainability has largely come into our vocabulary from those who are concerned about caring for the earth.

    Adapted from Emerging Church Conference, Swannick, England, 2010 (unpublished)


  17. Stuart Carley says:

    Richard Rohr is an excellent thinker who tries to put it into practice, a very wise guy. Subo, if you want to put a little more calm into your existential soul. Try Richard’s book ‘Everything Belongs’ an excellent book.

  18. subo says:

    thanks Stuart, yep could do with calm, guess the existential stuff is just how i experience life – but definitely not what i believe

    and here for all you lovers of justice, check out a campaign to vote for justice via a song:

    “Freedom for Palestine”

    A new song, ‘Freedom for Palestine’ by a number of international musicians is being released on 31 May. It is supported by War on Want, Jews for Justice for Palestine, ICAHD, Palestine Solidarity Campaign amongst others – and if we can promote the song as widely as possible and get as many people as possible to pre-order it from 31 May we can secure the first ever chart successful song for Freedom for Palestine in the UK! The video will be launched and the single can be pre-ordered from iTunes and HMVdigital from 31 May 2011. So please pre-order the song and spread the word far and wide! You can sign up to hear/see an exclusive of the song as soon as it available here: http://www.waronwant.org/freedomoneworld

  19. David says:

    I would like to be able to fast forward the intro stuff and get to the meat. There is a purpose for the song/worship portion of the service, but so many churches have lost site of what it is (or never knew). It seems like a wasted bit of time in most churches I visit.

  20. sunil says:

    No sermons in heaven

  21. Tiggy Sagar says:

    @ David Your statement wasn’t self-explanatory – at least not to me.

    @ Sunil Is that a campaign?

  22. Sunil says:


    A campaign? No sermons on the new earth. We won’t have a gel haired man handing down thumping platitudes.

    We’ll have a bearded brown man telling us jokes over bread and wine :)

  23. Tiggy Sagar says:

    I don’t like beards.

  24. linus says:

    But surely you can’t have a problem with jokes, bread and wine, Tiggy?

  25. Tiggy Sagar says:

    Nope and if he can swap the wine for a gin and tonic, I’ll forgive the beard. I’m sure there was something about oil in Heaven as well – maybe flavoured dipping oil? I’m taking my Balsamic Vinegar with me.

  26. DiaTribe says:

    I visited an elderly relative this week who is housebound. The church he can not attend have a system of sending a recording of the service out to such people every week. Yes you’ve guessed it; he says when the boring bits of the service come he fast forwards the recording. He enjoys the services a lot more that way!

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