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Tom Stuckey
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Tom Stuckey was President of the British Methodist Conference in 2005. This website has been set up with his wife Christine, to introduce you to our writings and encourage theological reflection both within the Methodist Church and beyond. Take a look and let us know what you think! 

Tom Stuckey   

CLICK PICTURE FOR TOM'S   PROFILE      

 


           AUGUST & SEPTEMBER 2018   
    
 
Take a look at our latest BLOG


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                SINGING THE LORD'S SONG IN A STRANGE LAND

The book is also obtainable from:          Christian resources for Life (CRfl), Stoke on Trent.            Sarum College, Salisbury.         The New Room, Bristol.                  Westminster Central Hall.                 Scroll Eaters, Stroud.                  Keith Jones, Bournemouth.   

    Click HERE for reactions to the  book.     Click the picture to read a sample                  

There is also a study guide for you to download HERE

   The normal price of one book plus postage is now 10. 
                              Contact me on 
 mail1@tomstuckey.me.uk     
                                         

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Last month I wrote of my new theological focus.  A radical change needs to take place within the Methodist Church. This is because we are not longer 'On the Edge of Pentecost' but rather find ourselves existing in the liminality of HOLY SATURDAY. 
Hans Urs Von Balthasar has set out a controversial theology of Holy Saturday and this seemed a good place as any to start my explorations. I have therefore written an essay on this Roman Catholic theologian to gain some understanding of where he is coming from and why he expounds the creedal statement 'He descended into hell' in the way he does.  Take a look at this essay by clicking HERE
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Christine's visit to Albania.

'Albania Hope' is the MWiB Southampton District's project to raise money for projects which 'encourage, equip and enable Albanian young people to reach their full potential'.

A group decided to go (at their own expense) to look at some of the projects the District was supporting through the Mary Ward Loreto foundation.

In a country where the trafficking of young people is rife, the Foundation offer's young people a future in their own country filled with hope over and against the allure and false promises offered by the traffickers. 



Read Christine's diary by clicking HERE

            

                          CHRISTINE'S PAPERS
                                    
 (select below)             
                                                                         
     1. 
Pilgrimage to Lindisfarne      4.  Albanian Diary
 
       2.  MWiB District Celebration

     3.  A Pilgrimage at home        5. Pilgrimage poem
 

  

 

THIS MONTH'S REFLECTION   by Tom

            'The End of the Church?'   (See Von Balthazar's essay)

Although Peter is called to abandon his boat, Jesus returns to it for preaching, teaching and travel. For Matthew the boat is an important symbol of Church. The message of the Synoptic Gospels is clear; the little band of disciples will survive the storms and the tempests which assail the Church. However, at the end of John’s Gospel the boat image fades when Peter becomes a shepherd.

 Luke retains the boat image of Church and, from his knowledge of the Old Testament stories of Noah and Jonah, makes the most of it in the final chapters of Acts. The boat of the Gospels now becomes a large cargo ship carrying a motley crowd of passengers. He graphically describes how the ship, caught in a cross wind, is driven by the storm. Cargo is jettisoned and finally the ship’s tackle. ‘All hope of being saved is finally abandoned’ (Acts 27.20). Paul however disagrees. His hope springs from God’s promise. This hope is communicated to the passengers through a celebration of the Eucharist. No lives are lost even when the ship eventually splinters and breaks apart on a sandbank. Clinging to bits of maritime debris all the travellers make it safely to the shore.  For Balthasar this is the eschatological mystery of the Church. He concludes:

'The Church herself, as the body of Christ, will not escape in her visibility and her institutional character….The risen Lord too is once more a visible form but one that has passed through the gulf of the abyss.'

 He makes this affirmation because the post-Easter Church ‘retains Good Friday and Holy Saturday at the centre, where the human form and visibility of God are swept away, extinguished and buried’.  

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 LAST MONTH'S REFLECTION by Tom 

                               'Inbred Sin'

In transient, materialistic cultures like ours individuals get detached from their community story. In their estrangement individuals will suffer from anomie and lose any sense of who they are. A desperate need to belong can drive the person to seek an identity in teenage gangs or fundamentalist groups. Some will join Churches. In cultures which are rural, tribal or static  myth and memory play a lead role as Mary Grey shows us in her book on Rwanda. Events of genocide like those in Bosnia and Rwanda are not about neighbours falling out and becoming enemies overnight; they are rooted in painful memory. Stories of unredeemed evil and unresolved sin in a past generation come back to haunt a generation centuries later.  ‘Inbred sin’ is therefore personal and corporate. It is rooted in the past as well as the present.

If we have an optimistic or idealistic view of human nature then social programmes of liberation, reform, education and restructuring will be seen as the answer. Unfortunately there are no longer any grounds for such idealism as  ago. Socialism, liberalism and Marxism have not only failed to deliver but have become the new barbarians who, in bureaurocratic re-incarnations, now tyrannize us. Optimism is also a dream as the writings of Rene Girard show. Deep within the human psyche is the murderous myth of Cain and Abel. Cain is in each of us. A river of violence has never ceased to flow through the history of humanity. Violence is a mimetic contagion which spawns itself through bigotry, self-justification and scapegoating. To put it crudely ‘sin is in our blood’. We are caught on a wheel of fire. If one-time victims manage to shake off the chains of oppression they often go on to become the new oppressors. .  

 
  Boards and President