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  • Brilliant Afternoon!

    This afternoon we delivered our knitted sheep to their assorted homes for the next two weeks, but first we visited a nursery who had been invited to join in, so that we could meet the children and show them some of our sheep.  It was amazing!  Really enthusiastic staff who motivated and encouraged their charges, and were as excited as us about the sheep trail.  Around 30-40 children will complete the trail just through that one contact... not counting their older siblings and parents/carers.

    Then we began delivering the sheep to the shops.  The ever-so sophisticated young staff young people who worked there became as little children as they selected and fell in love with the sheep they were to host.  Names were chosen (some excellent names it has to be said), posters and trail guides supplied and smiles and laughter all round.  It was evident that they had been waiting all day for this moment!  Indeed, one venue had phoned me to ask when their sheep would arrive!!

    I really hope lots of people take part in the trail and have lots of fun.  I hope the shops find it worthwhile.  But this much I know for sure - we have broken down some barriers and built some bridges already.  Every venue participating is thrilled to have been invited to be part of this event, and I like to think that we have shown something of the love of Christ along the way.

    As we walked along, my colleague observed "who would have guessed the power of a little knitted sheep"... sentiments not so far removed from the mystery of a God who chose to be born as a peasant child in an outpost of the Roman Empire.

    There will be photos - we did get some of the flock before it dispersed (and I suspect will never be restored as a few venues are depserate to keep their sheep permanently!)

  • Let the Madness Begin!

    A slightly mad morning...

    I now have ten gorgeous knitted sheep waiting to be delivered to impatient venues!  Alas I forgot to bring my camera so I cannot record the flock before they leave for the big adventure.  Hopefully my partner-in-crime will remember to bring hers.

    I have prepared a nutty little quiz for Monday evening's Theological Reflection Group which has (the TRG meeting that is) that natty title of "Carols, Cards and Christ's Mass".  Between this and then I have some edible visual aids to sort out!!

    I have finally finished Sunday's service for Advent 1 and the Topsy Turvy Kingdom - Starting at the End (the title is way better than the sermon, trust me)

    I have printed off the leaflets for next Thursday's lunchtime reflection, whilst I remember to do it!!

    And I have collated all the material for tomorrow's Church Reflection Day - a very large stack of paper on my desk.

    Still to do... deliver sheep, buy flip chart paper, deliver some leaflets, entertain visiting speakers...

    I love Advent, it is unbridalled madness and hard work as we try to make it meaningful for other people, but I wouldn't really have it any other way.

  • Yes.... and No....

    This article appeared on the Baptist Times site today.  It is thoughtfully written and certainly presents a version of what one might term "truth", that is, it is factually accurate.  However, as well as being guilty of confusing 'England' with 'Britain' it paints a rather rosy picture of the British (or even English) Baptist world that does not entirely accord with my experience or that of my friends and colleagues.

    Definitely worth reading, but needs to be read recognising its partiality and (seemingly editorially enforced) parochiality (if there is such a word!)