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I don’t know about you, but the thought of writing a sermon on a passage from one of Paul’s epistles fills me with terror. Especially if the passage is from Romans. With the exception of the Epistle to Philemon (which I love), Paul is never an easy read. Sometimes his arguments appear impossibly convoluted – and here I often find myself using the Bible Gateway website to switch between different translations the better to work out exactly where the line of thought is going. Alas, I have left it far too late to master even a smattering of New Testament Greek, let alone an easy fluency.
So for me, and any of you who feel the same, it is enormously helpful to be able to read the contributions of such eminent biblical scholars as Steve Moyise, Nicholas King, Lucy Peppiatt and Robert Evans. I am grateful to them for sharing their learning with all who read this magazine. And the fresh look at Paul’s metaphor of fruit by Margaret Ives provides a helpful and imaginative framework both for preaching and for small group study.
We are fortunate indeed that the Bible shows us this extraordinary character Paul through two pairs of eyes. We have the body of Letters through which he reveals not only his love of Christ but much about himself, and we have the third person account of the writer of Acts. Peter Clough introduces us to a classic travel book which, despite being eighty years old, can be read as a companion to Acts. Although not in the ‘Theme’ section, Roger Clarke’s article on the use of the Greek word ‘Kyrios’ is particularly helpful in the context of studying Paul’s writings.
Three of our contributors are responding to a particular season – the centenary of the Armistice (Chris Shepherd), the fast approaching Christmas season (Edward Mynors) and Holocaust Memorial Day (John Hamilton). All three bring a fresh perspective to challenge and inspire us. Meanwhile David Kibble’s account of engaging young people in interfaith work provides an example of innovative practice and Roger Pooley’s exploration of emotion and how we can use it in a positive way as we minister to others is a helpful introduction to an important (and much neglected) topic.
The latest Reader to talk about her ministry ‘In context’ is Stephanie Hayton, who makes it clear that she is not just a Sunday Reader. And our regular book pages include an extract from John Stott and the Hookses along with an author interview. I am delighted to say, too, that additional reviews are now being published on the website – go to www.readers.cofe.anglican.org and click on the Resources tab.
The first issue of 2019 will look at Safeguarding and keeping safe; copy is needed by the middle of November. In the Summer, we will celebrate fifty years of women in Reader ministry. I hope to carry stories from some of the women who were licensed early on, so if this applies to you or someone you know please get in touch with me as soon as possible. I think this feature may take a little while to prepare! Copy for the Autumn issue (particularly on the Psalms) will be needed by the middle of May, and copy for the Winter issue (‘What next for Reader ministry?) by the third week in August. I will always be happy to receive suggestions for other articles too.
Message from Bishop Martyn - THE RT REVD MARTYN SNOW
THEME – PREACHING ON PAUL
Learning from a master - STEVE MOYISE
Preaching from Paul: the orchard of God’s garden - MARGARET IVES
What makes St Paul tick? - NICHOLAS KING SJ
An advocate for women in ministry? - LUCY PEPPIATT
‘Wait for one another’. Paul’s theology in action - ROBERT EVANS
In the steps of St Paul with H V Morton - PETER CLOUGH
Key words in the New Testament: Kyrios - ROGER CLARKE
Remembrance or reconciliation? - CHRIS SHEPHERD
Celebrating faith together 2018 - DAVID KIBBLE
Who is my neighbour? - JOHN HAMILTON
Attending to emotion - ROGER POOLEY
Refreshing the Christmas story - EDWARD MYNORS
Reader ministry in context - STEPHANIE HAYTON
BooKS AND RESOURCES
Book extract: John Stott and the Hookses - DAVID CRANSTON
Introducing Ruth Haldane
Letters from Readers
Postscript - GERTRUD SOLLARS