A gathering of 30 people from all over Britain to talk about Liberation Theology, organised between Desmond Tutu House and Touchstone, proves YET AGAIN why our house is too small!! We crammed into the Blue Room to talk about Israel/Palestine and environmental issues. We expanded into DT House for film watching (Capitalism - a love story, and Pray the Devil back to Hell) and we spilled out onto the streets of Bradford to listen and learn from our city context. Over a curry at the Karachi (served in a bowl and eaten using chapatti) I talked with my neighbour Tim about Christian protest and what an anarchist church would be like ..... as one does! Brilliant!!
I got so excited about this event that I forgot to take many pictures - but maybe these give a flavour of the fantastic gathering of 30 women who came to Touchstone to talk about what it means to be a woman of faith in a leadership role in Bradford.
Awais had made a massive curry, and we sat and ate, chatted and laughed ..
It was a brilliant evening - thanks Wahida and Selina, and let's plan the next one soon!
Sometimes in a city context it is possible to forget just how green the world is out there - so at the end of a busy and challenging year, the Touchstone staff headed for the hills to reflect on what we have been up to and what is coming up in September ...
it involved, a lot of writing ..... some puzzling ..... a punnet of fruit ..... and rather a lot of cake .....
but it resulted in some really good strategic thinking, a bright idea or six ..... and .....
a very happy student deacon!!!!!!!!!
West Yorkshire District said 'Fare thee Well' to Peter and Doreen Whittaker as they move to Knaresborough on Peter's retirement. Touchstone are SO grateful for all their wisdom, companionship and fortitude within the District and for supporting our work.
Peter's leaving present was a bear called 'Hope', she sat right through the service without wriggling - but in our experience hope is usually where you least expect her and carried by some amazing people!
Take a bus load of neighbours .....
a spoonful of nuns .....
and a baby elephant .....
mix well for several hours in a warm place .....
allow to stand .....
result? A well cooked zebra!!
Don't try to be posh ..... find the funny side of things ..... be prepared for surprises ..... take pleasure in small gifts .....
and be the person God made you ... (out of cake!)
The Queens students have set sail for Circuits all around the country - each taking a piece of Touchstone weaving as a sign of continuing to belong to a prayerful and connected community. There was euphoria and tears as they set off - taking their individual weavings from the cross in the garden where they had been hanging overnight. They have woven themselves into my life too ....
God bless the church and all who sail in her ...
Whenever it is tough
We will continue
Whenever hearts broken
We will warm
Whenever thoughts rigid
We will challenge
We will pray
Whoever goes with us
We will embolden
Whoever deserts us
We will bless
Whoever is friendly
We will embrace kindly
Whatever it costs us
We will pay
Wherever God sends us
We will go gladly
Wherever God finds us
We will keep heart
Wherever God guides us
We will walk gently
Wherever God takes us
We will stay
The more I think about it, the more encouraged I feel about our interfaith gathering the other night on the subject of Euthanasia. It feels like the fruition of so many good connections in Bradford, where it is so often difficult to have these challening conversations. Awais and I were wondering whether the next meeting should be 'What does it mean to be a good neighbour?' and look at the issue across cultures and faiths. We feel very excited about this turn of events, but also aware that these contacts are the result of years of hard work not just one evening of curry!Dear Rev. Glasson,Can I congratulate you and your team for putting on such a wonderful event which was very much enlightening for myself. I was so impressed with the variety of people you had there to contribute to the subject and who had a passion and my mind wandered off in a different direction when I was sitting in the touchstone building. It came to me that such events are what humanity is about and what people want to talk about, which brings people close together and provides a platform for communication. This is the true Cohesion which is taking place and you should be extremely proud about yourself and the close work you do with people.You don't need a large structure like a mosque or a church what you need is the desire to communicate and invite. I was very touched by the programme and the hospitality provided and would like you to forward a BIG THANK YOU to all involved and inviting me to such as positive gathering.God Bless.Naweed Hussain
I am helping to lead a retreat for Methodist students leaving Queen's College this year - a great group of 13 Minister and Deacon probationers ....
It's great to be back at Launde, a place with many memories of my own formation and training - although it has gone a bit upmarket since then! The house was an Abbey, destroyed by Henry VIII and lived in by Cromwell's sons until landing in the hands of the Leicestershire diocese - a really special and prayed in place ...
You bequeath to us an inheritance of stillness
Where we can be anointed by oils of tranquility, and blessings of laughter
Give grace in this silence and waiting, to these ministers of your Gospel
So that the word may be flesh, and dwell amongst us, body and soul