• This little brick of mine

    Jul 05, 2017

    Revd Canon Dr Hazel Whitehead challenges us to think more closely about the importance of engaging with people outside of Church.


    At a recent Bishop’s Staff Team meeting, we read Mark 12. 18 – 27 together. The passage describes an incident when the Sadducees, religious leaders of the day, asked Jesus about the resurrection - pointed questions designed to trap him. Just before that incident, the Pharisees  challenged Jesus, asking whether or not they should pay taxes to Caesar. Despite the dubious intentions behind their questioning, Jesus took the time to answer them and hopefully leaving those who asked more illuminated about the faith which Jesus professed.

    Asking questions and allowing others to ask questions is of vital importance in every aspect of human development and is especially true in matters of faith. People need to know that it is all right to ask questions about Scripture, prayer, theology and doctrine (even though they don’t articulate them in that way).  It also means we can answer the questions they are asking – rather than the questions we think they should be asking!  It gives them freedom to find some answers and engage in discussion and debate, learning that very little is simple with only one right answer.

    The danger for those of us who minister in the Church is that we only talk to church people so the members of BSM were challenged to take a purple Lego brick, a symbol of shared episcope, and take a picture of themselves having a conversation with somebody in a place which wasn’t Church. The bricks serve as a reminder that we, as members of the Bishop’s Staff Team, represent God – and the Bishop – when we are out and about and in relationship with people – just as every disciple represents God in his or her home or place of work.  You could try this in your own congregations and you might be surprised to see just how many offices, shops, gardens, factories and other places Christians find themselves. Maybe the brick itself will elicit a question from a bemused friend or colleague...

    Here’s what the Bishop’s staff got up to with their bricks…