That's how I'd describe today's Lent study! The laptop I borrowed was decidely sick and it didn't help that its owner had the sound on mute so that when I tried to launch a CD from PowerPoint no sound came out through the speakers! Then the DVD clip for some reason did not project (appeared on the laptop screen but on the projection just a back background) - this must be the laptop as the projector worked fine last time I tried to do this. Well, it mucked up my slot well and truly, so I get the prize for worst session this year. Fortunately I knew the material well enough to speak to it.
The final exercise, after thinking about Helen Prejean's work, was to identify five issues of concern for prayer along with something practical that could be done. Here I entered that minister twilight zone of thinking 'I inhabit another universe to these folk.' The issues of concern were - with one exception in my view - valid, but the repsonses so very disappointing. One group said 'the war in Iraq but there's nothing we can do only pray' - what about lobbying MPs, the 'stop the war coalition' etc, etc. Another group said 'the shortage of wardens in sheltered housing but we can't do anything about that' - what about being a voice for the voiceless, campaigning local government etc etc. The one I didn't rate was 'all these laws and especially PC nonsense.' The only really constructive one came from my Anglican colleague who said we ought to be petitioning local and national government to increase taxes by a penny or to in order to have a budget to provide services - now that would be radical.
All in all, I came away feeling people had not got any real grasp on the connection between faith and life or 'prayer as caring' as the study called it. It is troubling how our faith is so perosnal and privatised, about tickets to heaven and not getting into anything political or grubby. Of course we should pray about these issues but we should also be ready to hear God saying that we, too, are part of the answer.
Here endeth the rant -and I'd better start saving for a laptop of my own!