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A Skinny Fairtrade Latte in the Food Court of Life

  • Trawling the Archives...

    A few months ago, I had an idea... I shared it with other women in Baptist ministry... then we shared with BUGB/BUS/BUW... and then it became a thing.

    So this morning, I've spent around three hours trawling through blog posts searching for bits of liturgy, prayers, poems, short reflections, that might actually have a place in the anthology we are creating.

    Almost fourteen years of blogging is one heck of a lot of posts(5047 apparently, I just checked), especially as I never did start categorising them.  So far I have concentrated on 2010-2012, though probably I do need to revisit the earlier stuff once I've finally reached the present (if that makes sense).  There are also a few bits and bobs that I can recall doing that are amidst the twenty years worth of services that inspired the original idea... If I have, and I do, around a thousand sets of prayers, blessings, etc. then in among the ought to be a few worth sharing.

    It is a real delight to receive and read the work of other women, and a genuine privilege to be part of the team collating and editing this collection.

    Now then... April 2012...

  • You, Me and Us

    Words matter, language matters, and pronouns matter in ways often more subtle than I, at least, realise.

    Yesterday, as I was reflecting on my call to The Gathering Place, I became aware just how much I've allowed the way I tell the story to become about 'me'.  Partly this is inevitable - these are my spaces to write and reflect about my epxeriences.  Partly it's the story I am told, that 'you' (I) am this significant person by dint of what, rather than who, you are: the person whose name is official Baptist history, even as I try my best just to get on with doing my 'job'. Partly, though, it's too narrow, because my story only has meaning as part of our story, whichever 'us' I am thinking about the time - church, denomination etc..

    Sometimes - more than sometimes - my fear of fouling up to such an extent that this church would never call another woman, results in a kind of isolating introversion that means I forget this is about 'us', together, making it work.

    Sometimes - more than sometimes - my fear of damaging the cause of ordained women in Baptist ministry in Scotland, results in a kind of self-regulation that means I forget that actually this is about another 'us.'

    Sometimes - more than sometimes - my inbuilt impostor syndrome causes me to over-reflect on the tiniest errors or misunderstandings, internalising every crticisim or negative comment and forgetting the positives.

    Sometimes - more than sometimes - I forget that this is our story, that the church I share also has worries and wounds, and for that I am sorry.

    So today, on this Midsummer's Day, as the sky is blue after many days of grey, I will celebrate the 'us' and recommit myself to shape my 'world' with language more plural.

  • Ten years ago today ...

    ... I sat in my office in Dibley waiting for a phone call.

    It was an anxious wait, nothing was certain.

    And then it came... a 98% vote in favour of calling me to the Gathering Place.

    Had there been space in my miniscule office, and had I been more agile, I'd have turned cartwheels.  As it was, I did a little jump on the spot (after I'd put the phone down) and probably made a celebratory cup of tea before having lunch.

    A lot has happened since then. In some areas my thinking/understanding has changed.  In some ways I am far less less confident than I was then - in part because I am so much more conscious of my own mortality.  As expected, the good bits have been much better than I might have imagined, and the worst bits so much worse, that's just the nature of ministry.

    A decade on, I love this place and these people very deeply.

    A decade on, I remain convinced that this is where God wants me to be.

    A decade on - how did that happen!

    For what has been, thanks to God, and, tentatively yet faithfully, for what's to be, yes.