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  • One more step along the world I go...

    This morning I broke through the 400,000 steps in October target... it was a very soggy walk, starting out in the dark at 8 o'clock and still remarkably grey two and a half hours later when I sat down with a lovely hot cuppa and hot buttered toast.

    Technically, I could stop walking now, but I won't, of course.

    For one thing, for each completed 10k steps in a single day, I call to mind one person I've known who died of breast cancer.  I reset those steps to zero each day, so in nineteen days I have recalled 36 names... still a few to go.

    For another, it suits my personality to get up and out early, to pound pavements, to ponder important things and even to pray.  I don't anticipate walking 20 thousand plus a day, as I've done today, on a regular basis, but keep on stepping I certainly will.

    And it's a lived metaphor for life or spirituality... one step at a time, whatever the weather, from the old to new, God travelling along with me.

  • Do Black Lives Still Matter?

    It's a few weeks now since the outrage that prompted #BlackLivesMatter events.  There is a risk that it all gets forgetten about.  A group of Baptist Ministers, and their friends of other traditions and none, have created this video to encourage people of goodwill to petition the UK Government to act on what it has previously identified as necessary.  Take a look, and if you feel so moved, consider signing the petition here.


  • Harvest Thanksgiving

    Sasha checking my leaf arrangement ready for the service this morning!

    Zooming for Harvest - or any other festival service - is a bit strange.  But our Gatherers did themselves proud, with plants, flowers, leaves and other autumnal arrangements in shot to help create a bit of atmosphere.

    We learned about Operation Agri's current project in Tanzania, and we had a personal reflection from someone whose parents had served in that nation, and whose garden became a subversive mission project, a generation ago!

    We sang, we prayed, we reflected... and already many have donated to the appeal fund.

    It felt like a good morning.  As so often is the case, I am proud of 'my' people.

  • Hymn Singing

    We had a lively conversation about hymn-singing this morning.  As I type that, it strikes me that folk may come to this post thinking I'm going to be responding to Coivd regulations on congregational/public singing - so to be clear I'm not and we weren't. We're online, and mostly sing along, in our homes, to recordings of ourselves from the past.

    The interesting points that seemed to emerge in conversation were...

    • Do we 'like' or 'dislike' hymns/songs because of the words or because of the tune?
    • Should we refuse to sing words with which we struggle or disagree?
    • Is it true that (to borrow a phrase from someone who was part of the chat) there is a degree of 'Darwinism' about hymns such that, given time, only the 'best' or 'fittest' survive?
    • What should/could we sing at harvest?
    • Does it matter if we 'like' hymns/songs if the theology is 'good'? (Or vice versa)

    These are excellent questions, to which whole research projects have undoubtedly be devoted.  I don't have any answers.

    For now, the 'harvest' choices have been made. No scattered seeds and no harvest homes, but some awesome wonder and prayer for healing of the nations. 

  • Another week flown past! And another year!

    Oh my goodness, time does fly past these days - and the weeks are very full in all sorts of ways.

    On Sunday we received into Memebrhsip of church two people who began worshipping with us around the turn of the year.  It was done online, live, and it was very moving.  I look forward to having their inputs to our shared life in the years ahead.

    It was also the 11th anniversary of my arrival here, and our Rededication aservice, another moving moment in our shared life, made possible by the wonder fo the world wide web.

    This week I am thinking about our harvest thanksgiving service, about plans for Advent, and a wedding blessing deferred from March (provided there is no new travel ban in the next 48 hours).

    In between, I am striding out my daily steps in my charity fundraiser and enjoying the glory of this autumn season.