Martin Scorsese’s Silence: A Personal Review

Reverend Francis RitchieMiscellany, Spiritual Disciplines

Martin Scorsese's Silence

11 days ago I saw Martin Scorsese’s Silence. The film wrecked me. I had hoped to write a solid review to throw into the ether of conversation about it, but for most of the time since then I have had nothing except scrambled thoughts and feelings. Initially I felt disappointed with myself for not being able to pull together something … Read More

Ignatian Spirituality and Wesleyan Spirituality

Reverend Francis RitchieSpiritual Disciplines

Ignatian Spirituality

As someone who fits within the tradition of Wesleyan spirituality, for quite some time now I have been weaving prayer exercises that are central to Ignatian spirituality into my own spiritual rhythms and disciplines. I have found wonderful crossover between these two traditions and Ignatian practices have helped deepen my appreciation of the Wesleyan distinctives that captured me when I … Read More

Celebrating Small Churches

Reverend Francis RitchieSpiritual Disciplines

I’ve heard from a few ministers who spend time speaking at big events that the two most common questions that church leaders ask each other in greenrooms at such events are ‘how many people does your church have?’ and ‘what’s your budget?’ The implication is that bigger is better and that these are the two main markers for success. The … Read More

Surround Yourself with the Right People

Reverend Francis RitchieSpiritual Disciplines

eagle

Do you want to be happy, wealthy, healthy, smart, wise, ‘lifted higher,’ encouraged, and free to reach the heights of your potential? Then according to quite a number of people who seem to know how to get there, the key is to surround yourself with the people you want to be like, making sure that they’re people who are looking … Read More

The Seduction of Power

Reverend Francis RitchieSpiritual Disciplines

This is written in The Message as the opening to the introduction for Nahum: The stage of history is large. Larger-then-life figures appear on this stage from time to time, swaggering about, brandishing weapons and money, terrorizing and bullying. These figures are not, as they suppose themselves to be, at the center of the stage – not, in fact, anywhere … Read More

What Church Success Looks Like for Me

Reverend Francis RitchieSpiritual Disciplines

Recently I was asked why I was working on gathering a faith community, Commoners, in Hamilton when it’s obvious to some that if I did the same thing in Auckland I could probably have something that would fit the traditional definitions of reasonable success fairly quickly. It’s probably true. I’m sure that if I did in a central Auckland space, … Read More

3 Reasons Why I Love Traditional Church Buildings

Reverend Francis RitchieSpiritual Disciplines

Church

Up front I need to mention that I am not part of a faith community that meets in a traditional church building. These days that seems to surprise people. The faith community I am a part of meets in a facility that houses a number of community groups. It has its own beautiful appeal that speaks of God’s redeeming work … Read More