Friday, 25 November 2016

Christmas Windows Nativity Play

The main prop is a huge 9 pane window which has the letters for Christmas and there are images on the back side of each pane which represent the parts of the Christmas story.  

The younger kids act out the play (stage right with the manger scene) with the older ones reading the meanings on the windows (centre stage at the shop window) and narrators stage left (by tree).  

Non Speaking Roles:
Mary -
Joseph –
Donkey -
Angels –
Shepherds -
Magi/Kings -

Speaking Roles:
Child 1 –
Child 2 –
Narrator 1 -
Narrator 2 –
Narrator 3 (Lead) –
Narrator 4 (Bible Reader) –

O Little Town of Bethlehem
Away in a Manger
While Shepherds Watched
Silent Night
We Three Kings
Joy to the World
We Wish You a Merry Christmas

- C – Census - Angel visiting Mary and Joseph and then they were called for a census.
- H – Hard Journey - Jesus and Mary travelling on a donkey to Bethlehem
- R – no Room - Knocking on inn doors, no room at the inn
- I – In an Inn’s stable - Jesus was born in a stable
- S – Shepherds - Shepherds on a hillside visited by an angel and travel to visit Jesus
- T – Truth – the Shepherds knew the truth of peace on earth
- M – Magi - Wise men see a star in the East and follow it to Jesus to give him gifts
- A – Answer – Jesus was the answer to their search for meaning
- S – Saviour – Jesus is our Saviour

Props: Large Shop Window with 9 panes (print or draw pictures)/ Huge Bible for “reading” /  
Costumes for the nativity play actors / Manger and other scenery


SET: Centre Stage - “CHRISTMAS” Shop Window.    Stage right - Manger Scene is empty.  Stage left – four narrators are facing Christmas tree chatting quietly…… From stage right: two children walk along and stop to stare at the window.

(Child 1) What is this window?  Where are the toys? What is it selling for us girls and boys?
(Child 2) What are the letters? And who is that crowd?
(Child 1) Be quiet and listen, they’re speaking out loud.

(Narrator 1) How much do you love Christmas?
(Narrator 2) So much.  Two whole weeks off school!
(Narrator 3) No homework to get done.
(Narrator 4) And no one forcing us to get out of bed.
(N 2) Do you think anyone will come to church this Christmas?
(N1) Of course, it’s always full, sometimes there’s not enough room for everyone
(N3) I hope there’s enough room for my friends
(N4) Have they been before?
(N3) No, and I’ve made a special surprise for them, to tell them all about Christmas
(N2) Cool.
(N1) What is it?
(N3) It’s behind us and I’ll need your help, look……
SET: narrators all turn around and look shocked at all the people in the church

(N1) where did they all come from?
(N2) they must have snuck in when we weren’t looking.
(N4) sneaky, very sneaky!!
(N3) and look, my friends have arrived and they’ve seen the surprise.  Hi xx, Hi xx.
(Child 1) Hi, Happy Christmas
(Child 2) What’s this?         (pointing at shop window)
(N3) It’s a surprise, to help us explain what Christmas is all about.
(Child 1) Cool, can we help?
(N3) Of course.

(Child 2) Is it all about the presents?
(N1) No.  It’s MUCH better than that! 
(N4) It starts with Mary and Joseph, they lived in Nazareth, they were going to have a baby and ……
(N3) Wait, wait, wait!  We’re going to look at each letter in the window. 
(N1) Every letter of the word CHRISTMAS.
(N2) Let’s start with C then.
(N3) OK.  xx, pick up letter C and let’s see what’s on the other side.
Shows the scroll picture to everyone (and it appears on the screen)

(Child 2) What is it?
(N1) C for Census.  The Christmas story starts with a census, a count of all the people.
(N2) Everyone had to go back to the town, where they were born, to register their family.
(N3) And pay their taxes
(N4) The Bible says “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.”

Mary and Joseph hold hands stage left and very slowly start walking across the stage with Donkey

(N2) Mary and Joseph had to travel all the way from Nazareth to Bethlehem.
(N3) That’s a very, very, very long way, almost as far away as Birmingham.
(N1) Could that be the letter H perhaps.  xx do you want to look?
(Child 1) Yes, it looks like a journey.
Show the picture (and it appears on the screen)

(Child 2) But would they really have walked as far as Birmingham?
(N2) Well they couldn’t get a train or a plane!
(N3) Exactly, there wasn’t any choice, they had to take the long hard journey
(N1) H for a HARD journey.  Mary was pregnant so she rode on a donkey.
(N4) The Bible says “Joseph left Nazareth, a town in Galilee. He went to the town of Bethlehem in Judea. This town was known as the town of David. Joseph went there because he was from the family of David.  Joseph registered with Mary because she was engaged to marry him.
(Child 2) I know a song about Bethlehem I think……

All sing “O little town of Bethlehem”

(Child 2) Let’s look at letter R; what is this one all about?
Show the picture to everyone (and it appears on the screen)

(N2) R stands for Room, there were no rooms left at any of the inns in Bethlehem.
(Child 1) No rooms in any of the inns?
(N3) No, no room at any of the inns
(N1) They were all full because everyone was there for the census, thousands of people
(N4) The Bible says “While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have the baby.  There were no rooms left in the inn.”
Mary and Joseph and donkey wonder around looking more and more worried and sad

(Child 1) But you said Mary was pregnant, she needed somewhere to sleep
(N1) Yes, she did, and she found somewhere.  The answer might be behind the letter I.
Child 1 Show the picture to everyone (and it appears on the screen)
Mary and Joseph sit by the manger and the donkey sits down near by

(N3) I stands for Inn, but really it was just an Inn’s Stable
(N2) Smelly!
(Child 2) And dirty!
(N1) But quiet and safe.  And that was where her baby boy was born!
(N3) They called him Jesus, it means “God saves”.
(N4) The Bible says “She gave birth to a son. She wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger”
Mary and Joseph place Jesus inside the manger.

(Child 1) Can we sing again? 
(N2) How about away in a manger

All sing “Away in a Manger”

(Child 2) That was a nice story about Jesus, thanks.  And that’s why we have presents?
(N3) Well yes, but that’s not the end of the story, there’s a lot more to come.  Let’s look at letter S.
Child 2 Show the picture to everyone (and it appears on the screen)

(Child 1) What is that picture all about?
(N2) S stands for Shepherds, they were the first to receive a message of great joy about Jesus.
Shepherds enter stage left and sit with sheep

(N1) Angels came to them in the fields and told them about a new king, Jesus.
Angels enter and stand around the shepherds

(N4) The Bible says “That night, some shepherds were in the fields nearby watching their sheep.  An angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord was shining around them, and suddenly they became very frightened.  The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, because I am bringing you some good news. It will be a joy to all the people.  Today your Saviour was born in David’s town. He is Christ, the Lord.  This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.””

All sing “While Shepherds Watched”

(Child 2) A Lord?  You never said anything about a Lord
(N3) Yes, a Lord or King that they had been expecting for hundreds of years.
(N2) That is the letter T. T stands for Truth told by the angels
Child 1 Show the picture to everyone (and it appears on the screen)

(Child 1) Why would a King be born in a stable?
(N1) Because he was a different sort of king, a king from God.  A king for everyone in the world, even the shepherds on the hillsides.  That’s why the angels told them first.
(N2) When the angels left, the shepherds hurried off the hills
(N3) They went into Bethlehem to find Jesus and give him thanks.
Shepherds walk across the stage to the stable and sit around the outside.  Angels go with them.

(N4) The Bible says “Then a very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel. All the angels were praising God, saying: “Give glory to God in heaven and on earth let there be peace to the people who please God.””
(N1) Let’s sing Silent Night

All sing “Silent Night”

(Child 2) Is that the end now?
(Child 1) No, look, there are three more letters in the windows.
(N3) Yes, three more letters.  Shall we look at the letter M.
Child 2 picks up M and shows the picture to everyone (and it appears on the screen)

(Child 2) I know what they are, they are the three wise men.
(N1) Yes, or they might be called Magi.  M stands for Magi.
Kings/Wise Men enter stage left and start walking around pointing at stars in the distance

(N2) They brought gifts from afar and came to worship Jesus.
Kings put the presents at the manger and kneel down around the outside

(N4) The Bible says “After Jesus was born, some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem.  They asked, “Where is the baby who was born to be the king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east. We came to worship him.”  They saw the same star they had seen in the east. It went before them until it stopped above the place where the child was.  When the wise men saw the star, they were filled with joy.  They went to the house where the child was and saw him with his mother, Mary. They bowed down and worshiped the child. They opened the gifts they brought for him. They gave him treasures of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

All sing “We Three Kings”

(Child 1) Is there anyone else who comes to visit?
(N3) No one that the Bible tells us.  But we have two more important things to tell you
(Child 2) Shall we look at letter A?
(N1) Go on then.
Child 2 picks up letter A and shows the picture (and it appears on the screen)

(Child 1) Why is there such a bright light on the stable?
(N2) The light shows that Jesus is a gift from God; He is the answer for the whole world.
(N3) The A stands for Answer
(N1) The answer is to follow everything Jesus tells us; to help the poor and heal the sick
(N4) The Bible says “A child will be born to us.  God will give a son to us.  He will be responsible for leading the people.”
(N3) And the last letter gives us the meaning of this whole story. 
(N2) The reason why we celebrate Christmas with presents and happiness and celebration.
(N4) The Bible says “His name will be Wonderful Counsellor, Powerful God, Prince of Peace.”
Child 1 picks up letter S and shows it to everyone (and it appears on the screen)

(N1) And Saviour, S is for Saviour
(N3) Jesus lived and died so that when we say sorry to him, we are forgiven.
(Child 1 and Child 2) Wow
(N2) It’s amazing good news isn’t it.
(N1) Let’s sing again, a song of Joy about Jesus and His amazing love for us
(N3) I know just the carol “Joy to the World”

All sing “Joy to the World”

Thanks, Prayers and Blessing

All sing “We wish you a Merry Christmas”

Monday, 14 November 2016

Twisted Liaison #mspoetry

Short Circuit
Nerves Entwined
Twisted Liaison
This is what I fear
every time I face stairs;
that nerves will short circuit
and I'll fall down
taking everyone with me.

I never know
When nerves will spark
Twisted Liaison

Who really wins? #mspoetry

Winners and Losers
In the US Election
Who really wins?

Who really wins
In the games of power?
The top dogs

The top dogs
Spraying their territory
Digging up bones

Digging up bones
The future will despair
These sad times

These sad times
Will form resistance
Hope will win

Hope will win
History tells us this
In our hands

In our hands
What will we mold?

Blending differences
Social Orchestra

MS Symptom Rack #poetry

rack up symptoms
quite a collection 
don't be jealous

Saturday, 12 November 2016

MS: the snowball disease

People like to say that MS is a snowflake disease: 
it's different for everyone.  

I prefer to think of MS as a snowball disease;
it's squishing all the snowflakes together and throwing them at me all at once.  

I guess that makes me a snowman;
I'm taking everything MS throws at me and keeping on keeping on.  

Bringing MS Calling into the Fold

I started MS Calling exactly a year ago, it seems like it's been so much longer than that, but it really was 12th November 2015.  MS Calling: A bit of an Introduction

Looking back it's clear that I was hoping to keep the MS as a part of my life and therefore I started another blog to keep all talk about MS at a distance.  But what's become clear over the last 12 months is that MS is part of me, and that it will have less control over my life when I accept that it's part of who I am.

In reality, MS has been part of my life since I was 17 (possibly longer) but because I never had a diagnosis for all the crazy things which I used to experience I just got on with it.  Well guess what - I'm just going to keep getting on with it - after all I don't have any other choice.

What this means for blogging is that I'm bring MS Calling back into the fold and bringing it here to LLM Calling.  All the MS Calling posts written over the year are now safely here within LLM Calling and I've created a tab for the specific posts so you can find them easily; or search the blog.

All new posts I write about my life, no matter what they refer to, will be here at LLM Calling - that's everything from parenting to marriage, from faith to politics, in poetry or prose, from physical to mental health, from birth through to death.
Everything together, accepted as part of the whole.
Welcome Home MS Calling.

Disabled Dreams: Coping with Change

On Tuesday this week I spoke about how we can cope with change and what I've learned as my dreams have been disabled.  These are the notes I wrote, who knows what I actually said, but they seemed to like it.

I have a dream
In the words of Martin Luther King: “I have a dream”.

Actually, I have many, many dreams, aims and plans; ideas are not a problem for me.  The only problem I have is that life has a habit of getting in the way of these dreams; life literally keeps disabling my dreams.  This is frustrating, upsetting and depressing.  I don’t like change which is out of my control.  It brings out the toddler in me and makes me stamp my feet and throw a tantrum.  Once I calm down, and have a chat with my inner adult, there’s no option but to find a way to cope.

Disabled Dreams
There have been four major change points in my life.  I’m going through one right now and it’s this which has made me reflect on my dreams; what it means to be disabled; how we can cope with change as individuals, pioneers and communities and what light may shine through brokenness.  The table below shows what happened at these four times.

Theology of disablement and community; drawing on John Vanier 
John Vanier, founder of the 130 L’Arche communities around the world, has written about disability and theology.  I have been inspired by his reflections and want to share a few.  In “Community and Growth” he says “Growth begins when we start to accept our own weakness” and in “Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus through the Gospel of John” he says “The message of this gospel is simple. It is about being chosen to become a friend of Jesus. It is about mutual presence and learning from each other. To live as Jesus lived and to love as he loved”.

Jesus healed disabilities; the blind man, the woman at the well, the dead, children and even the dreaded tax collectors.  Jesus knew that this was necessary to bring them into community with others and with God.  Jesus even created community when he was himself disabled, on the cross; he showed us how to live when he formed community between John and Mary.

This was a demonstration of the love which rejoices in each and every one of us for who we are; a love which wants us to love ourselves and others despite our brokenness.  Most of us are not healed dramatically in the way that Jesus healed through his ministry, but love and acceptance within communities are a blessing which can heal and allow a true happiness and love between all.

In Japan, broken objects are often repaired with Gold – the art is called Kintsugi.

The flaw is seen as a unique piece of the object’s history and adds to its beauty.
John Vanier wrote “Sharing weakness and difficulties is more nourishing for others than sharing our successes”, it is what God wants of us within communities.

It is what pioneers are called to create; what I feel called to in my disabling, to allow the light to break through the brokenness of life to heal others.  But how do we move beyond our broken dreams?  How do we move beyond our disappointments and failings and disabling?

Disabled Dreams Model
I have a really simple model which we have been exploring in our missional community for coping with change and which I have been testing to the limits in my own life.  It is a model which has God at the centre and prayer surrounding it.  It is about trust and calling, acceptance and sharing.

As we have tried this out we have made some interesting reflections:
- Every person will be disabled at some point
- We all need to grieve different stages of life and ministry
- We’ve never been given permission to lean before, it’s so empowering
- Listening has become a sign of weakness but we need to re-generate its value
- Is every change or disablement therefore something which gets us closer to God? 
- The disabling itself is an opportunity to dream a new dream

Dreaming through Change
I have always seen the disabling times in my life as problems to be solved, as hurdles to be overcome; but life us teaching me that problems and hurdles are everywhere.  It is in these times of weakness that I find God with me and see His call on my life.  It is in these times that God shines light into the brokenness and seals gaps with His Gold.   God does not want me to focus on the disabling of dreams, but on the opportunities to serve Him.  Life is not about merely coping with change but about leaning and trusting God and embracing the call to be His disciples in communities together.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Tonight we'll see equal @rnib

Tonight's the night
To see through sound
I won't be alone
Feeling blindly around
Both Mike and Rach
With specs designed
Will know what it's like
For me being blind
Funnily enough
They're pretty nervous
About what they'll see
Is that the purpose
Well yes, but no
It's more a case
That doing this
Puts them in my place
Just for one night
So they can see
What life can be like
For me being me
Truth be told
I'm nervous as well
How will they cope?
Only time will tell
But one thing's for sure
No matter how they fair
After this experience
We'll have much to share

An evening out with MS

This evening I'm going out.
And not just going out to a friend's house or a church meeting, but out out.

(Not quite this out out though:

Into London with the family to the see through sound concert raising money for RNIB.

This is a big deal.
A really big deal.
It involves a lot of different forms of transport
which all cause pain in different ways;
new places I don't know and so can't see in my mind;
decisions on the fly which are not easy with disability;
anxiety about how it will be
and excitement to be going.

We're staying overnight in London at a budget hotel which Rachel thinks this is an amazing treat.  But in reality it's because neither Mike or I think I'll have the energy to cope with getting home late in the evening. And besides, who doesn't love a cooked breakfast in the morning.
But even that will take a lot of energy.

In all, this trip will take a couple of days worth of energy, possibly even a week's worth.  It's not like it used to be, or like it is for most people is it?  But it's possible to do and it's worth it.

To pull this off, the whole week around today has been planned to the smallest detail.  And here, with the help of cat photos, is what today and tonight will look....

Stay in bed lying down until 11am

Keep my feet up until 2pm when we leave

Stay as calm as possible, allowing Mike to take control of the travel

Lie down at hotel for as long as possible before concert

Enjoy the concert without embarrassing Rachel

Sleep as late as possible tomorrow morning

Come home, possibly after finding some Pokemon, 
depending on how I feel and how sight, pain and fatigue are doing

Hopefully that'll mean fun for us all and I won't end up in a crazy mess.  
Time will tell. 
Watch this space.

Cat photos taken by Inge Wallumrod and used under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Each new day #nationalpoetryday #messages #sayitwithapoem

Each new day
When we're out 
Others scowl
Eyes roll about
But I can't see
Those who frown
Or if they stare
If they're not keen
On my wheelchair
And to be honest
I don't care!

It's MY chair
It gets ME out
And in its yellow
It might shout
And not blend in
But why SHOULD I?

Should I hide
Or stay inside
Well, yes
Some say
Hide away

Not until 
I can't get out
Until I'm stuck
And even then
We'll find a way
Not sure how
But that's for 
Another day

Until then 
I will try
The best I can
To live my life
Coz this is just
How it must be.

It's not the way
That we had planned
But with my chair 
White stick in hand
I'll live my life
The way I hoped
With loved ones near
With as little fear
As we can muster

Though that's often hard
But disabled card
Gives access
To caring ones
So off we go
To try it out
Somewhere new
It might be nowt
Worth writing 
Home about
But what's to lose?

Every day's
A chance to say
Hi world
What you got for me?
What shall I see?
What shall we do?

My vision's just
As huge as ever
Physical limits never
Seem to stop the mind
In it's dreaming
Nor stop God
In His leading
Of my life
In my calling
So I'll just
Keep on following
Don't know where
It is going
But the rowers
Keep on rowing
We've no earthly
Way of knowing
What will come
Or what is going
To happen.

In fact
This could be you
Ten years from now
Or only a few
Months away.
What would YOU say
If YOU could see
What will be
Would you change
Your life
Or will your life 
Change you
What should you 
Do today
What have you 

Take the bull
By the horns
Hold on tight
And charge
Don't hold back
You lack
The choice
And even then
Whilst you have
A voice
In each new day

be brave my girl #nationalpoetryday #sayitwithapoem #messages

be brave my girl
though life's a swirl
of change and fear
I'm always near
in all unknown
you're not alone
just come to mum
if you are glum
I'll listen well
to what you tell
no matter what
to every jot
the good and bad
troubles you had
leave them with me
then you'll see
the way to go
I won't say no
I'm here for you
in all you do

Say it with a Poem #nationalpoetryday

Today on national poetry day
We're challenged to write a message
Anything at all you want to say
It doesn't have to be impressive

Or perhaps I should say, that whatever you say
Is impressive, I want to hear it!
So write it down or speak it out
Don't hide away your message

Mine to you is imperfect
But it comes right from my heart
Words have power to change the world
Now's the time to start.

Message from Grandad #NationalPoetryDay #SayItWithAPoem #Messages

Ride a cock horse
To Banbury cross
To see a fine lady
Upon a white horse
With rings on her fingers
And bells on her toes
She shall have music 

Wherever she goes

This is the rhyme
I often do tell
Grandad would sing
Before he was unwell
Then the Alzheimer's
It took him away
He couldn't sing to us
When we went to stay

Next memory
He is sat in a chair
Not recognising
We were even there
But always we knew
Even then as a child
He loved us to visit
It was there in his smile

Thirty years on
He is still on my mind
Dad of my dad
He always was kind
Now when I hear
This is old nursery rhyme
Grandad brings a message
From back then in time

Friday, 15 July 2016

Mission of the #PokeGym #PokemonGo #Church #PokeStop

I'm guessing you're reading this from one of the following three camps.
1. You're sick to death of hearing all about PokemonGo only one day after it's UK release
2. You're completely confused about what PokemonGo is all about
3. You're playing it and worried about what the heck I'm thinking

Whichever of the camps you're in, bear with me because this is a huge mission opportunity.

What is #PokemonGo?
I hope you recognise this cute little fella (if not then click here).
He is Pikachu and kids, teens and adults have been trying to catch him and his friends on various game platforms since in 1990s.  There is even a card game version which has been a playground craze on and off for years.  Well Pokemon has now been reimagined for the smartphone and we are all challenged to "catch 'em all".  Over 10 million people have downloaded the #PokemonGo app in less than a week and they (and me) are walking (or wheeling) around their local communities, with app open on their phones, to find the characters hidden all over the place.  The more characters you find, the more fun you can have and the more opportunities there are to join with friends and "battle" game play.

What is a #PokeGym?
One of the great things about #PokemonGo is that the developers have created places where players can come to play games called "battles".  They are also places where players can donate a pokemon to help others in their battles; they are places of sharing.  #PokeGyms are places to be and play, they are an essential part of the game and will become popular.

What is a #PokeStop?
A #PokeStop is similar to a #PokeGym but instead of being a place to play games, they are places to gather resources and energy needed to play the game.  It's like a shop for #PokemonGo.  Again it's somewhere people want to visit on a regular basis.

Why is my church a #PokeGym or #PokeStop?
It seems as if the #PokeGyms have been placed in locations where many people have checked in on google or uploaded photos.  There are all sorts of tourist attractions which have gyms (and stops) and also churches, after all lots of people go to churches every week.

What can be missional about this?
It is extremely likely that your church is a #PokeGym or #PokeStop and this is great news for churches, because all of a sudden there will be all sorts of people coming to battle online.  There will be kids, tweens, teenagers, young adults, older adults and families all coming to your church to play #PokemonGo.  There will be lots of people at your church hanging around out of choice and most of them probably won't be members of your church or even people who have ever stepped through the doors.  This is a mission opportunity.

It is an opportunity to show these players that you're connected to their culture, that might be a nice surprise and might change how they think about church.

It is an opportunity to engage with people who come along to play by saying hi and being friendly, you might even join in and make some new friends.

It is an opportunity to serve people, by offering drinks or snacks or just a place in out of the rain.  Or how about offering your plug points for charging their phones?

It is an opportunity to put your church on the map, literally on the #PokemonGo map, and on the social media map.  Suddenly you'll be visible to a whole new set of people.

It is an opportunity to run #PokemonGo sessions where people are invited to come into church and play and share a meal and hang out.  Whatever takes your fancy.

Are there any risks?
One of the amazing things about #PokemonGo is that it is encouraging people to get out of their homes and go out and about.  Of course there are risks with this, especially if people aren't looking where they're going when they're walking or cycling around.  And it isn't great that everyone has their smartphones in their hands ready to be stolen.  But let's be honest; most of us are carrying our phones in our hands or pockets most of the time and aren't really paying attention to what we're doing anyway.  That said, I would advise that care is taken when out and about playing #PokemonGo.

What are we doing at St Nicolas Earley?
Of course it is all fine and good to talk about it, but we have taken the pikachu by the yellow ears and celebrated the fact that we are a #PokeGym.  We have:

  • Tweeted and Facebooked about the fact that we're a #PokeGym

  • Created posters which will be up all over our summer fun day tomorrow inviting people to find the exact location of the #PokeGym
  • Made a sign for our noticeboard telling everyone that we are a #PokeGym and welcoming people to come back on Sunday
  • Requested that the game developers make our church hall into a #PokeStop so that players can come to get resources and then play battles

The opportunity for mission is coming your way, what will you do?

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Garden Bird Antics #poetry

The EU Referendum has been causing me great anxiety and so I've been spending time in the garden trying to focus on the local and centre myself.  This has been a good thing to do and has led to a few poems about what was going on around me.

Bird Feeder Gossip

It's 5pm
On a summers day
Time to meet
Hear gossip of the day

We all hang out
At the feed station
Share latest news
Over our daily ration

Tweets about bats 
Latest news on cats
Down low on dogs 
Squirrel warning facts

Here together
It's one for all
But care is needed
So we don't fall ....

Into the patch
Of the local moggie 
He waits till late
Even if it's soggy

Listening in
Getting the goss
We let him keep
Thinking he's the boss 

But he's not. Oh no
He's in our power
We're up high
In our wooden towers

Whilst he can try
To bring us down
Most of the time
He leaves with a frown

So here we meet
Gossip, plan and eat
He can sit on his seat
Safely there at our feet 

RSPB Bird Feeder

Blackbird Blessings

Blackbird up there in a tree
Thank you for singing to me
Blessing me with songs so sweet
Floating down beneath your feet
I do not know
What they say
But please never
Take them away
Your tones connect me with the world
Imagery round my mind swirls
Of woods I used to walk within
Thank you for such a blessing

Friday, 24 June 2016

How should we respond to the #EURefResults today?

How do I respond
As a minister in the church
On a day like today
When my heart is full of hurt

I pray that calm will come
I know that God is here
But right now in this place
All I feel is fear

When pain is what I know
And concern is in my mind
None of us are alone
But what peace can we find?

I look to the church leaders
And read the prayers they share
But somehow it's not enough
It doesn't take away my cares

I read their public statements
"Political process in place"
But it doesn't stop this hurting
It doesn't help me face to face

Here in this community
Division has occurred
It may not be a war as such
But many are disturbed

And we have to hold that
To comfort and bring hope
I guess that's all that we can do
But how when I am hurt?

And then I finally remember
That this is who God needs
Me just as I am right now
Searching for the peace

Click here for the official statement from the Archbishops

Who's running the asylum now? #EURefResults

It is true
It seems like a nightmare
But you're awake
Yes really
The lunatics have taken over
Our country is in the hands of the mad men
And I am terrified
Anxiety souring
Peace has flown the nest
Because that was our safety net
Europe is a community
And even when we don't agree
It's a place for sharing
And debate
Where we can relate
Through difference
As much as similarity
Less about control
Than being free

Not resource hoarding
But now that is gone
We are gone
And soon will be forgotten
All those of us 
Who are seen as less
The poor and lame
The disabled and in pain
At the bottom of the pile
They don't care
To share
They don't wish
To give
What they hold
So tight
So the future's
Not bright
This is my fear
I shed a tear
For those far and near
Who now for years
Might suffer.
You may not agree
But don't shout at me
This is my blog
And my opinions can be free
It is my fear
It is my life
And that of my child
Who, with eyes wide
Left for school
Not knowing who'll
Be running the country
Now an Island alone
Not knowing what
The future outside the zone
Will bring
For me
For her
For the future
Who's running the asylum now?
And how?