Category Archives: Christmas

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

LAST WEEK the YMCAs in the Liverpool City Region gathered at 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 mission of the YMCA:

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 »

Is there room? – A poem for Christmas Eve

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AT A carol service last Sunday, hosted by Open Table, an inclusive Christian community in Liverpool, I read one of the readings, which I found moving, inspiring and too good not to share. Is there room? There rarely is when people are desperate and search for shelter. Is there room? There seldom is when people are in danger and beg for… Read more »

The real Jesus of Nazareth – Why we celebrate Christmas

Last week I read a headline on The Independent news website that said: ‘One in five Brits does not know Jesus Christ born on 25 December’. I have good news for them – he almost certainly wasn’t! In the story we hear again each Christmas, we remember that the shepherds were out watching their flocks by night – it was much more likely… Read more »

Give free gifts of kindness this December

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‘Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible’ – Dalai Lama So, you’ve survived Black Friday and Cyber Monday – and maybe had a little left over for Giving Tuesday? Let’s not forget that December is a marathon, not a sprint. It may be the ‘most wonderful time of year’ for some, it can also be the most expensive and challenging time of the year for many…. Read more »

Amazing Peace – A poem for Christmas by Maya Angelou

AT A carol service last Sunday, hosted by Open Table, an inclusive Christian community in Liverpool, I read one of the readings, which I found moving, inspiring and too good not to share. Amazing Peace by Maya Angelou Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses. Flood waters await us in our avenues. Snow falls… Read more »

Coming out – A gay Christian poem for Christmas

AT A carol service last Sunday, hosted by Open Table, an LGBT Christian community in Liverpool, I read one of the readings, which I found moving, inspiring and too good not to share. The poem, called Coming Out by Sigrid Rutishauser-James, draws on the image of light in darkness, which was the theme of the whole service: Come into the light Be brave… Read more »

Loving from the bottom of the heap – A gay Christian reading for Christmas

At a carol service last Sunday, hosted by Open Table, an LGBT Christian community in Liverpool, I read one of the readings, which I found moving, inspiring and too good not to share: The most powerful place from which to renew the face of the earth is the bottom of the heap. I often think of the motley crew of gay… Read more »

An Alternative Queen’s Speech: Bethlehemian Rhapsody

THE CHRISTMAS STORY, as it might have been sung by Freddie Mercury and his 70s rock band Queen: Is this the real birth? Is it Nativity? Caught in a census, in the town of His ancestry. Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see… He’s just a poor boy, foretold by prophecy. Because the wise men come, wise… Read more »