Do you recall those endless games your parents made you play (or you have made your children play) to while away long journeys? Well I'm now playing one as I decide what are the essentials for Friday's train ride to Bournemouth.
I'm Going to Baptist Assembly and in my suitcase is...
- a delegate's badge or they won't let me in!
- a pair of flip-flops so that I am properly dressed for attending Prism
- a Bible for the Prism Bible study - because when Simon says (no, that's not another game) "the clue is in the title" and people look sheepish, I don't wish to be one of them. Trouble is the main arena Bible study isn't, its a sermon, so you don't really need a Bible...
- A 'silent cheer' or two for the reception of ministers who have completed their NAM period
- Some flat shoes I can run in (or the nearest I ever come to running) to get between venues for seminars etc.
- A mobile phone so I can find the people I want to find in the main arena
- Some plastic money for all the stuff I'll end up buying - BMS harvest, Operation Agri harvest, new BUGB directory, bits of tat for church
- A nice squishable cotton bag for carrying said items
- A thick jumper, a thin tee-shirt, a waterproof and some sunscreen -cos you never know if it'll be hot/cold/wet/dry
There are various things I'm looking forward to for various reasons including
- The reception of ministers (and the subversive act of silent cheering)
- The In Memoriam - always poignant when I know people listed there, and this year are names of two linked with Dibley one of whom was a wonderful RM and friend of my folk. (Thinks... better add tissues to suitcase!)
- The NBC reunion and a chance to catch up with peers and friends
- Still Centre, Open Space
- Seeing friends from more Baptist churches than I can count, drinking tea/coffee, walking on the beach
Admitting to loving Assembly is not 'cool' but then 'cool' was never my thing. Aspects of it may grate, irritate or frustrate but I do love this diverse and crazy world that is Baptist life and it is a privilege to be called to serve within it.