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  • Mentoring and Munching

    One of the delights and privileges of being an experienced minister is mentoring less experienced ministers, and this year I have been working with a very capable and intelligent young minister, reflecting on aspects of a complex ministry pattern and watching as nascent gifts and skills begin to find expression.

    Today to mark the end of year one, we went out for lunch.  I am the 'food 'n' drink' mentor, the one who buys wine (or soft drinks) for NAMs, who sups coffee (or tea) at the drop of a hat, and who thinks food is very important (and that it ticks the WWJD box!). 

    I am privileged indeed - there are not many jobs/careers that allow such enjoyable means of working, or that permit such important working relationships to be formed.  When I wrote my essay on mentoring for SBC/BUS (so that I could be a thrice-qualified mentor) I read some stuff about women's mentoring styles.  Whilst I dislike gender stereotypes, it does seem that women are more likely than men to see leisurely meetings over meals as a valid approach.

    Anyway, I have a full belly and a warm glow from our conversations.  Have a brilliant summer M, and in September Year 2 begins - more coffee methinks!

  • Summer in the City?

    This morning I have been contemplating my service for Sunday evening on urban spirituality.

    Here in Glasgow it has been raining on and off all morning, and UK-wide it has not exactly been a barbecue summer so far.

    With this in mind, this song came into my head...


    I would like to point out I was the grand old age of 3 when this was originally released!

    It may yet make an appearance on Sunday evening... you have been warned!  (I have one or two others up my sleeve too)

  • Bit(e)s and Bobs

    My cat has fleas.  I know this because I got bitten.  Apart from a bit of scratching, Holly seems unperturbed (though I bear the cat scratches on arm and face from when I treated her with the necessary remedy).  All it took was one flea - and I do not know how it got in to my house, but get in it did.  I have a theory, but I won't share it for fear of embarrassing any of my (distant) readers!!  Anyway.  The cat has been jolloped, the carpets and curtains and furniture have been sprayed, hoovered, sprayed again and now I have to wait - two weeks - for the treatment to kill the little monsters.  Then repeat for good measure.  Undoubtedly there is a sermon in there somewhere, if only I could be bothered to find it.  I have to learn patience and keep up the hoovering!

    Sunday coming we continue our stroll through Mark's gospel, a couple of weeks behind the lectionary.  It is good to read in sequence several familiar stoires - and also to note what's been omitted.  This week we have the story of Jairus' daughter and the woman with the haemorrhage.  This is a fantastic story to work with, so rich in potential, and I am looking forward to it - even if I have to hang fire on fixing one of the all age bits to see what the postman does, or does not, bring this week (more patience needed).  I am excited to work with it, discovering yet more new (to me) insights. 

    I am also curious as to why the lectionary skips past the exorcism story that lies between the storm stilling and this healing narrative.  Granted I'm not sorry to evade that particular passage, but I'm not sure that's really a good enough reason to miss it out.  Why this bit and not that?  AFter all the author and, presumably, God, thought it was an important part of the story!

    Then in the evening of Sunday I will begin my urban sprituality series - and thanks to PAYG this morning I now know how I will open the service... but I'm not telling just yet!

  • CANMove Launched Today!

    This morning I was at the launch of an exercise programme available to anyone being treated for cancer, or who has been treated for cancer, with proven benefits for health and well-being.  This new programme builds on the Active ABC model, but is open to anyone affected by any kind of cancer (though it was still mainly women, and mainly people who'd been affected by breast cancer at the launch it has to be said).

    Anyway, you can read more about it here or if you live in Scotland can catch TV coverage today on STV at 2 pm or 6 pm, possibly on Daybreak, and tomorrow in the Scottish press (Glasgow Herald, Daily Record). 

    I spoke to one of the coordinators who said that now that NHS GGC are actively committed to it, more people are taking part.  Given that research suggests exercise reduces the risk of recurrence by up to 50%, and has well-being benefits for at least five years, it all seems like a no-brainer to me.

    I can be be seen in the TV coverage looking suitably gormless it has to be said (avoided most of the press photos!) but it was good to be there... and I got my five a day for free as part of the buffet lunch!

  • Artist's Impressions

    This morning as part of our service we used a selection of 12 pictures of Jesus stilling the storm, from Rembrandt to contemporary interpretations.  People were given a picture at random and invited to spend a minute looking at it, then to share what struck them with those near them.  The idea being that every person sees something in the picture that says something to them, and that may be the voice of God.

    Here is one picture, which I 'borrowed' from another blog and I found very worth sitting with for a while...


    Picture From Christ Port blog

    For me it is the diversity of facial expressions and reactions that is striking, echoing as it does the diversity of human responses to crises.