People-Wall-Alone-Praying-Girl-Chapel-Church-2597796.jpgHi folks, this weeks reflection come from Bev, and it unpacks our continued series of exploring the Alpha themes.

While most Christians practise prayer, the act of praying is not something we fully understand. Have you ever questioned why you should pray, or how God hears your prayers? You are not alone. But we can be assured that there is purpose and power behind our prayers.

As mysterious as it may be, God allows our prayers to influence and accomplish his will on earth. It is one of the ways he has chosen to involve us in his eternal plan. We may not understand every aspect of how our prayers may affect things, but God has told us to pray (1 Tim. 2 : 1-4, 1 Thess. 5 : 17, Matt. 6 : 5-13) and we can trust that God would not ask us to do something unless it is vital to his purpose.

We also know that prayer opens hearts. This is because prayer is a form of trusting God. When we pray we are showing trust in his word – that he hears us and that our prayers matter to him. A life filled with prayer signifies a lifestyle of building a relationship with God and a relationship with God will inevitably transform us. We become increasingly loving, faithful, forgiving, patient, disciplined and kind.

Finally, God tells us that prayer does work! Matthew 7 : 7-8 says

Keep on asking and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking and you will find. Keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds and to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

The passage goes on to say that like a good father, God will give to his children everything they need. But we must be persistent. Don’t give up, continue to trust in God. Even when it seems as if he is not listening or answering, he is and he will.


1. Has there been a time when you have felt that your prayers have/haven’t been answered?

2. Is there a time or place where you feel more able to pray?

3. Is the pat answer when prayers appear not to be answered of ‘God gives us what we need rather than want’ a bit of a cop out?

4. What have you found that helps when praying?


How can i be sure of my faith…

images.jpegWow… this has been some week for mad weather… I trust you are all staying safe! 

This week we are thinking again about one of the Alpha themes… How can I be sure of my faith? This is not an easy theme to tackle! As a child my faith was birthed in the Methodist tradition and then I had an ‘experience’ in my mid teens at a youth weekend, it ‘changed’ me forever… it has kept me going over the years even when I felt like walking away! But I have often asked the question… how can I be sure of my own faith?! At times people told me that I should just believe! Some said pray more… others said they were ‘praying’ for me which was nice… some said its all in the bible, just read it more… I have tried all of these methods over the years depending on where I was at… but most of the times the older I got the more frustrating I found those replies… I wanted more than just tips or simple answers… I think I just wanted to be listened to.

I think this is important for this sense of assurance when we are attempting to follow Jesus. We are often lacking the ability to listen to each other… not just about faith but a whole host of issues. One of the changes for me was in the changing of my language… when I refrain from using the words ‘Christian faith’ and started to talk about ‘following Jesus’ it shifted the emphasis away from a religion to a way of being. The other idea that has helped me come to terms with assurance is the simple yet profound notion that ‘God is with me’. For me this is helpful not because God fixes stuff but rather God is with me in the muck of life, what I have to do in those times is to acknowledge God’s presence with me. I realise that some of this sounds rather simplistic but it has helped focus my own faith and spirituality.


What does this phrase ‘how can I be sure of my faith’ mean for you?

What if our doubt is littered with faith?

What is your experience of being listened to when it comes to expressing doubt?

What methods have you discovered, if any, that help you to have a sense of assurance?

How can we enable each other to share more openly about our own experience of faith and doubt?

Peace, Rob

Laughter… again!!

We hope you enjoyed last months d-church, we had a good laugh as we prepared it! We humans have complex emotions and many of us are thankful that we have the ability to laugh, sometimes life can be tough so its important to find moments when we can have a giggle, and not feel guilty about it. It’s a wonderful thought that God created the ability to laugh!

Check out this quote from Goldie Hawn… Goldie_Hawn_-_1970.jpg

Have a listen to this song by Regina Spektor… How does it make you feel?

Here are the lyrics

Have a look at this quote… what strikes you about it?Laughing-Happy-Statue-Laughter-Sculpture-Smile-995213.jpg

Many people love this passage from Ecclesiastes 3:1-4… In what way does this speak to you?


In the light of this have a look at this video clip from the lion king… Which character do you relate to best?

As we come to pray… Pray for those who are finding times to be tough and ask God to grant them moments of laughter within their struggles.19247684_2025881074104764_3635203683372829336_n.jpg

A closing prayer:



It’s the way you are winning!

28058497_10159870072550408_8766308437016675747_n.jpgHi folks, this weeks reflection comes from Glenn…

A while back now a friend shared a brave, informative and thoughtful piece on panic attacks. So naturally the thing that stood out to me in their story was that they had ordered in pizza two days running; I thought get in there son, that’s the way, you’re winning. And then I giggled. Probably not the expected reaction. Sometimes the big things, life in general, can seem too much, to vast, unachievable.

To paraphrase Tim Minchin, life is a long game and if you’ve chased your life-long dream by the time you get to the end and you’re staring into the abyss of the meaninglessness of your achievement, you’ll be almost dead so it won’t matter.

Why not celebrate the small things along the way, the stupid things, laugh at quirky things, applaud when all the traffic lights are on green, cheer out loud when the kids are up, dressed, and in school on time.

What minor life achievement can you celebrate today?

What has made you laugh?

Is life too short to worry?

It’s you and me against the world, kid. When do we attack?



Children-Globe-Human-Different-Nationalities-1743401.jpgHi folks… I hope you are well… This week our reflection concludes with a prayer.

Over the last few weeks I have been pondering on our humanness, this has also been a topic of conversation I have had with a few people as well. It seems to be a thing! How we look at humanness is important, I have often heard and probably said myself that being human is bad… that it’s sinful… as I have thought about it over the last few years the more I’m convinced that being human is amazing! After all we are made in the image of God… That in and of itself is a powerful thought!

One of the ideas I have come across lately is that our problem is rather how we live and therefore treat other human beings… lets face it, we aren’t nice people sometimes…how we value each other, look at each other, judge each other, let alone our self interest and violence either verbally or physically… all of this, and much more, dehumanises us… it’s as if we have a self destruct policy… even in our jesting we can somehow undermine humanness… So what would it look like if we stopped some of these practices? What if we started to really live as human beings… to embrace the other, the different, the fragile. To live as full human beings with God’s help?

Some questions…

How do we balance a sense of humanness and sinfulness?

How, or do, faith communities misrepresent what it is to be human?

What does it mean for us be ‘made in the image’ of God?

How does treating others affect our own humanity?

In what ways can we embrace humanness in the others we see?

Peace, Rob

A prayer by Joshua Adam Scott


Our Source and Ground of Being,
In you we live, move, and exist.
In your image we have been made.
You celebrate the goodness of our humanity,
and call us to live fully and love deeply.

Yet, today we confess that, in many ways,
we choose to live beneath our good humanness.
In things we have done, and things we have left undone,
we have neglected our calling to be your image bearers
to all of creation.

We confess, Lord.
We have dehumanized others by refusing to love them, by gossiping about them, and by making fun of them.

We confess, Lord.
We have dug our heels into us versus them thinking that makes it easy to condemn entire groups of people that we do not know.

We confess, Lord.
We have been reactionary, allowing fear to control us and dictate our actions.

We confess, Lord.
We have sought an eye for an eye, instead of loving our enemies.

We confess, Lord.

We have closed our ears to the cries of the poor and oppressed,
the immigrant, the orphan, and the widow among us.

We confess, Lord.

We have been greedy, and in our lust for more we have closed our eyes to all the opportunities to share out of our abundance with the hungry, the naked, and the stranger who are in need.

We confess, Lord.
We have failed to steward creation responsibly, thinking only of ourselves and not of future generations, or the One who gifted us such a beautiful world.

We confess, Lord.
And in the process, we have dehumanized ourselves.

We have willingly defined ourselves as consumers, and taken our identity and worth from how much money we have or what we possess, instead of grounding our identity in our calling to bear your image.

We confess, Lord.
We have been hypocritical, judgmental, and angry;
All of these are destructive, not only to others, but also to ourselves.

We confess, Lord.
We have used our religion as a weapon of exclusion, 
instead of building a bigger table for all.

We confess, Lord.


Give us eyes to see,
ears to hear,
and hearts that are open.

Let it be, Lord.

May we live into the fullness of our humanity,
the humanity that you called “good.”

Let it be, Lord.

May we live with hands open in generosity toward God,
our neighbor, and even our enemy.

 Let it be, Lord.

May we take seriously the call of Jesus to embrace our crosses, 
instead of seeking crosses for our enemies.

Let it be, Lord.

May we steward the earth, and our brief lives here, with gratitude and care.

Let it be, Lord.

May we tune our hearts to the music of the Spirit, 
following her lead as we take the next right step on our journey.

Let it be, Lord.

May we live lives that imitate Jesus, being broken and poured in love for others.

Let it be, Lord.

May we practice resurrection, here and now.

Let it be, Lord.

May we experience the full and abundant life, 
to which Jesus invites us, here and now.

And everybody said,




laughter emoji

Welcome to d-church. Tonight our theme is laughter…an easy question to start, ‘what makes you laugh?’

Tonight we offer some laughter therapy. Each of the d-church team will share something that makes them laugh – hope you enjoy it.

Rob – As someone who is a dog owner I can relate to how my own dogs glare at us when we are eating… it always amuses me! This video is just priceless it gets inside their head! ‘the maple kind’.

Elaine – this mixture of nature & comedians makes me literally laugh out loud.

Joy – The Muppets were a big part of my TV watching week as I grew up & they brought my whole family a lot of entertainment & laughter.  So for tonight’s d-Church I thought I would bring you a clip.  As soon as I played this clip I started to smile & laugh, not only did it remind me of those growing up days, but it reminded me about the joy we have in life. However difficult & stressful life maybe become, smiling & laughter are good medicine for the soul.

David – Here is a clip of the very funny Harry and Chris. I went to see them perform in Newcastle before Christmas and it was one of the funniest and uplifting nights I have had in a long time. Enjoy!

And Jesus laughed…laughing Jesus.jpg

Good night…. may you know the peace of the One who came to give life in all its fullness.

We hope you have enjoyed tonight’s laughter theme.  When we were preparing for this we also found the following clip…we leave it here for you just because it’s so very funny.


Mark E Smith… Relationship…

30116696143_b60051f59b_b.jpgThe last day or so has been a journey… One of my favourite artists passed away on Wednesday night, Mark E Smith the lead singer of the band ‘The Fall’. As I have thought about it… it was actually more than the music, although its been a sound track to my life since I first heard them. But it was the memories that came with it… My brother is a huge Fall fan he has seen them live more times than I care to think, he has travelled with his mates all over England and indeed Europe to see them… My brother also shares a birthday with Mark… My brother has met him many times and shared an ale or six with him! Even I have met him… but only briefly, in the back of Newcastle University, he had just come off stage and had no shirt on and was swigging a bottle of red wine! No idea what he said, he kind of talked the way he sang! You either loved him or hated him… not a lot of middle ground with Mark and The Fall! 

Anyway why write this blog? Well, I think its about relationship… I phoned my brother last night to see how he was… Karen had badgered me to do it… I’m glad I did… we don’t speak much and he had clearly been on the booze, but I knew straight away that he was wasn’t in a great place… He hates the cold and dark nights, and longs for the summer… anyway, if you add Mark’s death into the mix it’s just not a good time for him! We shared a word or two and weren’t on the phone long.

We may be related to each other but in all truthfulness we hardly know each other, we have different lives, although we have music and football in common, thats where it stops. Even as a family I wouldn’t say we were particularly close, but hey, I think thats down to our personalities as a family.

But this relationship is key to many aspects of life… our families, friends, work and the things we experience, like music or art… or whatever it might be, I’m struck by the fact that there are a few ways into this idea of relationship. One is that you are just in relationship because you have to be… family I suppose… Another is that you learn to appreciate someone/something over time… another is that they/it just ‘get’ you and you ‘get’ them them/it, It kind of just feels right… there is of course a relationship in the Christian story as well, us to God and God to us if we choose to consider it, which adds to the complexity! And of course i’m struck that there are many other forms in of relationship.

Hmmm so there ya go… A few questions…

What does relationship mean for you?

How does relationship work when you consider music/art/creation?

In what ways can human relationships be complex and/or simple? 

How can we foster better relationships?

If the Christian faith is about relationship, what does it mean?


Sigh no more…

Hi folks! ! Hope you’re well?

One of my favourite songs is “Sigh No More” by Mumford and Sons, taken from their first album titled the same. It’s one of the most hauntingly beautiful songs I will never tire of hearing.

If you haven’t listened to it lately, give it a whirl, it references Much ado about nothing explicitly throughout the song, however it wasn’t until recently I knew this, I was more focused on the Christian meaning behind It; being that the lead singers mother was a baptist preacher, more so towards the end of the song where the line goes;

“Love, it will not betray you, dismay or enslave you, it will set you free”

I love that line, mainly because it reminds me of that verse in John where it says “for God so loved the world, that he gave His one and only Son” An act of true love to set us free, not enslave or betray, but to free us from darkness and destruction.

I love finding Christian messages in secular music, probably one of the easiest ways I find Jesus in the everyday.

Comment below with a song that does the same for you, if any.

What do the above lyrics mean to You?

What is love for you?

in what ways is the Christian view of love (if there is one) different from how the world views it?

What does the verse from John actually mean?




Who is Jesus…


Hi folks, Happy New Year! We will resume with some tentative thoughts on the Alpha themes this week I want to look at Who is Jesus…

Richard Rohr, was talking about dualism in a recent blog post I read, he was saying that this sense of dualism has affected our view of the whole of life, We often have a view of God that mean God is somewhere else… that God is ‘out there’ some where…

He argues that Jesus blows all that out of the water. Jesus came to put it all together for us and in us. He was saying, in effect, “To be human is good! The material and the physical can be trusted and enjoyed. This physical world is the hiding place of God and the revelation place of God!”

If this is the case then this has a dramatic affect on everything… there is nothing where God is and where God is not? We can’t pick and choose who and what has or hasn’t got Gods image… Jesus is the revelation of that reality… In fact Jesus says we have to love and recognise the divine image even in our enemies… Rohr says… ‘Either we see the divine image in all created things, or we don’t see it at all’.

He goes on to say that once we catch a glimpse of the divine in someone or something then the spiral keeps getting bigger… we see the divine everywhere… all over this physical world! This then has implications about the presence of God… we don’t come into Gods presence… we are already in Gods presence… and that is where faith comes in…

So some questions…

Who is Jesus to you?

Where do you see this dualism being displayed?

In what ways do you agree with Rohr that Jesus’ humanity breaks this idea of dualism?

‘Either we see the divine image in all created things, or we don’t see it at all’ What do you think?

Where do you ‘see’ this divine presence?

Peace and light, Rob


Peace on Earth

9656438352_cc37c9217d_bWelcome to d-church. Our theme tonight is ‘peace on earth’. Feel free to comment, like or share any of the posts.

Our first question this evening – is peace on earth possible?

Watch this media clip as people around the world respond to the same question.

What do you think of this quote?


Sometimes it may seem like our peace has been robbed from us. Pause & think about when that happens in your life… Hold some pebbles… or to pretend to hold some pebbles… 

These stones represent the things that burden me, that weigh me down, the things that seem to break into my life and steal my sense of peace. What are the things that rob your peace? (pause). As you pick up a stone, imagine those issues and situations that you personally find hard. It might help to clench your fist as you think about this.

And now as you open  your hands, discard the stone, let those thoughts go as well. Relax your hands too.

Doing this doesn’t make the issues go away. But we can maybe enjoy a short respite and entrust them into God’s hands. We pray that in their place, we may know the peace of God.

Perhaps it really does start with us….


We started d-church this evening by asking if peace on earth was possible. This animation explains how we as a d-church team can say a resounding YES.


You are the peace of all things calm

You are the place to hide from harm

You are the light that shines in dark

You are the heart’s eternal spark

You are the door that’s open wide

You are the guest who waits inside

You are the stranger at the door

You are the calling of the poor

You are my Lord and with me still

You are my love, keep me from ill

You are the light, the truth, the way

You are my Saviour this very day.

(celtic oral tradition – 1st millennium)