I know that for the last couple of years, there has been a considerable delay in publishing material on Dancing Scarecrow. I really am trying to do something about that. But last week Angie and Dave Tunstall came round for a eucharist meal and Clare and I wrote was has rapidly become my favourite eucharistic prayer. It started as an exploration of our methodology and ended up as a very silly, deeply serious theopoetic exploration of the relationship between liturgy, language and God. So I've allowed it to jump the queue.
I've just spent almost three hours checking all the links on Dancing Scarecrow and making sure they work. I haven't finished yet - I started with the Dancing Stories, then checked through all the Genre, Theme and Season links. The Church Year links need a lot of work - I am aware that some of the pages haven't even been finished yet - and I do need to check all the rest. But quite honestly, I'm losing the will to live now, so I'm going to go and have my tea.
Oh, there are half a dozen new prayers as well, including one by Clive Roberts which has been waiting almost 18 months to be published. Sorry Clive.
This afternoon, Clare and I have written perhaps our most off the wall eucharist yet. It will go up on Dancing Scarecrow in the next few days, when I have worked out how on earth to explain it. In the course of researching it, I discovered that there is a term to describe what we are trying to do with Dancing Scarecrow—theopoetics.
Anyway, in the half hour before starting to make tea, I offer you half a dozen new prayers as well.
One of the advantages of long train journeys is supposed to be that you have the opportunity to get on with some work. On the way back from the UE Teams Day in Bristol this week, I have so far had to change seats four times - and change trains once. I am typing this with my left arm wedged behind the back of the guy next to me. My knees are somewhere up around my navel and my right arm has gone to sleep.
In spite of this I have actually managed to upload another twenty prayers or so to www.dancingscarecrow.org.uk I've also created a "What's New?" page so that those of you who regularly use Dancing Scarecrow can easily find the alterations.
We have noticed that there are a number of links which seem to have got confused in moving the website from one computer to another to another. If you do come across a link which doesn't work, do, please, let us know so we (OK, I - Clare has never yet actually done any mechanics on the website ;-)) can fix it.
Shamefully, it is almost a year since we posted anything to this blog - which probably means we haven't put anything new on Dancing Scarecrow in that time either.
But we haven't been sitting around doing nothing. In that time, as well as continuing our "Have Congregation, Will Travel" we have also started a monthly "Stories and Songs" session (for which we are very grateful to have received a grant from TrustGreenbelt) in the local SureStart Centre.
This month - usually it's the first Sunday of the month, if you want to come along - we looked at the theme of Pentecost - the Holy Spirit who brings peace and unites us.
Graham, Deborah and Rachel put together this amazing shadow play to tell the story of Sadako and the Peace Cranes.
Just a very quick note to say that we have today posted some new Dancing Stories to Dancing Scarecrow, including the whole of the book of Job (!) and a telling of the Massacre of the Innocents for Remembrance Sunday.
So, today is Ascension Sunday.
Since the 1960s (and perhaps earlier) we seem to have got hung up on the historicity or otherwise of the Ascension story. Clearly the photographs of the earth from space have proved that there is no physical heaven beyond the clouds into which Jesus ascended.
We have, therefore, thrown out the baby with this bathwater.
It seems to me, rather, that the Ascension is more like a "Where's Wally" puzzle - or perhaps a "Where's Jesus."
The early church, having proclaimed the resurrection, now has the difficulty of explaining how the particular human being, Jesus of Nazareth, is now the divine Christ, universally present in people of faith. So the Ascension story sets the church free to be the Body of Christ on earth.
Christ is alive! Let Christians sing.
The cross stands empty to the sky.
Let streets and homes with praises ring.
Love, drowned in death, shall never die!