Sunday Stuff 10/3/13

Post that made me squeal and clap my hands rather a lot: Progressive Muslims Launch Gay-Friendly, Women-Led Mosques In Attempt To Reform American Islam by Jaweed Kaleem at Huffington Post: Faith Shift.

Today, as America’s Muslim leaders debate controversial topics like political radicalism inside mosques and states’ attempts to ban Shariah law, this growing network of alternative mosques and Islamic groups is quietly forging a new spiritual movement. They’re taking bold steps, reinterpreting Islamic norms and re-examining taboos. While far from accepted by mainstream clerics, these worshippers feel that the future of the religion lies not solely with tradition but with them. Women are leading congregations in prayer, gay imams are performing Islamic marriages, and men and women are praying side by side.

Post that made me go hmmmmm:  40 Day Guest experience series at 27gen:

You’ve planned the music and the sermon well…but will your Guests even notice?

Seven minutes is all you get to make a positive First Impression. In the first seven minutes of contact with your church, your first-time guests will know whether or not they are coming back.

That’s before a single worship song is sung and before a single word of the message is uttered.

They’re a timely reminder that we only get to make a first impression once.

Post that made me actually thank God for an MP: MP lives on £18 a week to see what life is like out there @helengoodmanMP at

I was so shocked when I read what my constituents wrote to me about the implications for them of the bedroom tax, and about how little they would have left to live on, that I decided during the week of the recent recess to see if I could survive on £18 a week, which is what they will be left with to buy their food after 1 April. That figure of £18 is entirely based on the experiences of my constituents, in particular women on employment and support allowance who are about the same age as me, but who had to stop working owing to chronic health conditions, perhaps after 20 years of working life. Out of their £71.70, they have to find £10 for electricity, £20 for heating—gas or coal—£6 for water rates, £4 for bus fares in the case of those who live in villages and have to get to the main town, and £10 for the bedroom tax, which left them with £23 for weekly living expenses.

Post that made me sit and ponder: ‘If the church is hypocritical about sex, the media are hypocritical about hypocrisy’ NT Wright at The Guardian.

I’m not sure the title sells this comment by the ex-Bishop of Durham and inspiring theologian. Read it anyway.

There are two alternatives to hypocrisy. Either you set high moral standards and keep them absolutely. According to Christian teaching, only one person has ever done that. Or you set standards so low that they aren’t really standards at all: you simply “do what comes naturally”. Angels aren’t hypocrites. Nor (I think) are animals. Granted we are none of us in the first category – the only way to avoid hypocrisy is always to follow instinct: do whatever you feel like at the time.

Tweets of the week:

Bishop Alan Wilson: Dear Justin…: Canon Rosie Harper wrote a letter to the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby… http://

Anonymous Baptist: Church signs predate Twitter. Saying stupid things in 140 characters or less for years.

Geoff Hill: Officially the best ever photo of a Dad at a Justin Bieber concert:

The Poke: Does anyone have a picture of a church that looks like a chicken? Actually it’s OK just found one.  (via @tinathewife)


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