Suffering: Who’s to blame?

October 14, 2018

A fairly short reflection on the very big question of suffering, given to Sanctuary, 14 October 2018 © Alison Sampson, 2018.


A Tale of Three Donkeys

October 7, 2018

The story of Balaam and his donkey reveals just what big asses we tend to be.

A reflection on Numbers 22-24 given to Sanctuary, 7 October 2018 © Alison Sampson, 2018.


Holy Gossip

September 16, 2018

Is all gossip bad? Or could there be a gift in gossip?

A reflection on James 3:1-12 given to Sanctuary, 16 September 2018 (BP19; Year B Proper 19) © Alison Sampson, 2018.


Soup and Stories, 8 September 2018

September 11, 2018

Not the usual podcast! This is a recording of me telling folktales at a small local event, totally unpolished, just as is. It's an assessment task, but you are welcome to listen, too :-) Barry Lopez writes, "If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive" (Crow and Weasel). May these stories feed and sustain you - and may you be ready to pass them on!

Two stories from Turkey:

- Nasreddin Hodja: The Recipe

- Nasreddin Hodja: The Coat

And a story from Liberia:

- The Cowtail Switch

Image shows a 17th-century miniature of Nasreddin, by Unknown - Topkapi Palace Museum Library Cat. No. 2142. Downloaded from, CC BY-SA 3.0,


Church without Boundaries

September 9, 2018

Churches and religious organisations regularly exclude people from full participation, but following Jesus means demolishing all boundaries and seeking Christ beyond the walls of the church.

A message for a congregation preparing to commit to the next twelve months, drawing from Mark 7:24-30. Sanctuary, 9 September 2018 (Year B Proper 18, BP18).


You are not defiled

September 2, 2018

What if Jesus's disciples were attacked, not for failing to observe ritual food laws, but for failing to demonstrate "Biblical family values"? A re-telling of Mark 7:1-23 for a region hard-hit by clergy abuse.

Given to Sanctuary, 9 September 2018 (Year B Proper 17, BP17). Image shows a detail from Emmaus (2000) by Emmanuel Garibay, found here.


Senator Anning vs Christo-Cannibalism and the New Community of Love

August 19, 2018

Our world eats people alive: it's how we try to build community. Jesus offers a different way.

A reflection on John 6:51-58, given to Sanctuary, 19 August 2018 (Year B Proper 15, BP15).


One Spirit, One Body, One Church Review

August 5, 2018

Paul's letter to the Ephesians has much wisdom for a young church approaching its annual review.

A reflection on Ephesians 4:1-16 given to Sanctuary, 5 August 2018 (Year B Proper 13, BP13).


Healed to Serve

July 22, 2018

The disciples have returned from preaching and healing around the villages; in the face of people’s need, they have barely had time to eat. So Jesus invites them to come away to a deserted place and rest awhile. Yet the crowd guesses where they’re going, and meets them there. When Jesus sees the mob, his guts wrench with compassion, and he begins to teach and heal once more …

A reflection on Mark 6:30-34, 53-56 given to Sanctuary, 22 July 2018 (Year B Proper 11, BP11).


Nothing to be embarrassed about!

July 15, 2018

Tonight we reflect on a story from the second scroll of Samuel, when King David dances ecstatically in the street in a holy apron. He is heading up a procession of priests and  soldiers and musicians, bringing the Ark of the Covenant into the city. It’s like Mardi Gras; but when his wife sees him, she is filled with scorn … 

A reflection on 2 Samuel 6:1-5, 14-22 given to Sanctuary, 15 July 2018 (Year B Proper 10).