By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.

- Page 2

  • Bird brained?

    Tomorrow's morning service is all about birds... sparrows, doves, hens, chickens and eagles.  It will proobably be a bit marmitified but I've enjoyed preparing it.

    Tomorrow's evening servcie is a favourite hymns evening - a baker's dozen to be precise.  Shuffling them into a sensible order was a challenge because they are all lovely, each rich in theolgoy and spirituality and as diverse as those who have chosen them.  We have one in Welsh (with English subtitles), one by Kendrick, one by Wren, one written on our patch a few years ago, one that dates back to St Francis.

    Lots of flitting about then, lots of nightingales and crows singing praises to God.  I hope it's a good day for all involved.

  • Belated Sillyness

    I am pleased for David & Smanatha Cameron that their little girl arrived safely.  The early morning news on Radio 2 announcing this fact said that they hope to give her a name "with a Cornish flavour."  The first thought that went through my mind was.... Vanilla.  Followd swiftly by 'Mivvy' 'Tiggy Oggy' or 'Pasty'.

  • Squished Croissants

    In recent months I have had cause to make good use of Travelodges, the low price motel type places where you can, if you get it right, book a family room for £19.  I quite like them.  Sure, they are all pretty much identical, but you get a large room with a proper sized bathroom (or wet-room in the newer ones) decent TV reception and a little workspace.  There is wifi available - unless like me you opt for mobile broadband, and I have to say O2 is proving very good so far.  They are always clean and the staff are always helpful.  Just one thing that always puzzles me is when I buy their 'breakfast bag' the croissant is always squished - a Catriona word that means utterly squashed.  An 'i' is thinner than an 'a'.  Why don't they pack them so that the croissant is on the top, maybe in a protective cardboard sleeve?  They taste the same squished and unsquished but they don't look great flat!

  • Be Still?

    Last night's Glasgow Baptist Prayer Gathering was very well attended and even if not everything went quite as I'd imagined or hoped most people from other churches seemed to have found it a broadly positive experience.  I had tried to reflect the model I'd experienced at the last one (my first) whilst being true to who and what we are and I am.

    One thing left me puzzled, and that was just how loud some of these people were.  Our pianist was playing beautiful music as people arrived, music totally drowned out by loud voices.  And at the end the very moment we spoke the final 'amen' a cacophony of voices began chattering without any pause for private prayer or contemplation.  Never, ever before had I experienced the latter before.  In almost every church I've been to (and that's a lot) after the final 'amen' everyone sits down quietly.  Some people pray on for a few moments.  Some people quietly collect their thoughts and their belongings.   Some slip away quietly to make the tea or to retrieve children from Sunday School.

    At the start of the service I read Psalm 46 with its injunction to 'shut up and focus on the one who is I AM' (crude paraphrase).  Part of me wonders if that fell on some deaf ears.  Part of me feels that's judgemental.

    There were some high spots... the flickering tealights representing the Baptist churches in Glasgow and showing the obvious gaps in our mission (the poor and tricky east side of the city)... the singing of the Taize chant 'within out darkest night' with only the light of our votive candles to see by... the near stillness as I led intercession for a broken world.  My highpoint was singing in the dark, standing, as it happened, right at the back, watching the flames defying the gloom and sensing that this is how God's presence is experienced in our weary, sin-sick yet beloved and beautiful world.

    I love all kinds of worship.  I can do loud, hand-clappy, hand-wavy.  I can do total silence.  I can do all points in between.  I just can't do with an inability to take 'just a moment' of silence and stillness, just 'a goodly number of seconds' as Ang put it to remind ourselves just what this is really about.

  • Turn of the Season

    Today it is gloriously sunny in Glasgow.  And apparently it is pouring with rain in South East England.  There, is seems, justice if you wait patiently.  Clear blue skies and soaring temperatures (at least by local standards) and smiling people abroad stravaigin or just going abut their daily lives.

    This morning as I was walking to Coffee Club I couldn't help notice that the tress are just beginning to turn from green to gold, green to brown, green to red.  Subtle changes that mark the transition from summer to autumn.  The dew on the ground is just a little heavier, lasts just a little longer.  The morning light is a little less intense, more golden than azure.  It's a change I have noticed annually for a couple of decades, yet it never fails to intrigue and delight me.

    Often we - or I - speak of seasons as if they have sharp definitions, the kind that lead to the annual debates over the date of the first day of spring or midsummer.  But that's not right.  One season silently slips away as a new one emerges.  So it is with history, so it is with changes in church life, so it is with life more generally.  There are significant moments, signposts and markers, but on the whole the changes are subtle and progressive until, almost unawares, we find ourselves in a new season.  To every time there is a season... turn, turn, turn: somewhere between the Bible and the song writer there's a profound truth methinks.