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  • Now That's What I Call Service...

    Yesterday afternoon I placed an order for some items I wanted for our Maundy Thursday Seder... some paper 'Seder plates' and matching napkins and, more specifically, a proper Seder plate, something I have long wanted to own but never felt justified in buying.  So, ordered something like 3p.m. Tuesday... landed on my doormat 7:30 a.m. Wednesday... impressive!

    I had a lovely time opening the parcel and removing the layers of Hebrew newspaper from the various items.  I love my Seder plate, which is now sitting next to my pottery communion set on a bookcase in my living room.

    I am looking forward to the Seder... lots of work to prepare for it, especially as I want to do it 'properly' with a meal at its heart, not just a token bit of charoset and broken matzot.  Just wondering now if I should buy a proper menorah and a CD of Seder music too!

  • Climb Ev'ry Mountain

    I've long wanted to climb Ben Nevis... and just about anyone I asked had already done this and had no urge to do so again.  I also wanted to find a way of marking the second anniversary of my cancer diagnosis that would raise money for one of the charities that I have been grateful for.  So, today I signed up for the Breast Cancer Care Ben Nevis Challenge which takes place in September (see widget thingy on the right sidebar).

    BCC is a dedicated support charity whose leaflets are used extensively, and almost exclusively, by NHS GGC who undertook my treatment.  BCC provide many courses and events as well as opertaing a well-used online forum where people can give and receive support and encouragement or simply let off steam.  I used a lot of the leaflets and through the forums have 'met' and met-for-real many wonderful people.

    So, the walk up Ben Nevis will be fun and a suitable challenge for second anniversary... much nicer to be facing a real moutain to climb this September than the metaphorical one two years ago.

  • Happy Cyril and Methodius Day!

    One of the more entertaining aspects of PAYG is discovering the saints days, holy days and other special days that are marked.  Today is the RC festival of two Thessalonican brothers from the 9th century who undertook missions among the Slavic peoples in what is now known as Bulgaria.  No martyrdom so far as I can ascertain, Cyril is credited with the alphabet used in eastern European countries to this day and it seems the brothers were advocates of liturgy in the vernacular.

    I don't think anyone has developed a card for this festival!  I presume it won't result in hikes in the prices of flowers or chocolates or strawberries, but the ability to read scripture in the vernacular, to pray in our native tongues and to hear of God's love in words we understand seems worth celebrating.  I think today I will take a moment to recall the work of the Bible Societies worldwide who still strive to bring these life-giving words to people of all languages.

  • Crazy Cat Lady with Limitless Time for Volunteering wltm...?

    On the eve of the annual celebration of mush and slush, for which restaurant and flower prices are hiked, aka St Valentines day, Baptist Times new Sweep offers two links, one tongue in cheek, one serious...

    At Stuff Christians Like a forty question (too many, I got fed up)  quiz to see how your church measures up in caring for singles.  As the crazy cat lady (Q17/18) I found it made me smile, and made me sigh, and made me realise that despite some serious research I did a decade ago, I have done too little to tackle these less lovely elements of the Noah's Ark (two by two) that is the church.

    More serious is Inspire which shows that, of people signed up with a Christian dating agency, two-thirds would rather be single than marry someone who didn't share their faith.  It (a) fails to note that most single Christians will not be signed up with them and (b) seems to me to perpetuate the myth that singleness is the second-base option for those who fail to find a Christian soul mate.  Clearly, imo, if someone signs up with a faith-based dating agency, their preference is someone who shares their faith, so the sample is hardly unbiased.

    Presumably, then, were Jesus here now, he would have to get a cat and babysit, and his singleness be seen as less desirable than the possibility of one day marrying Martha of Bethany...  [if that offends/is blasphemous, I apologise]

  • Mighty and Mysterious...

    One of the things that happens all too often, yet never ceases to amaze and beguile me, is that way that two services of worship, prepared completely independently, on seemingly unrelated themes, have overlaps and connections beyond the trivial.  Worshipping with people who have a substantial repertoire of hymns and songs, very often there will be one item that occurs both morning and evening.  With themes that sound utterly unrelated, the same Bible passages will be selected.  With diverse theological understandings, the same thought processes and ideas emerge.  How can it be so?

    It has to a mystery, a mysterion, a movement of God-in-us that stirs up a whisper, a hint, of something that fits this context, this group of hearers, at this time.  And it is somehow something mighty, something bigger and deeper and wider and, and... um, more than just co-incidence (occurrence close in time)... I am forced to conclude that somehow or other, this is God at work.

    I know I've blogged thoughts on this before but it never ceases to intrigue me that it happens and happens again and happens again, again.


    Mighty and mysterious

    In the highest height

    God from everlasting

    Very light from light:

    One with God the Father

    And the Spirit blessed

    Love, in love etenral,

    Rest in perfect rest.


    (We did not sing this yesterday... but it'd be curious if someone reading did!)