God in the night time

by Charity Hamilton.

“My whole world and future was swept from under my feet and all the walls that I had taken so long to build around me collapsed” wrote Caroline Flack a few weeks before the 40 year old presenter found herself in a ‘night-time place’ and died by suicide.[i] For any who haven’t found themselves in ‘night-time places’ Flack’s description of her world and future being swept from under her feet is an accurate one. In such places we lack the familiarity and security of our known environment, everything is in flux, outside our control. So destructive is that lack of security and control that the very ground on which we stand is swept away; the instability of our selves becomes evident. Norman Sartorius writes, ‘Suicide is a fundamental breakdown of trust between individual and social environment’[ii]; it is exactly as Flack suggests. With no firm ground on which to plant ourselves, with no light we fail to thrive and the best option soon appears to be death.

Christianity has historically condemned suicide as homicide of the self, a willingness to take a life – even one’s own – has been seen as a significant sin. For centuries Christian burial was denied to those who died by suicide, and many were taught that those who die by suicide will be barred from heaven. Suicide in England and Wales was ‘committed’ as a criminal act, based upon the Church’s moral stance that suicide was ‘self-murder’. This view persisted until the 1961 Suicide Act decriminalised suicide. The idea of suicide as a significant sin comes primarily from Augustine who taught that if we do not love our own lives then we cannot love the lives of others, or God. This Christian theological approach to suicide is further developed in the reformation and by Luther, emphasizing our calling: that we each have a calling from God and so to die by suicide is to refuse God’s call to us.

In 1996 Rowan Williams developed an argument that sees all human life as vocation, writing that ‘it is hard to see how the resignation of life because of its intolerable burden can express the nature and activity of God.’[iii] He explores how our lives are intricately bound up in the lives of others and so the decision to end one’s life is also a decision about the lives of others.

When confronted with difficulties, the question I find myself asking is ‘where is God in this?’ I agree with Williams, that all human life is bound up in God’s calling and that on each of our lives there is a specific vocation. However, I believe that in the resignation of life there is much that can be expressed about the nature and activity of God; a story to be told about suffering, night-time, wrestling and being overwhelmed – in which God is an ever present speck of light within the darkest of nights. Suicide is not failure to live up to God’s calling, it is simply a catastrophic severing or disconnection between an individual and their context in which God’s calling becomes obscured by distress, trauma and a seeming never-ending night-time. God is still there though.

Within suicide it isn’t enough for us to ask the question ‘Where is God in this?’ because for those of us who are not feeling our ‘world and future swept from under our feet’ our calling is to be the community which enacts God. In 2018 Middlesbrough was recorded as having the highest suicide rates out of 152 local authorities with twice the number of people dying to suicide than the national average. In a bid to reduce the number of deaths by suicide a Tees wide taskforce has been established to lower suicide rates. We are trying to create hope-filled communities in which suicide becomes less of an option but in which we recognise that for some, suicide will seem their only option. And that makes them no less called by God.

 

[i] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-51557180

[ii] Sartorius N (2003) Old age and suicide in Eastern Europe International Psychogeriatric Association Biannual Conference: Chicago

[iii]  Rowan Williams, Theological perspectives, British Medical Bulletin, Volume 52, Issue 2, April 1996, Pages 362–368, https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.bmb.a011551

Seeds and Soil

by Karen Turner.

There’s a brilliant video that has been watched and shared thousands of times over the last few months featuring Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot talking about trees as natural climate solutions.[i]  It feels like the world is beginning to notice that trees are both amazing and at risk.

20.02.17 trees Karen TurnerI’ve been reading Peter Wohlleben’s ‘The Hidden Life of Trees’[ii] which has opened my eyes to woodland mysteries that I knew nothing about, like the ways that trees communicate and support each other; the clever ways they work with fungi and insects; and the methods they use to protect themselves from pests.  According to Wohlleben, there is still much that we don’t know about trees, even something as fundamental as how water travels from the roots all the way up to the canopy of the tallest trees. 

 

But it was something he wrote about seeds that made me think.  In a 400-year lifetime, a wild beech can produce 1.8 million beechnuts, and from these only one will develop into a full-grown tree.  Some seeds may be eaten by animals or not germinate.  Some will sprout and begin to grow, but will struggle for light on the forest floor and eventually return to humus.  Only one will fully grow.[iii]

No doubt we can think of similar odds in nature and signs of abundant generosity in the natural world, but this anecdote about beech trees made me wonder about the seeds of faith that fall from my life.  If I were a tree, would I have a spiritual sapling?  Not just a tender seedling, but someone with space and light to grow strong and sturdy, ready to take their place?

Like many of us, I am used to scattering seeds; whether with youth groups, among friends, in my work as a chaplain, or even online.  Scattering should feel safe and not particularly vulnerable because it’s not about me; it’s up to God whether or not those seeds take root.[iv]  And usually I tell myself that I don’t need to know what happened next.  I may have had a part to play in someone’s faith journey, in the way many have had in mine.

In the familiar parable of the sower in Luke 8, the seed seems to be indiscriminately thrown all over the place, landing among thorns, with stones and on the path as well as on the good soil.  The seeds even sprout in the poor conditions and grow for a bit, though they soon die.  The magic of real growth only happens in the good soil.   The point of this story might be God’s generosity and the various responses to Jesus’ teaching but I’m wondering what made that good soil have, as Jesus says, an ‘honest and good heart’ and ‘patient endurance’.[v]

And I wonder if a parable for our times could include a fifth type of soil?  What would happen to seed that the sower scattered onto over-farmed, over-worked, exhausted soil?  What if this soil was simply unable to support new growth, with the biodiversity drained out of it, having been worked to death without any variation?

Paul Bradbury has written about lessons learned by a farm renewed and regenerated by ‘wilding’ and how these lessons might be applied to the church.[vi]

The answer to tired soil might be ‘wilding’ and the answer to tired ways being church might be the same.

If good soil is diverse, integrated and rested, where can we find it?  Is it going to be found in the furrows that we are farming, time and time again in the same ways?  And if all we have around us are those same furrows, in soil that is worn out, what steps could we take to bring back some wildness?

Like the trees, we don’t really have another option but to scatter the seeds of God’s love on the wind and leave them grow (or not) on the soil below, but I wonder if instead of thinking of large-scale farming methods, each of us could make space for trees to come to maturity in our midst and consider that to be a legacy that could in time build a forest?  What new life might the wild Spirit bring amongst us in soil that was able to grow all that it was intended for?

 

 

 

[i] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-S14SjemfAg

[ii] London: William Collins, 2017.

[iii] Ibid, p. 29.

[iv] Mark 4. 26-27.

[v] Luke 8.15.

[vi] https://pioneer.churchmissionsociety.org/2019/06/wilding-the-church/

Being Understood

by Andrew Pratt.

Early in January this year I watched a programme in which Gareth Malone (of Military Wives fame) went into a prison to draw together young men to form a choir. No one wanted to sing anything except ‘Drill’. Its themes were angry and violent. This music was new to me. It is an extreme example, but illustrates just how far I am culturally from many young people. Some years ago I read that there is no language that can be used in worship that can be understood by those outside the church. Such a change, it was suggested, would reduce worship to such an extent that it would no longer carry any value or make any sense.

I believe that that is a nonsense. But how can we enable worship to be understood? And is it worth it? Liberation theologians, pioneer ministers and progressive theologians have explored this. In every case there has been resistance. It will not be ‘authentic’, ‘it’s not like church’, that is ‘not like Our church’. At worst the theology is ‘faulty’.

Gareth Malone offers a lesson for us all. Working with the men in prison he had individual conversations with them. It took time, effort and a lot of listening. What happened was that the men began putting their life stories, reflections and feelings into poetic rhythm. Many of these were aggressive and violent. Malone encouraged them to wish and hope, to express in the same sort of verse their future expectations. Then he asked how they might want these expectations to change. He encouraged them to sing their own hopes in their own context with their own language. This was not translation of something foreign, but SELF expression. Malone had to move out of his comfort zone. There was something incarnational going on here. The musical tenor of the accompaniment changed. There was negotiation of the texts and music that the men were writing. The end product was still something that the men could own. They were not forced into a normative belief that they would find hard to accept.

So how could this affect our approach to our worship, hymns, liturgy? First, it starts outside the church. If people don’t come to our churches in droves then we shouldn’t be surprised. We don’t sing or speak their language and, too often, we haven’t listened, let alone learned from this. In fact we live in an alternative culture, but as Mark Kermode might say, ‘not in a good way’.

Worship asks us to answer existential questions and to express fundamental beliefs. If others are to join our worship they will need language which will express their deepest feelings, deepest fears. Our theological language may not work. It is no good saying that they will have to learn. Part of the message of the resurrection appearances of Jesus is that each person, be it Mary or Peter, Thomas or those on the road to Emmaus, was met where they were, grieving or in guilt, doubting or not understanding. No one was forced to accept something that they couldn’t. In our context that may well mean putting to one side some beliefs that we have accepted as fundamental. Much of our theology will be criticised as implausible, incredible. The crucifixion may resonate as divine child abuse to some people. Virgin birth may raise questions in relation to male power and the father-hood of God. But our fundamental question ought not to be do we believe this or that theological proposition, but can God love this person? If we believe in such a love then nothing ought to stand in the way of our communicating it. C.S. Lewis stressed that we must know the language of our audience. We must communicate in ways that our hearers understand, not what we think they ought to understand. He went on to imply that if we couldn’t do that it was not the fault of our hearers, but we who were confused. It is the difference between that image of God watching ‘from a distance’ and the presence of Jesus, born, living and dying in our midst as one of us.

Of course getting folk in inherited church to support a mission that won’t fill pews isn’t easy. But the bottom line is, do we value others enough to enable them to know that God loves them without forcing them to be like us? If we do, are we willing to allow them to teach us how to be church? All too often, it seems to me, our precious buildings, practices and creeds matter more.

Is Resilience Enough?

by Barbara Glasson.

As we walked around the airbase with the RAF chaplains we noticed that many of the staff were wearing green lanyards. They signified that the individual was trained in mental first aid. There had been a suicide earlier in the year. The realities of living on the edge of military action, day in and day out, managing ‘ordinary’ life at the same time puts incredible stress on personnel. A course offered by the chaplains was soon oversubscribed, so many wanted to help themselves and others find strategies for coping. The chaplaincy team told us that they were now an integral part of the training process. They offered a module on ‘Spiritual Resilience’ , enabling recruits to find values and meaning within the difficulties of their work. They are clearly a much valued part of the RAF.

Later in the day we went around the museum that houses the vintage planes of the air display team. We learned about the Spitfires and Hurricanes, looked up into the bomb-hold of a Lancaster and were regaled with stories which had been shared by the visiting veterans. I guess nobody had ever helped them to be resilient, they had just returned home and been expected to get on with it. Some talked, many didn’t, some cracked up, others bottled up.

In their book When Blood and Bones Cry Out the father and daughter sociologists John Paul and Angel Jill Lederach discuss the importance of resiliency. They say that no matter the difficulty of the terrains faced by the traveler, ‘they stay in touch with a core defining essence of being and purpose and display a tenacity to find a way back as a way forward that artistically stays true to their wellbeing.[i]  The Lederachs posit that this resilience is the way to social healing. Indeed, in my own book A Spirituality of Survival, I have drawn on the importance of resilience in relation to abuse survivors.[ii] I can see the validity of being rooted and grounded in a bigger and more sustaining story than the immediate disruption of trauma. I can see the need to find coping strategies, set appropriate boundaries and resist self-destructive abuse of power.  And yet, I wonder.

In his Pastoral letter following the Brexit Bill of 2020 Rev Dr Jonathan Hustler, the Secretary of the Methodist Conference, wrote that our nation needs to find ways to ‘depart in peace’, a sentiment I echoed in an accompanying prayer. Whilst many have expressed their appreciation of both letter and prayer, others have criticised its apparent message of compliance to the status quo. They urge us to resist an attitude that may cause us to hunker down and accept our lot, and challenge us both to lament and continually to campaign for a different way. In other words it is lament not resilience that will change the social order.

Of course, all this is nothing new! The Bible itself shows us both paths. There are those that keep their heads down and find strategies for coping in exile or oppression, and those prophets that resist – and generally get into trouble! We feel this particularly within the Psalms where we hear the guttural cries of those in anguish, and the ‘and yet’ of holding onto God’s bigger vision.

I want to say ‘Yes’ to resilience. I want us to claim the power that keeps us centred and whole. But I also want to affirm that we cannot simply survive, we need to lament the atrocities that surround us and cry in anguish at those things that dismember and disfigure the world. Maybe we need to depart in peace, but not in pieces? Chain ourselves to the fence of the airbase whilst supporting those within it?  Hold fast to that which is good, whilst naming that which is structurally or individually destructive?

Maybe resilience isn’t everything? I’d like to know what you think!

 

 

[i] Lederach, John Paul and Angela Jill, When Blood and Bones Cry Out (Oxford University Press, 2011), p.70.

[ii] Glasson, Barbara, Spirituality of Survival (Continuum, 2009).

Doctrine, diversity and dialogue

by George Bailey.

It can help to think of doctrine as a drama which the church performs so that we, the actors as well as the public audience might grow in understanding of what faith in Christ is about.[i] I am starting this piece of doctrinal musing by breaking the fourth wall…

First, for fans of alliterative three point sermons, the other possible title for this is ‘Creeds, Compromise and Conversation.’ More seriously, this is prompted by the Methodist Church’s consultations about marriage and relationships. The ideas here are not about the central issues, about which I assume we have varying views, and are simply part of my own current dialogue, external and internal; definitely personal and not on behalf of any body I might represent. I offer them gently, and hope you will receive them gently, and, from whichever perspective, respond gently.

Now, on with the show.

I am one of the ordained people working with an Anglican-Methodist partnership congregation which began in 2013. After much dialogue and growing together, at communion, we have two wines on the table – an alcoholic chalice and non-alcoholic small cups, reflecting the traditions of the two churches that form the partnership. I am aware that for both this is a compromise and is not theologically ‘neat’ or ‘correct’. Sometimes we are troubled that this is demonstration of our disunity at the heart of our worship. More often we rejoice that this is a sign of the way we work together and embrace each other’s differences. As we seek to be most close to Jesus in communion, we remain aware of the diversity between us – unity in diversity. A further question we ask ourselves is what this says to newcomers. It brings complexity to our proclamation of the gospel, and the truth it reveals about us is a long way from the ‘homogenous units principle’ of church growth theory.[ii] We are, in all sorts of ways, diverse in how we understand what it means to follow Jesus, yet we do follow Jesus together. Perhaps it says, ‘however different your experience might be, we invite you to join in and expand our dialogue’.

Rowan Williams’ stripped down definition of church is very helpful: ‘church is what happens when people are touched by Jesus’.[iii] We do well to remember that even this most basic starting point for Christian doctrine is not about a uniform spiritual experience nor based on a single interpretation of scripture. Just last, week with a group embarking on a study of church history, I looked at three images of Jesus and considered the vast diversity of experience and interpretation which they represent: Christ Pantocrator on the dome of Hagia Sophia, Byzantium (c.1261), Jesus and Mary on the dome of the Sacre Coeur in Paris (built 1871-1914), and The Deposition painted by Graham Sutherland (1947). Each reveals ways that people have been touched by Jesus, yet they are vastly different because of the varying historical and societal contexts. All these experiences are held within Christian doctrine, though each of the complex church contexts within which the images were produced include differing doctrines on key issues. After a century of ecumenical dialogue we are learning new insights into the importance of doctrine holding space for diversity of interpretation and emphasis, and how with listening and humility we can move towards this. Across the sweep of Protestant, Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions the churches largely remain separate, but in many doctrinal matters have moved much closer, and we can definitely recognise the touch of Jesus in each other.

As the Methodist Church in Britain consults about marriage and relationships we are considering the proposed addition to Standing Order 011A of the phrase, ‘The Methodist Church affirms both understandings’. The report God in Love Unites Us recognises diversity of understanding but does not fully explore the issues raised. This phrase was not in the resolutions the report argues for, but was added by the 2019 Conference, so I hope that consultations are going well beyond just discussing the report. This phrase says something important about the way Methodist doctrine deliberately includes a diversity of experience and interpretation. I do not think this is an innovation, as the church has always held diversity together. The roots of the church in the 18th Century revival are of diverse groups, mostly but not exclusively within the Church of England, coalescing into an organized network of societies. Doctrine was forged centrally in a way that held together these societies. I appreciate Henry Rack’s description of John Wesley, who persuaded all sorts of groups into his connexion, as the ‘great cannibalizer’.[iv] This challenges romantic notions about the homogeneity of the revival. Wesley was carefully negotiating for diverse groups to come together under a single doctrinal umbrella. Following the complex divisions of the 19th century, the Methodist Union of 1932 was also a carefully negotiated compromise through a decade of conversations which were not always easy. In 1998 the Methodist Church acknowledged a range of understandings of scripture to be held within its doctrinal breadth: all seven of the interpretive stances named in the report A Lamp to my Feet are authentic ways to be touched by Jesus through scripture.[v] The affirmation of two understandings of marriage which is now under consultation could represent a further recognition of the way that our doctrine includes an embrace of diversity through dialogue.

Like the two wines on the table, the phrase, ‘The Methodist Church affirms both understandings,’ has potential to cause difficulties. However, I think it also offers an opportunity to tell the truth about our unity in diversity, and to celebrate it as integral to the way that we invite all people to meet Jesus and be transformed – by joining our careful conversation about what that means.

 

 

[i] See Kevin J Vanhoozer, The Drama of Doctrine: A Canonical Linguistic Approach to Christen Doctrine, (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005)

[ii] Most clearly exemplified by C. Peter Wagner in Our Kind of People: The Ethical Dimensions of Church Growth in America, (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1979)

[iii] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjtIS5cBmu8

[iv] Henry Rack, Reasonable Enthusiast: John Wesley and the Rise of Methodism, (Peterborough: Epworth Press, 2002, 3rd ed.), p.214

[v] A Lamp To My Feet and A Light To My Path: The Nature of Authority and the Place of the Bible in the Methodist Church (1998) – https://www.methodist.org.uk/media/1987/fo-statement-a-lamp-to-my-feet-and-a-light-to-my-path-1998.pdf

‘Thus saith the Lord.’

by Josie Smith.

Who saith that that’s what the Lord saith??

I don’t believe half the things the Lord is supposed to have ‘said’ in the Old Testament, where ‘The Lord’ comes across too often as a cruel, vengeful deity.    Not at all the sort of Being one would want to approach, and closely related to those mythological pagan gods who had to be appeased and placated all the time, preferably with the sacrifice of a few cattle, sheep or unravished maidens.

What deity in his right mind would first promise descendants without number to an old man and his wife who was recognised as being past childbearing age, then a few years later demand that he take the improbable resulting child up a mountain and kill him as a sacrificial offering?   No number of convenient rams in thickets are going to convince me that this is the God I should worship.  ‘The promise’ was to make a great nation from Abraham’s descendants.   How was this to happen if God then demanded that Abraham kill Isaac and thus invalidate the whole scheme?   If Isaac did not live to adulthood how could the promise be kept?   What a terrible dilemma for Abraham.   Was he to disregard God’s earlier promise, and thus change the course of history by doing as God was ‘telling him’ to do this time?    Isaac would be removed from his abusive parents by Social Services and placed in safe keeping if this were to happen here today. (Abraham had of course done a bit of procreating elsewhere, which complicates the story but does not I think invalidate my argument or ease Abraham’s agony.)

And what about the bereaved wives and children of those Egyptian charioteers who were drowned to protect the escaping people of Israel from being caught?    Didn’t God make Egyptians too? Did he not make the people of Canaan who were so ruthlessly ethnically cleansed when the Israelites reached the Promised Land?

Many of the Psalms need to be approached with caution also – too often we read of a deity who will allow us to suffer all sorts of harm, but it will be all right in the end because of course God is on OUR side and will smite the enemy most horribly and painfully and thereby save us.

I just can’t cope with this sort of understanding.

And yet some of the most powerful preaching comes from a study of the Old Testament, prayerfully set alongside the New Testament in countless studies and on countless kitchen tables, as preachers wrestle with the Bible and try to work out what the ancient history of another culture has to say to us in our culture.   We are not so different.   There are still tyrants getting their way because they can, still refugees fleeing for their lives and being harassed on the way.  Still people enslave other people.    There are still sick people, sick in body or mind or soul.   There are still those who go hungry at the doors of food banks.    And there are still rich people resisting paying their taxes, out of which others could be cared for.    Young men fear for their own lives and carry knives for protection which so easily turns to aggression.

But always there are counter-cultural people – prophetic voices, even if they do not actually say very much, and are not necessarily signed up to any doctrine or party – who remind us that there is another way of seeing the world.   We know them when we see them – people who put their own welfare on the line and stand resolutely (often alone) for what they know to be right.

Who would your list include?

They need not be people in the public eye.   They might not even be noticed.   They don’t thunder ‘THUS SAITH THE LORD’ at us.    They simply act as though what the Lord is saying to them is common sense.   They just get on with pointing towards a world run on love, not fear; on giving, not grasping; on serving, not enslaving.   And some of them are young (‘what can she know about real life?’) and some of them are very old, (‘it’s different now – he’s past it – he doesn’t understand’) and perhaps some of them live among you.   Doing justly, and loving mercy, and walking humbly with God.

Thanks be to God.

Ezra, Nehemiah and the Band-Room Methodists

by Roger Walton.

I have never been too enthusiastic about the tone of the books of post exile rebuilding.[1]  There is, of course, much to admire in them: passion and hard work, moving moments of prayer and rededication, but the emphasis on religious and ethnic purity, wherein men have to give up their ‘foreign wives’ and commit to not allowing their daughters or sons to marry outside faith, rankles.  This seems especially difficult to embrace in our age, where we struggle to affirm diversity and resist racism.  These are not the books of the Bible we bring out to support our inclusive approach to church or society.  We much prefer to highlight the Book of Ruth, with its revelation that Ruth the Moabite was David’s grandmother; a point seemingly aimed at piercing the self-righteous bubble of zealous separatism.

What role, if any, should separation play in discipleship formation and mission?

John Bowmer’s account of Methodism in the period after John Wesley’s death contains the little known story of the Band-Room Methodists.[2]  This was a small secession from Wesleyan Methodism, which began when John Broadhurst started a meeting under this name at North Street Chapel, Manchester.  It was, as Bowmer points out, a harmless gathering but it had not been authorised nor did it come under the authority of the Circuit Leaders’ meeting.  When later the Circuit decided to have a united Covenant service for the town and close North Street for the day, an independent service was held at North Street in defiance of the plan and, more seriously, it admitted non-members.[3]  Covenant Services at that this time were not open worship events but restricted to those who held a Society ticket of membership. To hold a Covenant service open to anyone was a deliberate departure from the Wesleyan rule. The Band-Room Methodists also allowed non-members to attend band meetings. This led to a spirited defence of the closed meeting by the Wesleyan Methodists. A schism followed.

The breakaway of the Band-room Methodists was small and short-lived but the issue of when Methodism should be a society for members only and when it should be a church open to all remains a tension.

Methodist membership is now not connected to closed, confidential bands or classes and special ‘members only’ services but primarily to office holding and participation in the decision-making bodies of the church. I wonder whether we should rethink this.

For the last couple of years, I have been working on something called the Methodist Way of Life. This is a rule of life linked to Our Calling that sets out in practices and commitments how we might embody our Methodist spirituality in everyday life. It assumes, and provides questions for, accountability with a soul friend or in a small group.  Without a confidential, safe place for such accountability, it will not work.  It requires others who are equally committed to the accountable discipleship that the Way of Life provides.  The shared commitment generates the context for mutual support and critical friendship in the Christian journey, which in turn allows us to hear God’s call more clearly and shape our response.  In other words, it requires some kind of separation. Clearly, this may not be the same as that demanded of the returned exiles or of the early Methodist but without a closed and confidential space, it is unlikely to be effective.

Readers of the post-exilic narrative set out by the Chronicler, particularly in Ezra and Nehemiah, tend to justify the separatist stance as needed to recover and reform the character and identity of the people of Israel after the enormity of their religious and political catastrophe.  How could they be the people God called them to be, if they did not have a single minded and rigorous pattern of faith practice?   Only in this way could they be a ‘light to nations’ and provide the context for the Incarnation.

I see this, despite my unease as I read the books.  I recognise that there is a tension between the requirements of deeper discipleship for those who have started the journey and an open, hospitable house that declares God’s love for all. We may need to work more on when each is needed and how to make the tension between them creative and empowering.

 

 

[1] Ezra; Nehemiah; and 1 and 2 Chronicles.

[2] Bowmer, John C.,  Pastor and People, Epworth 1975 p71-74