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  • 'Must Try Harder'

    I have just been reading the Baptist Times report on the BUGB Council at which the thorny topic of women in ministry, even in leadership, was discussed.  There is a lovely, one sentence, paragraph (reformatted here for effect) which somehow says it all whilst saying very little...

    Obviously, the reasons why

    women are less likely to sense a call to ministry or be encouraged to pursue it,

    find it harder to settle in churches when they have concluded their training,

    tend to minister in smaller churches or as junior team partenrs in larger ones,

    are under-represented in senior roles across the board,

    and almost all have stories to tell abour being sidelined, denigrated or insulted,

    are very varied.

    Mark Woods, Baptist Times March 26 2010 p.8


    Scary isn't at, almost a century after Violet Hedger held a pastorate in Derby.

    Scary when we have almost a century of being blessed by women holding pastoral responsibility, planting churches, training our men ministers (!), etc.

    Scary that 'almost all' tell such tales.

    So, what can be done the article asks... not a lot seems the loud reply, lest we appear heavy-handed or limit the independence of local congregations.

    What is truly sad, for me, is that we don't hear of the majority of male ministers who are so incredibly supportive and encouraging of/to us girlies.  My own story bears witness to support of my college tutors (mostly men), Regional Ministers (predominantly men), peers (at least half of whom are men) and ordinary members of ordinary churches.  To them especially, I'd like to say 'thank you.'

    Of course people must be free to disagree, and I have deep respect for some individuals I know who oppose the ordination of women, but overall as a tradition that proudly boasts how long it's been ordaining women, BUGB really 'must try harder' (something I can say now I'm BUS accredited, and on so-doing boosted their percentage significantly!)

  • Little Things Mean a Lot

    Today I popped into Toddlers for the first time in ages (yes, I know I'm meant to be off today but I wanted to take in some Easter treats for everyone).  As I sat in my office doing a few bits and bobs there came a knock at the door.  In came one of the carers whose mum died a while back and we sent her a card.  She gave me the biggest hug ever!  It wasn't much, just a sign we cared.  She's not suddenly going to come to our church - she is a practising Catholic.  But that is irrelevant, we shouldn't do for what we might get back or for who might add to our attendance statistics.

    It was nice to see the toddlers again; lovely to have been missed, and great to share with them a touch of God's love.

  • Holy Week Blogging

    As an act of discipline this compulsive blogger is taking a break for Holy Week.  Partly because it's a busy week with daily prayers and some wonderful special events, and partly because it will be 'good for me.'  However, by the power of advance posting, each day there will (hopefully) appear a photograph and a few words vaguely connected to Holy Week and Easter, which just might offer a useful 'pause' for anyone passing this way.

  • Apropos of Nothing Whatsoever

    This random, mischievous and stupid, thought was prompted by an email that arrived this morning regarding something that could be mentioned in the intimations (notices) and put on the noticeboard at church.

    The thought...

    Should Scottish churches re-brand their noticeboards as 'intimation boards'?! ;-)

  • Why Visit my Blog?

    Now and then I check the stats aggregated by my blog-platform to see what brings people to this corner of blogland.  Apart from references to cartoon characters, news events or television programmes, it seems that bits of liturgy are the most popular.  Much of what I have posted in this genre is a response to the dearth of stuff I've found in my own searches.  Whether people find my prayers helpful, or reflections on Bible passages useful, I have no idea.  This month the 'big hits' have been funerals, mother's day, fairtrade and assorted Easter bits.  So, if that's what brought you here, thank you for visiting, I hope it has been of some use.  And if you are one of my loyal long-suffering readers, then thank you for that too - without you this would be a less fun exercise.