1. Saint Francis experienced a life changing call, has anything in your journey so far challenged you to alter your lifestyle?
Not in the dramatic way Francis did.
2. Francis experienced mocking and persecution, quite often in the comfortable west this is far from our experience. If you have experienced something like this how do you deal with it, if not how does it challenge you to pray for those whose experience is daily persecution?
Stories like those of Francis and the martyrs remind us not to take for granted the security and freedom that we have, and challenge us to work for justice for all those suffering persecution.
3 .St Francis had female counterpart in St Clare, she was influenced by St Francis' sermon and went on to found the Poor Clares, like the Franciscans they depended on alms this was unheard of for women in that time, but she persisted and gained permission to found the order. How important are role models like St Clare to you? Do you have a particular female role model whose courage and dedication inspires you? If so share their story....
Hmmm...as my Tuesday morning Bible study goes on, I tend to highlight stories like Tabitha (or Dorcas) and other female leaders of the early church. I didn't know any female clergypeople until I was a candidate for ministry, so I can't say that one inspired me then. But I've come to know many amazing clergywomen since then.
4. Francis loved nature and animals, how important is an expressed love of the created world to the Christian message today?
Very important, I think, in terms of stewardship and respect for the resources God has given us. But also, I think sometimes we underplay the spiritual connections people make to places (I'm thinking more of landscapes than football stadiums, of course) and how that is a part of our connecting to God.
5. On a lighter note; have you ever led a service of blessing for animals, or a pet service, was it a success, did you enjoy it, and would you do it again?
I never have, but I'd like to. The WonderMutt probably couldn't behave himself, though. When I had a farming church, we would sort of bless the livestock and the harvest from a distance.