Podcast

Episode 5: Distinctive

The Church holds in tension two great images: on the one hand, we are a chosen race, God’s own people. On the other, we are aliens and exiles, living against the grain as we wait for God’s kingdom to come in its fulness. As we look forward in anticipation this Advent, the words of 1 Peter set us on the path of living as best we can in these in-between times.

Photo: Shutterstock

Episode 4: Chosen

Bishop Steven is joined this week by the Rt Revd Mary D. Glasspool, Assistant Bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of New York.

As they delve deeper into 1 Peter, Bishop Mary discusses the complexities of being ‘chosen’ without feeling entitled, as she and Bishop Steven contemplate the seeds of hope for a post-pandemic future and the idea of the church as a centre for healing and protection. She also has some thoughts about the Lambeth Conference, taking place in 2022…

A video of their conversation is also available to watch on the Diocese of Oxford YouTube channel

Episode 3: Living Stone

We have learned during the pandemic how important our church buildings are. But we’ve also learned more deeply than we did before, that the church is not the building. The church is the community which gathers for worship, whether virtually or physically, and is sustained by the presence of the Risen Christ in Word and sacrament. It is we who are the living stones.

Church leadership teams can sign up to find out more about Come and See 2022 using this form


The picture for this episode is taken from the poster on Bishop Steven’s wall, referred to in his introduction.

Episode 2: Resilience

In a candid conversation with the Bishop of Western Louisiana, the Rt Revd Jacob Wayne Owensby, Bishop Steven delves deeper into the first letter of 1 Peter.

Facing the uncomfortable realisation of feeling too content in the world as it is, and the importance of being the light in a world that’s aching for more, Bishops Steven and Jacob explore how to be people of resilience and grit in times of great hardship.

A video of their conversation is also available to watch on the Diocese of Oxford YouTube channel

 

Episode 1: Exiles

 

We will only navigate the challenges of the coming years if we learn to be a deeper church again. This new series of podcasts explores what God is saying to us as a Church through the first letter of Peter.

Join the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, and some of his fellow bishops from around the world as they rediscover that the medicine Peter offers is good for today’s church.


Photo: Shutterstock

A warm light shines on a chalice of red wine and piece of bread
Come and Eat – Draw Near with Faith

Come to this table, not because you must but because you may,
not because you are strong, but because you are weak.

Through small, simple actions, the scattered and dispersed Church is drawn together as one. Bishop Steven concludes our exploration of Holy Communion – the meal through which God will build up his tired and depleted church after the demands of the last 15 months.

We need to come and eat, and be restored.


Bishop Steven has asked some of our very creative liturgists to draw together some resources and prayers for parishes to mark this season of regathering and rededication. These resources invite churches to renew their thanksgiving to God for the ‘wonderful sacrament’ of Holy Communion.


Image from Shutterstock.

Red grapes
Come and Eat – Prayer and Parties

Jesus loves parties. Everyone who reads the gospel knows that. The Eucharist is prayer and parties with a purpose: to fill us with hope and a fresh vision for what this world can become.

As we regather as a church around the table of the risen Lord, what are we to draw from this theme of the Eucharist as a meal which looks forward – a sign of hope and of the kingdom?


Bishop Steven has asked some of our very creative liturgists to draw together some resources and prayers for parishes to mark this season of regathering and rededication. These resources invite churches to renew their thanksgiving to God for the ‘wonderful sacrament’ of Holy Communion.


Image from Shutterstock.

Hands breaking a loaf of seeded bread in half
Come and Eat – The Bread of Life

“The bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world”.

Many of us find ourselves languishing in the wake of the pandemic. It’s good to remind ourselves – and the whole world – that Jesus came to bring life in all its abundance. The bread which Jesus gives, and is, is more than the food we need to stay physically alive. This is the nourishment we need to have life, to flourish again.

The second episode in this series on Holy Communion considers the Eucharist as a meal which looks back and remembers, calling to mind the story of manna and of John 6, after the feeding of the five thousand.


The music at the end is is Now the Green Blade Riseth, written by John McCrum, performed by Steve Winwood. Image from Shutterstock.

Come and Eat – The Exhausted Prophet

“The Lord, through his angel, simply sees what is needed. The Lord prepares a meal: fresh bread, cool, clear fresh water in a jar. Time to rest and sleep.”

Welcome to the first in a short series of podcasts on Holy Communion, the profound, wonderful meal at the heart of our faith.

Our starting point is the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 19: the exhausted prophet, right at the end of his resources. Because that, if we’re honest, is where we are – tired and worn down, finding every day quite hard.

The Lord meets Elijah where he is – not with big visions or daunting tasks for the future, but with simply what he needs. An invitation to come and eat.

As we reach the sombre anniversary of the start of the first national lockdown, revisit this podcast from October 2020. Take a moment to reflect on all that has passed and cast your fears for the future on the Lord.


Look back over the last six months and reflect for a moment. What part has fear played in your own life and your life’s journey? What part is anxiety playing now in the key decisions of your life? Does it have too loud a voice? Does all of that fear and caution have the support of reason? Are there inner fears which you are keeping buried deep inside and cannot name or talk through with those closest to you? Are those chains of fear shaping the decisions you make in your work or your Christian service?

If that is the case, listen to the word of the Lord to you: “Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand”.


The famous Dad’s Army episode at the start of this episode is taken from this BBC clip on YouTube
Photo: Shutterstock