This week I seem to have spent a lot of time and energy thinking about 'Sabbath' and what it might mean in a 21st century post-you-name-it-it's-post-it society. I had to lead session 1 of the Churches Together Lent Study from Life Balance, which was called 'time to pause;' then our Sunday service had almost identical readings as we pondered how understanding Sabbath affects our own lives and our approach to mission. At a personal level, it prompted me to start planning in my time off more! Not just the 'day off except when there's a funeral or special event' but clear blocks of free time almost every day. Hardly earth shattering or rocket science, but with my workaholic tendencies something I need to do. Having managed a near perfect score on the BBC Get Smart in a Week quiz before I start this, I can only anticipate that if I succeed I'll be a genius! (And modest with it). Seriously though, it has been good to make time to plan time out and I know I will benefit from time for relaxation and receation. Sorry if you were expecting any stunning new insights - just a reminder that Sabbath is a gift and should be enjoyed not endured or left unopened.
Today was the grand launch of the data projector - and we discovered that 'Fn-F12' is the new 'F5' with the laptop we are now using. It is so much easier with my PC where I just disconnect the monitor and hey presto, but we got there with 40 mins to spare. It seemed to go OK - as did the new portable loop thingy (despite someone assuring me he had to switch his hearing aid away from the T setting for it to work, but as long as I used the mike he could hear everything despite there being no PA. Hmm. Wires crossed somewhere methinks!). So Dibley is now in C21 and discovering it isn't quite so scary after all. Well done Dibley residents!
Last Thursday was our AGM, followed by a business meeting. It all went far better than I'd dared hope and we made some significant strides in our thinking and doing. For the first time ever, so far as I can tell, we agreed a budget for mission - a sizeable sum that should allow us to do some creative and exciting projects - and were actually encouraged by the external 'powers that be' to apply for an increased Home Mission grant for 2007 (unheard of!) to enable us to do this. The Pentecost Party is now officially 'on' and work can begin and, even more exciting and amazing, we have agreed to explore the possibility of growing a new 'congregation' on broadly 'emerging church' lines. That's pretty radical for anywhere, never mind Dibley. Obviously nowhere near everyone is enthused by this, and I've had a few suggestions of 'what you mean is Alpha' (no, thrice no! Nor Emmaus nor any other similar thing) but the kernel of enthusiasm is infectious and I like creative worship anyway!
So, on balance lots to be glad about - perhaps when we get our new emerged congregation we can have chill out sessions so I can get some Sabbath space there!