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- Page 5

  • Boundaries and Barriers

    Having moved from a congregation most of whom would not recognise a blog if it bit them to one that avidly follows the adventures of this Baptist minister inevitably means some changes in what, when and how I write.  Not massive changes in content - I have never posted something I would be unhappy for me folk to know about or said anything I would not be willing to defend - but more a recognition that my 'working out' of sermon ideas will be much more 'offline' otherwise they'll all know what I'm going to say before I say it!  That said, 'boundaries and barriers' is one of the ideas I'm playing with this week (but you'll have to wait until Sunday for the others!!).

    One of the things I have really enjoyed the last couple of days is rediscovering a separation of home and work that has not been easy, OK, has just not happened, over the past few years of working from home with no one around to say 'stop.'  The short walk from my temporary home to church and back acts as a welcome buffer between the two, allowing my brain to change gear in a helpful and healthy way.  It is fun (how sad!) to be part of the morning journey to work once more, to see the shop workers preparing for the days customers, to observe the joggers, students and parents setting about their daily routine and even someone working in an office above me who calls out 'good morning' onhis way in.  It is a helpful reconnection with reality after six years of munching my cereal whilst my PC cranked itself into action!

    So, boundaries are important, and so are buffer zones, but not, I feel, barriers.  Tonight I have what anywhere else would be called a Deacons meeting at my flat.  We will meet informally over tea/coffee and biscuits (when I've bought them) to begin to tease out how we might work in the coming weeks, months and years.  I like holding small church meetings in homes rather than large buildings, and think that hospitality is an important aspect of ministry.  There is something about churches with slightly fuzzy edges in all sense of the word that feels good and Godly.

    Btw, for those who want an online name for this new place, you'll have to wait a while yet.  After all, Dibley wasn't named in a day!

  • Stark Contrasts

    The last few days have seen some stark contrasts in Glasgow, a reminder if ever one were necessary of the complexity of human experience.  Even as I and my new companions in Christ were celebrating a new beginning, two teenage age girls felt that life was just too unbearable and chose to take their lives.  I absolutely do not accpet ideas of good/evil happy/sad dualism, and the headlines in no way destracted from my joy and happiness.  Just a reminder that there is work to do, that there are real, hurting people to be loved, and a God who, thankfully shares our joys and our sorrows.

    May God in grace receive these two young lives with compassion and mercy, and may we who enjoy this life show it forth in all we do and are.

  • The Communion of Saints

    Exactly a week ago, I sat in the tiny parish church of Our Lady of the Beehive near to Dibley where the parish preist and I met once a week of morning prayer.  This morning at the same time, I sat in my new place of work and used the same (Anglican) form for morning prayer.  Within the liturgy is a simple but very meaningful statements:

    The night has passed, and the day lies open before us; let us pray with one heart and mind.

    In my minds eye I could see my former colleague sat on the left side front pew in the tiny chapel uttering these words, and had a real sense that even when one person says them ostensibly alone it is as part a greater 'we', as part of the communion of saints, the invisible but interconnected unending cycle of prayer and praise.

    I hope that in time I will find others with whom I can share morning prayer, but for now the mystery of interconnectedness will do just fine.

  • Happy Landings!

    Well, all credit to my ISP Madasafish, I am back online at the appointed day/time and have just begun the delightful (?) task of sifting through almost 100 emails.  Also big thanks to Pickfords who made the move very smooth even if, for some reason, they think an ironing board or a clothes horse are furniture...!!

    A truly wonderful weekend - if decidedly exhausting and yet to be properly processed.  The generosity and attention to detail of my new congregation has been enormous, and my new office/vestry is a lovely place to work, reflect, meet and be.  It will also mean that boundaries between home and work are maintained for the first time in a decade!

    This is just a very brief post to let people know I am still alive, to thank everyone at/in BUGB and BUS for their prayers and support, to let Keith Jones know that no, it wasn't an earthquake just gales (hurricane Catriona has arrived...) and demonstrate that Lazarus the Computer is stilled in its state of anastatis - long may it continue!  Now, once I've read the emails I intend to get some air, post a few thank you cards and relax after an exhausting and exhilarating few days!