Have spent some time preparing a presentation for last night's CMS and USPG Association meeting in Bristol. This looks ahead to 25th March 2007, the 200th anniversary of the day when William Wilberforce's attempts to abolish the slave trade through Act of Parliament finally came to fruition.
I have found it moving to start to engage with this issue. The many plans which are being laid, not only to celebrate an event, but to look at the issues of slavery then and now make me wonder what we shall see God do through all of this. CMS' Free For All youth drama programme seems particularly to have caught people's imagination, and I finished the presentation with a video trailer of that.
Recently I started a two year part time course on being a Spiritual Director / Accompanier / Companion (choose your favourite title). We spend a day together about once every two weeks. it's about listening to people to help them see how God is at work in their lives.
Today's content was mostly about Christian Orthodox spirituality, which was quite an eye-opener, as I knew little about it. I liked the speaker's description of why Jesus came: not so much talk about sin, as about God wanting to be with us to share all that people suffer in the world.
One of the speakers was Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, who said that he wonders about what seems to be one of life's mysteries: that people on the one hand look for lots of security (safe homes, drive a Volvo) and then go hang-gliding.
I've never done hang-gliding, but I do enjoy downhill skiing. Many people describe life with Jesus as an adventure; but perhaps many of us like to choose which bits of life are adventurous, and so control where the risk happens. I don't think life's like that!