What the State Funeral Tells Us about Bands in Church

Brief reflections on the church and culture The other day, I was having a friendly disagreement online with another Christian, who was arguing that culture is essentially neutral, implying that the musical styles and genres used in Christian worship are interchangeable. The point being made was that it’s not necessary for Christian worship to be…

Wedding Homily

Preached at Dr. Long Methodist Church in Sofia, Bulgaria, at the joining of Matt Osterndorf and Yana Nikolova in holy matrimony on 16 July 2022 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Amen. Let us pray:Lord God, you sent Your Son Jesus Christ to be the Bridegroom of…

No: THIS Be the Verse

They lift you up, your mum and dad.    They may not mean to, but they do.They fill you with the gifts they had    And add some extra, just for you. But they were lifted in their turn    By folks in old-style hats and coats,Who half the time made their concern    To raise their children without notes. Man hands on…

Death Is Never Glorious

Following a predictable pattern that seems to be becoming an annual media pastime, this year’s Remembrance Day celebrations have again become the subject of a loud debate. Is there a poppy tyranny? Are we honouring the dead or glorifying war? Is the whole thing just a sham to build up nationalism, or to engage in…

A Prayer of the Teacher of a Congregation

Praying Hands

Lord Jesus Christ, Shepherd of souls, You are highly to be praised! How could I praise you for the inestimable grace and love you have shown me, a poor sinner. You have not only made me a member of Your church and congregation, but You have also installed me in the noble and precious work…

DON’T Call Me Tony

A few months ago, there was a lot of talk about the dangers of a culture of deference in the church, putting people on a pedestal in a way that aided abusers. I get that. At the same time, a lack of deference can also do the same job. A 'call me Tony' culture can…

My Peace I Give to You

Sermon on the Feast of Pentecost Genesis 11:1–9, Acts 2:1–13, John 14:23–31 Preached at Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Fareham, on 31 May 2020 Grace to you and peace from God, our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Let us pray: Come Holy Spirit and kindle the hearts of your faithful to the fire…

A Statement on the 2019 General Election

The following statement was issued last week to members of the congregation I serve Dear Friends in Christ, It is highly unusual for the Church to comment on political matters. The Lutheran Church confesses that God rules the world by two different means. With His ‘left hand’, He rules all people by the law through…