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- Page 5

  • Cultural Relevance

    Courtesy of BUGB e-news sweep, this caught my eye this morning.  Now that I have my gleaming new laptop, and have resolved the hardware issues with my ADSL modem (my instincts on the cause proving correct) maybe I need to bless it for service?

    In the past I have tried a more culturally relevant harvest festival whereby people brought items to symbolise their work but I had never paused to consider the equivalents of 'Plough Sunday' or 'Rogation Sunday.'  "Beating the bounds" could be fun though, even in an urban setting!!

  • Frae here tae there...

    Last night I went to meet the Girls' Brigade company with whom it has been suggested I work.  After nearly thirty years and several different contexts there was nothing much to surprise me - except I struggled to understand the overall leader whose accent and idiom were something to behold.  If nothing else, working with this community, very different from the one at church, will make for variety... It never ceases to amaze me how in middle class contexts I feel very aware of my working class roots, and in working class contexts feel frightfully middle class: perhaps it's as well I get to encounter both to keep me self-aware?  In the meantime, I have to come to terms with the fact that GB Scotland will require me to completely retrain despite 30 years experience and having been a trainer in England... daft but there I go.  Maybe they'll offer language lessons...?!

  • Bits 'n' Pieces... and a bit of Perspective

    So, yesterday morning I walked into church to the sound of rushing water - and discovered icy torrents cascading down the concrete stairway adjacent to my office.  Suffice to say I breathed a very large sigh of relief when I discovered my office was dry and flood-free.  It was all hands on deck to locate stop valves, place buckets under the main flow and await the arrival of the plumber to isolate the mains supply outside.  A day later and the plumber is due to arrive any time to try to attempt a more permanent cure...

    More happily my shiny new toy arrived - I had promised myself a laptop with the money I was given in various leaving gifts from my old place, plus a cople of fees for 'ocassional offices'.  It is sparkly and lovely and once I've finally managed to get it to talk properly to my ADSL modem all will be well (I suspect the issue is in how I set up the modem originally rather than the laptop but my computer nous is very limited...).  My trusty old desktop (complete with much laughed at 15" CRT monitor!) will continue to serve at church for the foreseeable future, so all is well in all sorts of ways.

    Today, having to drink coffee from the coffee shop (and take avantage of their facilities as there are none at church...) and catch up on what didn't get done yesterday is keeping me from too much mischief.

    All of this gains a lot of perspective when the news comes in of the Haitian earthquake.  What matter that running water (of the usable variety) is over the road and not in the building where I work?  What matter that I can or cannot connect my new toy to what a friend once wonderfully called the 'inter-web-thingy'?  Life and death continue all around us and inconveniences are reduced to their proper size.

    Last Sunday we sang an old children's song 'remember all the people who live in far off lands' as a connection to the idea of folk who serve God overseas, especially in this case through TLM.  The final verse says 'God bless the men and women who serve him overseas,' and this seems an apposite prayer for today, as emergency response teams travel and arrive in a land torn apart by seismic disaster to bring hope and help in whatever way they can.



    PS anyone who is thinking 'well, hey that's just you and buildings....' just recognise the hand of God in calling the right girl for the role!!

  • Quite Interesting

    Some great and wide-ranging conversations after yesterday's service on Naaman's wife's maid and the concept of the 'child at the centre'...

    Two people told me what they'd seen on QI  about language and customs relating to children... that the word 'girl' once covered both genders and that there was a time when girls wore blue and boys pink...

    A conversation about the concept of leprosy and whether it mattered that Naaman's almost certainly did not have what is now technically termed leprosy being instead a skin disease that evoked dread - and the contemporary parallels with other diseases.  Someone also lent me some booklets on the history of TLM and one on a medical perspective on Biblical leprosy.

    Someone else majored on the nascent faith of children and told me of a child in our church who had demonstrated, at the age of five, an understanding of 'all things being made new' in heaven after a much loved pet was injured.

    All in all a good morning.

    And a good and equally interesting evening, in which I was able to listen to someone else's work, focussing on aspects of Pascal's philosophy and faith.

    For my first weekend back after the break it was an excellent beginning.  It's good to be home... and I'm sure the coming months will be 'quite interesting' too.

  • The Stereotypical Manse..?

    Following on from the last post, and the comments it raised, I wondered what the stereotypical Baptist manse is... not least as unlike other Christian denominations we have no minimum specification on size or facilities.  So, if you want to add your thoughts, positive or negative, based on experience, personal or otherwise, please do.

    But for starters....

    The sterotypical Baptist manse is:

    • cold, damp and draughty with never quite the right number or configuration of rooms
    • probably Victorian, and was probably last rewired when Eddison was a boy
    • a repository for spare green hymnbooks (or red ones, or old editions of Songs of Fellowship or Spring Harvest Praise or OHP acetates or whatever hymns/songs your brand of Baptist hoards)
    • a place whose occupants will be thrilled to have your cast off kitchen units, carpets and, if they are really blessed, curtains, especially those faded, frayed ones that were rescued from great auntie Maud's house after the great flood of 1923.

    More positively...

    • a place where the kettle is always freshly boiled and tea/coffee and biscuits/cakes await
    • a place where you can be sure to be listened to - and your darkest secrets never get out of the four (crumbling) walls
    • a place where laughter and love abound
    • a place where gospel is lived by flawed and failing disciples in the fish-bowl glare of every knowing who you are.

    Over to you...