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Jan 02

Tealight

It doesn’t cost much.
It won’t last long.
Lost in a drawer for years,
It might not even light.

But it could be enough,
To spark a flame,
To light up the darkness,
To burn the healing oil.

So strike the match,
Rub the sticks,
Flick the switch,
Ignite an inferno.

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Nov 30

Hard Wired

Cut the head off a flower, and it will grow back.
Tear a hole in the ozone, and it can close up.
Graze your skin, and it will knit itself together.

Healing is hard wired into the fabric of the universe.
So it is hard wired in you too.

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Nov 02

Shalom / Fragmented

Shalom

Is there anything more attractive,
Than a person fully alive?
Completely free.
Totally whole.

The one who has done the work,
Overcome adversity, beat the odds,
Risen from the ashes.

Healing is contagious.
It catches, ripples, sparks,
Lighting fires that lead the way to Shalom.

This is what it means to live your best life,
Not to be free of hardship,
But to be travelling the path to wholeness,
Taking others with you.

Fragmented

Is there anything less attractive,
Than a person barely alive?
Completely bound.
Totally fragmented.

The one who refuses to do the work,
Beaten by adversity, obeying the odds,
Choked by the ashes.

Disease can be contagious.
It catches, spreads, sparks,
Lighting fires that destroy the path to Shalom.

This is what it means to miss your best life,
To be bitter about your hardship,
To walk away from the path to wholeness,
Taking others with you.

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Jul 02

Screwed Up

I said,
It’s like a screwed up ball of paper.
Crinkled, creased, damaged and torn.
If you unfurled it, flattened it, ironed it.
It would still bear the marks of the damage.
It would still be unusable, irreparable, defective.
It would be better to find a new blank page,
To begin again.

She said,
I prefer a screwed up piece of paper to a blank page.
Every line tells a story, every tear honours a scar.
Every crease maps a journey, every mark speaks a truth.
A blank page is uninteresting, without form or pattern.
Voiceless, shapeless, plain.
Screwed up paper shows it can be reformed, reshaped, remade.
You can still be screwed up, and begin again.

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Jun 02

Rethinking the Bible: A Progressive Perspective

How can we see the bible through a progressive lens? For many of us who have deconstructed faith, or seen the bible used to harm or control, how can we reimagine our relationship with it? For this talk given at Oasis Church Bath, I explore the purpose and place of the bible in our lives.

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May 02

Who’s That Lady?

A poem written in memory of my Grandmother, and read out at her funeral.

Another Christmas Day came,
This one not the same.
We didn’t want you alone in the old people’s home,
So we gathered all together at my brother’s house
And you sat in the corner as quiet as a mouse.

By then dementia was doing its thing
You’d point and say “who’s that? There, him!”
“Do you know that lady? Look there’s a baby!”
The long-term memories you seemed to retain,
But shorter term things were like treasure mislaid.

So I knew what was coming as I sat by your side,
You asked “who’s that lady?” I replied, “Gran that’s my wife”.
Your face filled with shock,
Eyes locked, jaw dropped.
You laughed “don’t be silly, she’s not, you what?!”

I began to worry you’d reject not accept me,
Or worse still rebuke and correct me.
Or say being gay just wasn’t right in your day,
Despite years ago telling me you thought it was ok.
Instead you took my hand as your eyes filled with love,
And said ‘as long as you’re happy dear, well that’s enough’.

Relief flooded through me, the conversation was done,
Christmas resumed with food, presents and fun.
I didn’t know minutes later the same question would come,
Then every twenty minutes till the day was done.
I’ve never come out so many times in one day,
I should’ve worn a t-shirt saying REMEMBER I’M GAY!

So now as it’s time to say goodbye,
I think often of that Christmas gone by.
How that moment is perfection in its reflection of you.
Your unedited acceptance of the person I am,
I won’t ever forget it, or you, lovely Gran.

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Apr 02

What is Progressive Christianity?

Progressive Christianity is an evolving part of the Christian faith, and one of the four defining characteristics of the church I lead – Oasis Church Bath. In this talk given at Oasis, I try to define what progressive Christianity is.

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Dec 02

You Are a Gift

A recorded version of the talk given at an LGBT+ Carol Service in Bath 2021, held in partnership between Oasis Church Bath, St Stephen’s Church and Christ Church. I focus on LGBT+ people as a gift to the world, as Christ was a gift from God to the world.

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Nov 02

The Same Fire

The same fire that inspires me
To burn bright
To change lives
To not lose sight
To shine like a light

Is the same fire that requires me
To stop before burning up
To not be too hot to touch
To light up the sky but not too much
To resist the self-destruct

How can fire be held in a human heart,
Without breaking it apart?

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Oct 02

Let Me Be Like Autumn

Let me be like Autumn leaves
Born from mighty oaks.
Rooted in the unseen.
Feeding, nourishing,
Provoking growth.

Let me be like Autumn trees
Unbreakable but bendable. Dependable.
Aware of all that’s nourished me,
But able to let it go.
Grateful.

Let me be like Autumn leaves
Falling with grace at a gentle pace,
Unafraid to change, unafraid to leave.
Letting go, moving on.
Staying near, but in a new place.

Let me be like Autumn trees
Formed from the layers of before.
Every season shaping and making me,
Good and bad, sun and storm,
I embrace it all.

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