Author Archives: abravefaith

Seize the day – in memory of Stephen

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JUST HEARD that Stephen – my friend and neighbour for almost 12 years – has died suddenly. I was too busy to visit him in hospital the last time he was there – in fact I didn’t even know he’d gone in again this month. He made this great montage of photos for Warren and I a couple of years ago – That’s him… Read more »

Live fully, love wastefully, be all you can be – A reflection for #Christmas by John Shelby Spong

AT A carol service this month, hosted by the Open Table inclusive Christian community in Liverpool, I read one of the readings, which I found moving, inspiring and too good not to share. It’s an extract from a lecture called ‘Jesus for the non-religious’ by John Shelby Spong, a retired US Episcopalian Bishop: Suppose we change our God definition. Suppose we take… Read more »

Welcome into the story! A reflection for the YMCA Christmas carol service

LAST WEEK the YMCAs in the Liverpool City Region gathered for a carol service in the city’s Parish Church, opposite the world famous Liver Building. As the chaplain for YMCA Liverpool, and just starting as chaplain for the YMCA in the neighbouring town of St Helens, I gave a reflection on the Christmas story and what it means for the… Read more »

Kindness Calendar – Do Good December

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‘Together we can change the world, just one act of kindness at a time’ – Ron Hall Let’s spread more kindness this festive season! This Do Good December kindness calendar from Action For Happiness has daily suggested actions to do throughout December 2018 to help you spread a bit more kindness in the world. The festive season should be a time for human connection… Read more »

The book I wish I had written – Queer and Catholic: A Life Of Contradiction by Mark Dowd

THIS BLOG began as I turned 42 in 2012, as: an attempt to be heard, not just for myself, but for other lesbian, gay and bisexual Christians who struggle with their sexual orientation in faith communities that judge them, at best, to be defective heterosexuals, rather than recognising and valuing the gifts and insights that embracing their diversity can bring.[1] Six years… Read more »

What Open Table means to me… Guest post by Jen

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LAST WEEKEND Open Table – an ecumenical Christian worship community which offers a warm welcome to people who are: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer / Questioning, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA) and all who seek an inclusive Church – took part in a day conference called Gathering Voices – From Welcome to Affirmation. As part of that event I hosted a workshop called… Read more »

Just do it, for God’s sake! Reflecting on the Christian mission of the YMCA

LAST MONTH, I spent three days with colleagues from around a dozen other YMCAs at the UK Unify conference, a platform for YMCAs to share and reflect on the Christian mission of what is now the largest and oldest youth charity in the world. I was expecting the conference to be mostly chaplains and managers, but people with all kinds… Read more »

Heartwarming responses to LGBT+ bullying #SpiritDay #ItGetsBetter

SINCE 2010, the third Thursday in October has been marked as #SpiritDay, when millions of people wear purple and change their social media profile pictures to help create a world in which lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) young people are celebrated and accepted for who they are. It began in 2010 when Canadian high school student Brittany McMillan created it as a response to… Read more »

The power of story – Guest post by Warren for National Coming Out Day

ON Sunday 14th October 2018, Warren Hartley, co-facilitator of Open Table in Liverpool, was invited to speak at the Open Table community service at St John’s United Reformed Church Warrington. As 11th October is now marked around the world as National Coming Out Day, Warren took ‘coming out’ as his theme: I love stories. They have fascinated me most of… Read more »

In & Out – A reflection on identity: Guest post by Claire

IN RESPONSE to a post I shared recently from my blog archive,  ‘I am what I am’ – A reflection on identity, Claire, a  member of the Open Table ecumenical Christian worship community for LGBTQIA+ Christians in Liverpool, wrote this response which I am happy to share: When I think about my identity, I often remember a dream I had… Read more »