Monday, 11 June 2012

Barnabas the Encourager

Looking up from his ePiscopal app, Hnaef informed me over breakfast this morning that it's the feastday of Joses aka Barnabas, the Son of Encouragement. He rather pointedly points out that Barnabas was known for his generosity, for binding up the broken-hearted and taking pity on the losers. In particular, consider his treatment of John Mark. Paul, an apostle who had a more reasonable attitude to this type of waste of space, wanted to leave him. But Barnabas stuck with him while Paul pushed on, presumably rejoicing from the reduction in drag.

At which point Burton butted in, showing a lack of social skills and theological knowledge that would be astounding if that wouldn't make Burton interesting. Burton stated that if Barnabas had displayed the same level of encouragement that I do, we would today only have three Gospels.

Well, how to start picking the bones out of that? With the concept of "canon", the whole Marcan priority / "Q" theories, or else demanding to know what he meant by saying that I'm not encouraging? So I hit him with the bread-board. Leaving Hnaef to bind up the broken-headed, I came away to my office to work out the new Beaker Encouragement Policy. Which I have outlined below. Let's hear Burton claim I'm not encouraging now.

1. No member of the Community is to say anything derogatory about any other member of the Community. Unless it's justified.

2. All Beaker People to go around giggling and skipping like schoolgirls on a trip to see a pony. Unless they're not feeling that cheerful.

3. The punishment for suggesting we sing "Brother, Sister let me Serve You" to be commuted to life imprisonment without parole.

4. Anyone pointing out another Beaker person's character flaws must preface their criticism with an unrelated piece of praise, and the word "but".

5. All attendees at Moot House occasions to listen to music on their headphones, and tell the Beaker Quire afterwards that "the music was lovely". It may not be quite true but at least it's encouraging.

6. The words "div", "wally" and "idiot" (and all related concepts that I can't even print) to be replaced by the phrase "misunderstood genius". As in "did you see Marston trying to play the bagpipes? What a misunderstood genius."

7. Everyone to greet everyone else with "How can I help you?" And replace "goodbye" with "missing you already".

8. If anyone has been truly, sincerely and unfeignedly encouraging, the encouragee is to drop a Beaker Bead into their encourager's "Barnabas Bucket" in the Moot House - in the manner of the charity giving buckets in Waitrose. At the end of the day, if any beads have been deposited at all, the most encouraging person is recognised by being called "Barney" for the evening

9. All grumbling to be ruthlessly stamped out by the "Barnabas Police" (Hnaef + Young Keith).

10. Archdruid's decison is final. No correspondence will be entered. No purchase necessary.


  1. That sounds just like the Church of England's manual for Pastoral Care!

    I particularly like the idea of calling someone Barney (meaning Barmy) all evening for having the grace and goodness to earn more Barnabas beads than anyone else.

    If I lived in Husborne Crawley (and I thank God that I don't) I would keep a baseball bat to hand in case I got sick of the oh, so, smarmy, Anglican way and revert to pure Primitive Baptist and smite quickly.

    Off course, as a confirmed Anglican-Bhuddist, I'm quite peaceable person most of the time, so I would reserve the smiting to mealtimes, or during worship, when most of this sort of inanity seems to occur.

  2. "The punishment for suggesting we sing "Brother, Sister let me Serve You" to be commuted to life imprisonment without parole."

    I dunno, I feel that that may be an encouragement too far....

    love Mags B x


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