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  • New Year's Eve...

    For me, New Year's Eve is always bittersweet and a pause for thought.

    On this date on 2010 I had my final dose of chemo - and the memory of that moment remains strong eight years later. I am fortunate to be healthy, well and mostly happy - but I have loved and lost way too many friends since then.

    This year has had more than its 'fair share' of sadness for my family, and for my friends, so today I will take a moment to remember, as well as my Mum, one of my cousins, a fellow minister, my former GB captain, a bc buddy, a friend's daughter and a drop-in member... may they rest in peace and rise glory, and may the memories of them bring comfort and joy to those who have loved them best.

    However 2018 has been for you, I wish you and those you love a 2019 full of moments to treasure, laughter that hurts in a good way and above all, lots of love.

  • Joint Service - a (new) tradition?

    Well, we've done it twice (or is it three times?) now, so I guess it probably is a tradition - a joint service with one of our local C of S churches for the last Sunday of the year.

    It is a 'Good Thing'. On a Sunday when some folk are (still) away, and ministers either taking the day off or running on empty, what is needed isn't an erudite sermon but some simple, pastoral reflections.  What is needed is some good singing, and some thoughtful praying.  What is needed is to say, 'what unites is is so much more than what distinguishes us from one another.'

    I had a Good Time.  I got to sing in a joint choir.  I was privileged to lead prayers. I was able to receive as well as to give. I knew myself loved, welcomed and valued.

    I love being just 'us' and doing what we do the way we do it.  I also love being the bigger joint 'Us' on high days and holidays.

    A grand end to another year of Sundays - thank you to our C of S friends, it was just lovely.

  • Liturgical Bewilderment...

    The liturgical calendar is a very strange thing...
    After Christmas comes 'Holy Innocents' (28th December) so that Herod murders the innocents before the Magi have arrived at epiphany (6th January), and Jesus is a prepubescent boy for 'Holy Family'  (the Sunday within the octave of Christmas) before he has been circumcised in the Temple...
    Over the next few weeks, we'll look at some of these in a more logical order... epiphany next week, then, over the next few weeks 'blessing', 'bah mitzvah', 'baptism' and then 'behold the man' (not the trial before Pilate, just stealing his words as a tidy, almost alliterative title for 'Jesus starts his ministry').

    Today it's a joint service with C of S friends, and their preacher is going to negotiate this strangeness.  All I have to do is lead some prayers.

  • Hmmm...

    This morning I was attempting to tidy up my office - I didn't get very far, but at least the cupboard in which all the pens, pencils, scissors, glue and miscellaneous bits 'n' bobs go has been sorted out, and I can see the wood of my desk.

    Just as I thought I'd finished, I spotted one of the numerous picture cards that had escaped the 'pile'.  I paused to see which it was before stowing it.  It made me think. A lot.

    A transformed heart, I sort of understand that, it's what conversion (event and process) is about, becoming more Christ-like and more who I am called to be.

    An undefended heart, I understand that too, but it's harder to pray ... give me heart that can be broken, a heart that can be torn... a heart that also receive love, hope and joy... a heart that can be repaired and renewed.

    Perhaps, on reflection, it's not such a hard prayer, just, like all true prayers, a slightly risky one, accepting that God may answer in ways we would not choose or expect...

    A transformed and undefended heart - open, vulnerable, hopeful, loving... I'll do my best!



  • Looking Forward...

    Already I have few plans for the year ahead...

    In February, a short break in Florence with a friend I met at work when we were both in our early 20s!!

    Sometime in the summer, walking the St Magnus Way in Orkney, hopefully with another friend, who I met through church back in 1995.

    Working with some others to create a publication to mark 100 years of women's ordained, accredited, Baptist ministry in the UK.

    In October, marking a decade since I arrived in Glasgow!