Thursday, 28 June 2012

Are we yes but people?


During our cell group this week we engaged with the reading from Sunday, Galatians 3:25 end.
The writer of this passage wants the reader or listener to engage with some challenging ideas pointing us to some divisions and differences that don't seem to a have a place in the church or the kingdom. Or if they have a place in our life for us to identify them and reflect upon them .
Many of us crave for difference young people don't want to be like their old people, punks are not like Goths. Team and party colours separate from each other because we don't want to be like them other people.

 But not all difference is bad. It is the difference and separation that does not allow the other person to take their full place in our community that should unsettle us enough to examine its cost. When we looked at some issues of difference and division we began to go to default position and say yes but, yes but they, yes but God would not, yes but that don't seem right. We knew God had a big vision but we could not help saying yes but. As I think through the divisions and differences in my life I am trying to listen for the,  yes but.   

Monday, 25 June 2012

Wider debate about Welfare!


Wider debate about Welfare!
One dictionary version of the word on the lips of our government,  welfare,  a governmental agency that provides funds and aid to people in need, especially those unable to work. So welfare seems to be about distributing money to those in need (not unlike being a parent) and today that focus for the government is the under 25 year olds on housing benefit. Some we are told have become used to getting hand-outs that are taken for granted and not deserved. (Like me when I was a child)
So here is what I am pondering what if we move those responsible for Tax Breaks into the same Department of Welfare hopefully in bringing the two departments together we will discover some synergy (cost savings) redundancy (eventually seeking housing benefit). It seems to my narrow uneducated way of looking at life both departments share the same definitions of Welfare as some of the definitions and language are similar. The role of both departments is to identify needy people and distribute money to them that they have not worked for or don’t deserve. Those looking for tax efficient lifestyles and those looking for some where to live seem to have a lot in common from a combined welfare and tax return department. One set of people are required to jump through a set of hoops, be interviewed by the department in question and may have the welfare withdrawn at some point because they don’t need it. The other set of people covered by the new shared department are contacted by Mr slick 3% have a meeting in an expensive hotel where they are invited to join a scheme where at some point in the future the same shared department advised by Mr slick 3% will distribute money to those who don’t work money they don’t need or earn. But there is a flaw in my pondering, at some point in the future the two the two sets of welfare people might get mixed up. Those looking for housing benefit might get distributed to them large undeserved tax breaks. And those who Mr Slick 3% is working on behalf of might get some housing benefit. But I am hopeful that those putting together the new combined system will find a way of not getting the people mixed up, the last thing the country needs is irresponsible people wondering around with large amounts of unearned underserved cash wasting it on things they don’t need. We might end up with an economy in growth but that’s another department problem, isn’t it?

Thursday, 14 June 2012

10:10 on a Friday Night

10:10 on a Friday night and the door bell goes. I turn on the CCTV to see a man I don't recognize. 
on opening the door he quietly informs me "get me an ambulance". A quiet and nervous conversation slips by. He can hear the voices, what voices, the voices in my head he tells me. Does he not know i am not on duty for the Mental Health Trust i work for! He is quiet but internally focused as he tells me of his past experience in mental health institutions. His internal voices are encouraging him to kill himself. My concerns for him and me rise, I call the ambulance as he is clearly poorly. The police come (thank you ) the ambulance comes. And my caller becomes agitated by the laughter of the professionals, paranoid, they wont take him seriously. He fears. He seems sure they will take him away and just drop him off somewhere. I try to reassure the calls the professionals have made and the wards they have mentioned seem correct. I don't leave him as directed by the police because he seems lost and unsupported, childlike. So i wait. he willingly gets on board his ride towards mental health care. Its about 11:00 and i go and finish watching the Big Bang Theory.  
another night in the parish encountering people with mental health illness. I hope and pray the voices did not succeed in their plea and threats.