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  • Three texts worth sitting with...

    As part of today's service people were asked to choose one of three Bible texts to sit with for a couple of minutes - that's not long enough, but it's a start. I've copied them below.  Feel free to choose one of them and spend some time sitting with it whatever way works for you.  For example you may use all or part of it as a 'mantra' to repeat over and over.  Or maybe you prefer to pick one word to focus upon.  Perhaps doodling, moving or writing are more your thing.  There isn't one correct way to do this, it's what works for you...

    Be still and know that I AM God

    (Psalm 46:10)

    Come away with me to a quiet place and rest awhile

    (Mark 6:31)

    Speak, LORD, your servant is listening

    (1 Samuel 3: 10)

  • Personality and Spirituality

    This morning saw the start of our summer series looking at 'Aspects of Spirituality'.  In a change from recent years we are sticking with a more traditional format, so that most weeks most of us will stay together most, if not all, the time.

    I was proud of how people engaged with the ideas around the relationship of 'personality' with 'how we might relate to God'. I hope that I communicated adequately that there is no 'better' or 'superior' personality, and that we are all 'fearfully and wonderfully made', that God delights in us, and God wants us to flourish.

    The enneagram is possibly quite trendy just now, though I've been aware of it for around twenty years.  Using some work by German Roman Catholic writers (!) we were able to make some links between the way we 'are' and how we might 'encounter God' in forms of contemplation. (One premise of the stuff I've read is that for everyone there is a form of contemplation that will work).

    I also fleetingly mentioned the good old Myers Briggs and used this graphic of the MBTI prayers.  Enjoy...

    MTBI prayers.jpg

  • Caption Competition...?

    Today I received some amazing photos from the wedding I recently conducted in the highlands.  Among them some absolutely hilarious ones, such as this... It's just crying out for a caption!

    I also like this one of the 'dancing vicar' (I wasn't dancing but it looks like I might have been!)

    dancing rev close up.jpg

    Thank you M & T and your talented friends.

  • Trawling the Archives...

    A few months ago, I had an idea... I shared it with other women in Baptist ministry... then we shared with BUGB/BUS/BUW... and then it became a thing.

    So this morning, I've spent around three hours trawling through blog posts searching for bits of liturgy, prayers, poems, short reflections, that might actually have a place in the anthology we are creating.

    Almost fourteen years of blogging is one heck of a lot of posts(5047 apparently, I just checked), especially as I never did start categorising them.  So far I have concentrated on 2010-2012, though probably I do need to revisit the earlier stuff once I've finally reached the present (if that makes sense).  There are also a few bits and bobs that I can recall doing that are amidst the twenty years worth of services that inspired the original idea... If I have, and I do, around a thousand sets of prayers, blessings, etc. then in among the ought to be a few worth sharing.

    It is a real delight to receive and read the work of other women, and a genuine privilege to be part of the team collating and editing this collection.

    Now then... April 2012...

  • You, Me and Us

    Words matter, language matters, and pronouns matter in ways often more subtle than I, at least, realise.

    Yesterday, as I was reflecting on my call to The Gathering Place, I became aware just how much I've allowed the way I tell the story to become about 'me'.  Partly this is inevitable - these are my spaces to write and reflect about my epxeriences.  Partly it's the story I am told, that 'you' (I) am this significant person by dint of what, rather than who, you are: the person whose name is official Baptist history, even as I try my best just to get on with doing my 'job'. Partly, though, it's too narrow, because my story only has meaning as part of our story, whichever 'us' I am thinking about the time - church, denomination etc..

    Sometimes - more than sometimes - my fear of fouling up to such an extent that this church would never call another woman, results in a kind of isolating introversion that means I forget this is about 'us', together, making it work.

    Sometimes - more than sometimes - my fear of damaging the cause of ordained women in Baptist ministry in Scotland, results in a kind of self-regulation that means I forget that actually this is about another 'us.'

    Sometimes - more than sometimes - my inbuilt impostor syndrome causes me to over-reflect on the tiniest errors or misunderstandings, internalising every crticisim or negative comment and forgetting the positives.

    Sometimes - more than sometimes - I forget that this is our story, that the church I share also has worries and wounds, and for that I am sorry.

    So today, on this Midsummer's Day, as the sky is blue after many days of grey, I will celebrate the 'us' and recommit myself to shape my 'world' with language more plural.