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Today is the closing date for participating venues to register for our Sheep Trail.  At the time of typing, we have TEN confirmed and I have just sent 'high priority' emails to the two still outstanding to see if they would like to join in.  So I am happy.  Ten sounds so much better than nine!  Twelve would be ever-so churchy and a bonus... eleven would be confusing but of course we still have Glynis as a back-up if needed...

One super, amazing, wonderful thing that has happened is that the local branch of a national bakery store (synonimous with the pasty tax debate as I recall) has not only agreed to take part, but is also going to donate mince pies for our Get in the Picture event.

As I walked to work this morning (Advent is not the time for ministers to be 'precious' about working patterns) I found myself recalling the Lukan parable of the shepherd who left the 99 sheep in the fold to fend for themselves, and went out to search for the one that had got lost.  One of the challenges all ministers face is the balance of both caring pastorally for the 'sheep' they have and going out to find the lost ones.  I felt as if God might be saying to me, this is what I want of you... 'your' sheep can fend for themselves, you have worked with them to put in place good support structures to keep them safe... it is OK for you to be out on the 'hills' trying to find other sheep, right that you give yourself to creative ways of drawing new people into the adventure of faith.  Of course, I could just be telling myself that... we are all capable of self-delusion, but for now, I am pouring my energy into making Christmas a little more magical, a little more more meaningful for sheep of this, and other, sheepfolds.


  • Brilliant work, Catriona, and I totally agree with your approach.

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