Yesterday our BMS link missionary came for the evening, and folk from four churches gathered to hear about the work he and his wife are involved with in Bulgaria. Given it was such a lovely evening and a Bank Holiday to boot, it was great to have around two dozen people. I thought he seemed weary - physically, emotionally and possibly even spiritually - but it was interesting to learn something of the project with which he and his family have been involved. The post-talk food was fantastic and everyone should have gone home a size larger as a result.
This evening there is a TLM event just up the road from us, and as we also support this organsiation I am intending to go along. Because it's in the Episcopal (Anglican) cathedral it's all a bit more posh than our event last night but it should be very interesting. However, I'm told I am not allowed to utter the words 'misisonary' or 'mission partner' because they are now (at least within this organisation) termed 'cross cultural workers.' There is good logic for this, especially in the areas where TLM is active and things can be sensitive. Alas the phrase 'cross cultural worker' will never have the romantic appeal of 'misisonary' complete with its image of the pith helmet and big, black Bible.
Checking my emails, there was one from someone writing a piece on Baptists who blog in Scotland as part of a BUS publication looking at technology and IT in churches. It was interesting, because it picked up some of the threads that I explored in a paper for the Baptist Minister's Journal more than year ago, and some of the questions addressed in BUGB Top Tips leaflets such as Blogging Yor Church. There's kind of a cross-cultural thing here, I think... crossing Hadrian's or the Antonine wall... or the IT-phile/IT-phobe divide... or something.
In the same email was an invitation to participate in an embryonic gathering of Baptist women ministering in Scotland... I have to choose the words carefully here! Most are Scots, some are not; I am ordained, others are not and may not be. In replying I alluded to the VIKs (Vicars in Knickers) thing we tried in Leicestershire, and have already found myself cross-culturing this to become McVIKs/MacVIKs (opinions seem to vary on which is the Irish and which the Scottish variant)... and a hint that it ought to be serving McVickies biscuits!! Afterall, we served 'clustered creams' at the Dibley and District Baptist cluster.
Now I must go and write my sermon for Sunday's service which is focussing on BMS and employing the parable of the sower/soils found in Luke's gospel. An idea of where to go with it came to me as I walked to church this morning... so we'll see what happens.