Thursday, 29 April 2010

First glimpses

The first glimpses of our new baby came thanks to the lovely people at Llandough hospital today. We don't know if it is a boy or girl just yet, frankly we were just relieved it was not twins!
Time to start thinking about names again.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

One nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day

At the moment I am preparing for the public resolutions at BUGB Assmebly in Plymouth later this month. Norman Kember and I are proposing a BUGB stance on Nuclear weapons and the Non Proliferation Treaty review: It is over 20 years now since I visited Hiroshima but the images and stories of what humanity is capable of doing to one another have never faded behind the fear mongering of deterance arguments. Recognising that such instant and decimating violence can be inflcited on those also made in the image of God and purposed for God's blessing makes the continued presence of 23,000 nuclear weapons (each more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb) in our world unncessary and immoral.

The BUGB resolution will say:

Recognising the continuing threat to peace posed by the existence and development of nuclear weapons, and the potential significance of the May 2010 conference to review the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), this Assembly:

· affirms its commitment to uphold the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons.

· calls upon the UK Government to join with others in taking courageous steps to strengthen the non-proliferation regime and build a secure future for all.

· calls upon churches to give support to the ‘Now is the time’ campaign.

If you don't know about the 'Now is the Time' campaign then have a look at Global Zero, an international movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons. Presidents Obama and Medvedev just signed a historic agreement to reduce their nuclear arsenals. With Russia and the US standing ready to lead, the following months could see the beginning of the end of nuclear weapons, but that will only happen if we seize this moment. To join me and the hundreds of thousands of people in every country in the world who believe in zero, click below:

We must now choose between two very different futures. In one, nuclear weapons continue to spread, increasing the chances that a country or terrorists use them, with catastrophic consequences. In the other, all nuclear weapons are eliminated according to a comprehensive global agreement for phased and verified reductions.

We want to show world leaders that the public supports the idea of a world free of nuclear weapons as they prepare to attend a special summit to address this global crisis.

If you are going to be at BUGB Assembly please don't skip the Public Resolutions, come and listen and debate and help us discern what God is saying to us and to the world.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Apollo 13

Forty years ago today the ill-fated Apollo Thirteen space-craft took off for the moon. Two days later the world heard those famous words:Houston we have a problem.’ An explosion left the crew stranded with limited reserves of power, water and oxygen. Back on earth NASA began a rescue mission: teams of workers improvised scenarios for survival and helped as best they could with the preparations to sling-shot the rocket round the moon and bring it safely back to earth. That was an audacious plan and it seemed like the whole world held its breath to see if it would work.

Recently I watched the movie that recreated the events. I was impressed at the efforts NASA made to get the astronauts home. No expense was spared. All their resources focused on just three men. And the whole world sighed with relief when they splashed down safely in the ocean.

Time and again in the face of trouble the human race proves itself able to overcome what seem like impossible odds. But sadly, just as often, we appear unable or unwilling to put the same effort and resources into events that may be less dramatic, but are no less tragic.

Maybe it’s because we do not recognise the face the one child who dies from hunger every five seconds in our world, perhaps it’s because we haven’t met the families struggling in extreme poverty, it could be that climate change hasn’t threatened the life of those we love just yet, and so these people and the seemingly inevitable catastrophes they face do not receive the urgency of care that we might extend to beleaguered astronauts.

Jesus told his followers, that where ever their treasure was found, that’s where their heart would be. Our hearts once went out to just three men facing an almost certain death in space. How audacious would it be if today we could treasure the millions of people facing a preventable death here on earth?