Friday, 8 May 2009

Church Magazine Articles

I seem to have to write a lot of them and my problem is I'm not sure what they are for. Is it a chance for me to share with folk what I've been up to (boring!), some vision for the church, some news (there are others who do that better)? Should it be a spiritual pondering or something to inspire action (both?). One Church steward thinks I should do them because I'm clearly 'too busy to see people, so it's a way of keeping in touch' - please I don't even keep in touch with friends and family by writing a monthly article!!

There are times when I feel inspired to offer some witty story - but quite a lot of the time I sit down and think 'what on earth shall I put this time?'. What worries me about all this is (apart from a sense of being a bit useless) that I am a writer - I have books published for goodness sake. I guess they came out of a process of living, learning and reflecting and maybe that's not what I'm doing enough of to produce the newsletter articles.

So - why do we do them? Who are we aiming at and... got any ideas?


  1. You write them because the 11th Commandment says that "Church magazines shall start with a letter from the minister; proceed by way of various upbeat accounts of events that no-one will be interested in unless they were there anyway; be peppered with either a) twee things children are supposed to have said about God or b) vaguely sexist "comic stories" about exchanges between a man and his wife / vicar / dentist; pass quickly by a "children's page" no self-respecting child would give a second look and conclude with an advert for the local funeral director".

    Apologies to the good people who toil away as editors (and are often desperate for content from an unsupportive church / circuit / Churches Together group). Equally, if the above didn't ring any bells, then you haven't read many church magazines!!
    Maybe we could start a "stock" of "vicar's articles" filed in the same place as the "stock" of comic stories / cartoons?!

    On a more serious note, I do think it is an opportunity to put a short piece of (hopefully!) relevant, locally based theological reflection into peoples' hands and homes - including those who do not make it into church or those - like me - who drift off in sermons and need a text to mull over.

  2. Thanks Rachel - you have hit a number of nails bang on the head! Is it during your own sermons you drift off, or other people's? !

  3. I'm based in a congregation that seldom saw the superintendent as he was based in Hinde St and that was where he did the bulk of his preaching. [bitter] Cross Currents being HS based meant that we at KX actually got some idea of what was going on on that side of the circuit but they didn't know about us much[/bitter], but also we got some idea of Geoff in terms of his thinking and where he was coming from when we did see him.

    I agree with Rachel about a good magazine being something to read during dull sermons, and also they're something to give out to groups renting the place as a flavour of what is going on.
    Miriam M

  4. I have since wondered how many people actually read mine. I once thought about writing in the middle, 'I will give £5 to anyone who mentions this' just to see if anyone actually read it.

    I have been wondering why I write a church article, too.