Dion's random ramblings

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Catholic Church is maneuvering to save the Soul of Italian footbal

I remember a song that used to irritate the heck out of me when I was younger - I think it was by Sir Cliff (Richard that is), which had a lyric "Why should the devil have all the good music?" Anybody remember that one? I simply didn't like it because it was Cliff Richard - however, the message is a good one! Why should we give over everything that is fun, enjoyable, and entertaining, to the corrupt, money making, ruthless elements of society? Surely God enjoys a good game of football, or a well choreographed concert, or a well written song or novel, as much as we do?

Well, here's another interesting story from the Mail & Guardian. The Catholic Bishops in a certain area of Italy have offered a ?1,6-million a year sponsorship deal to a soccer league in order to encourage it to get 'good and wholesome' again. At first I thought, heck there are much better things to do with that much money! And of course there are!

But, if your members are no longer coming to your Cathedrals, why not find a way to add the value, blessing, joy, and love of the Gospel to their lives where they are! They'll be at the soccer match, where will the Church be - well the Catholic Church in Italy will be right there with them!

What do you think? I would LOVE to see my favourite team, Kaizer Chiefs from Soweto (not to be confused with Kaiser Chiefs ,from Leeds in England, - whom I also happen to love, especially the song "everything is average now days), get some good wholesome values out there as an example to the fans!

We have a young man in our denomination, Fikile Khumalo, who is passionate about using sport to reach people. I wonder what a difference the South African Church could make if we got organised around sharing the Gospel, and making a real difference in the lives of people, at the 2010 World Cup? I'm there with you Fikile!

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Looting, Eating, or Praying? What would you do if the world was going to end in an hour?

If a meteor was to destroy the earth in an hour's time, what would you do?

This was a question posed in a recent survey in Britain. I include the report (with results) from the Mail & Guardian newspaper below.

What I found interesting in the results of this survey is that only 3% of the population said they would pray, beating gluttony, and theft by looting, with just 1%! Amazingly sex did not feature all that high on the list (Hollywood must be wrong), although it dead beat prayer hand down!

That got me thinking about traditional forms of ministry. Perhaps the 'open doors' policy of the Church is no longer relevant - it certainly seems that it is not working in secular cultures such as that in Britain! What do I mean by 'open doors' ministry? Well, it is the kind of ministry that I'm sure many people of my generation and older are used to - it says "We'll be here every Sunday at 9.30 and 18.30. Our doors will be open, we'll be doing our thing. We know it is during your free time, but you should come to us, God is more important than anything else in life!" Of course God is more important than anything else in life... Except perhaps our sinful and selfish nature...

Perhaps we are needing to 'take it to the streets', so to speak? I am always encouraged when I read of new models of sharing the love and grace of Jesus Christ! Here's a wonderful model that has begun to add value to communities in the UK - Street Pastors at Work in the UK.

"We're not here to preach heaven and hell at people, we're here just to help people with whatever help they might need," said pastor Paul Rush... They are trained to have skills in meeting and counseling people before starting work on the streets.

The eight-week course also tackles anger management and crowd control as well as health and safety, first aid and drug awareness.

Here's the report on the survey from the Mail & Guardian:

Quick! Hand me the fatty food, the world's about to end
London, United Kingdom

An asteroid is on a collision course with the earth and you have one hour left to live. What would you do in your last 60 minutes?

Not surprisingly, the majority of Britons questioned in a survey -- 54% -- said they would like to spend it either with or on the phone to their loved ones.

But the survey revealed a strong hedonistic streak -- 13% would sit back, accept the inevitable and reach for a glass of champagne.

Sex appealed to only 9% while just 3% would turn to prayer.

Two percent intriguingly said they would reach for some fatty food while another 2% decided, with just an hour's life to go, that it was time to start looting.

The survey was commissioned by Ziji Publishing to mark the release of Cloud Cuckoo Land by debut novelist Steven Sivell, who "uses the classic premise of an impending meteorite collision as a metaphor for threats to the human race". -- Reuters

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