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A Skinny Fairtrade Latte in the Food Court of Life

  • A lot of (no longer) loose ends!

    Recently, I have been keep busy knitting a cot blanket (and made reference to it here) which is now completed and today was posted off.  It's far from perfect, not least because the 'squares' refused to be effectively 'blocked' instead springing back to their 'leaf' shape.

    Sewing up took a long time - 48 squares and an all-in-one border in a contrasting colour.  That alone made for 98 loose ends, and a lot of work to sew them in (or in a few cases some tight knotting).

    Sewing in - or maybe tying up - loose ends always takes a long time, and is one of the most important phases of any knitting project.  I guess in some sense that's a metaphor for any project we may undertake - there are plenty of 'big' pits that bring quick results, but there are fiddly little bits that no-one will see, without which the end result isn't possible.

    In due course this blanket will enjoyed, and will no doubt become misshapen and stained over time.  But then that's the whole point - it's meant to be used.  That's a bit like any other project too!

  • Memories...

    I wonder what it is that stirs memories for you? Smells, tastes, sounds that take you back, instantly to another place and time?

    Yesterday at my Ignatian course, a piece of music was used that instantly took me back to service held in Roman Catholic churches, and although I can't be 100% sure which was the first one where I heard/sang it, it was one of those heart-piercing moments of pain-and-joy-and-remembering all mixed together.

    I love this song very much, it makes me sad and it makes me glad, and both in a good way...


  • Celebrating a Century

    Yesterday I joined with several folk from church at the home of our oldest, and longest served, Church member as she celebrated her 100th birthday.  It was a happy afternoon, full of love and laughter, cake and conversation.

    L has been part of our church since childhood, and has been very active in so many spheres... one of the first 'women deacons-by-any-other-name', she most recently - and until only a couple of years ago - was head of the pastoral team.  She is always smiling, always positive, always grateful.  She always has good questions to ask and enquires about those she misses now she no longer sees them.  She is a great encourager and great host.

    It was lovely to share with her on her special day - and I hope that she enjoyed it as much (and hopefully more) as we all did.

    Happy Birthday L, may God bless you and your family in celebrating, sharing and making memories.

  • Reflecting on 'The Call of the King' with Mark chapters 1 - 10

    Today was one of the full day sessions of the Ignatian  course, and the focus was on 'The Call of the King' - thinking about the Christ who calls us to follow.

    The morning was a time of reflection on the first ten chapters of the gospel of Mark, and the photo is the  doodle thingy that emerged from so-doing. 

    I was drawn to a question that ran along the lines of 'what do you learn about Jesus - and God - from what he does and how he does it' rather than what he says.

    I seemed to detect three threads (I'm sure with more time I'd have found more)...

    • a compassionate, kind Jesus who engages with broken people at a one-to-one level
    • an irritable Jesus who gets annoyed with his followers when they don't 'get' it
    • a very demanding Jesus who insists on being No. 1 in the lives, hearts and minds of his followers - Kingdom before kin, Cross before comfort.

    I then wondered how these weave together to give a 'thicker' description of Jesus, or a richer understanding of who he was/is.

    Some of the scribbles on my doodle relate not to this exploration, but arise from the reflection I've undertaken ahead of overview sermon on Mark tomorrow.

    Much to mull over from the day, but for now it's feet up with knitting and kitties!

  • Care Home Chaplaincy Thoughts

    Yesterday was my first day back at the Care Home, and I have to admit that trudging up the hill in the rain was a bit of a chore.  I arrived, got the updated residents list and started to check off who I would drop in to see - sadly at three of my regulars, and among my faovurites, if such things are permitted, had died over the holiday period.

    As I sat making my new list, one of the 'Activity Coordinators' approached me with a huge gift-wrapped parcel - a thank you for my work over the past year.  Getting home, I opened it to reveal the biggest box of biscuits you ever did see! I was very touched, and somewhat humbled, because sometimes I do wonder whether I contribute anything to the well-being of those I see.

    On average, I see about 20 people when I visit, and a quick check through the records I began to keep a year ago, have spent time with more than 50 people in that time.  Some only once, as they are passing through; some I see several times; a few I've been called in to see as they neared the end of their lives.  it's the nature of Care Homes that turnover of residents is quite rapid; it's also a great privilege to allowed to wander around, to chat to people and, when they so wish, to pray with and for them.