Monday, 1 August 2011

July Round Up

We're half-way through the summer holidays. I hope you're getting a chance to relax. I'm currently in sunny Shepton Mallet, with some folks from Mosaic. If you want my (barely up-to-date) thoughts on New Wine then have a look at my twitter.

Harry Potter premier in Trafalgar Square, from the dcms

This month had probably the most important event of 2011. The release of the final Harry Potter film. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Part 2 was finally out on 15th July. There was a big red-carpte event a week earlier at Trafalgar Square, with tears from J.K. Rowling, Emma Watson and probably most the crowd. One of the most interesting comments that came from the premier was about the unifying nature of the books. A member of the crowd said how she had only met her fellow fans a few hours ago, but the mutual like of Harry Potter made it seem like they were already the best of friends. An article in the Guardian's Comment is Free section, called The theology of Harry Potter, echoed this sentiment.

The realisation of the two main relationships (Harry & Ginny and Ron & Hermione) was quite sweet. What I quite liked about them was that they were, in someways, quite awkward and honest. But I stumbled upon an article about how romantic films create unrealistic expectations for relationships. I loved it because I knew of someone who would really appreciate the article. Whenever he gets the chance to rant about Disney or Hollywood he will. (It's really just because he sees himself as a thwarted film director.)

If you can rely on the Daily Express for an article on Diana, you can probably rely on the Guardian's Cif section to add something to the faith schools debate. July was no exception. Nick Baines explains how church schools in Bradford show how they serve whole, and often poorer, communities and do not create the religious ghettoisation as some opponents claim.

This last month I have visited a variety of churches, one up in Chesterfield and another in Marchwood. What I loved about them wasn't how smooth and slick the services are but that things went wrong. When the wrong words come up on screen, or someone gets the details of a notice incorrect, I can't help but smile. It's not a it-wouldn't-happen-at-our-church smile (because they'd be the least of our worries). It proves how we are all human and all in need of grace. There's an article on the RELEVANT magazine site that discusses the problems that striving to be "cool" can cause.

July saw a myriad of sad events hit our news. First was the attacks in Norway. They were truly horrific. Then the tragic death of Amy Winehouse. As a Christian community we need to be praying for all that were impacted by these events.

I was also saddened to hear John Stott had also died. Here's his obituary on the Christianity Today website and a memorial website was unveiled.

Saving the least for last. This month, I had the opportunity to be a guest blogger for Church Sofa Blog.

Quick Questions
  1. Where are you this summer?
  2. Have you seen the final Harry Potter film (if not, why not?)? What did you think?
  3. What did I miss?

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