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- Page 11

  • Today...

    I have...

    checked the met office weather warnings and the church roof

    swept up leaves

    participated in a reflective service for Advent

    scanned and circulated some documents from the city council on refuse and recycling

    attended the launch of a new community intitiative responding to food poverty and social isolation

    attended the service to unite two C of S parishes

    eaten three lots of 'free' food

    and generally had a fun time... if not an espeically 'holy' one


    These things they don't teach you at vicar school!

  • 'Haphazard by Starlight' - Day 5

    Black Rook in Rainy Weather

    by Sylvia Plath

    On the stiff twig up there
    Hunches a wet black rook
    Arranging and rearranging its feathers in the rain.
    I do not expect a miracle
    Or an accident

    To set the sight on fire
    In my eye, not seek
    Any more in the desultory weather some design,
    But let spotted leaves fall as they fall,
    Without ceremony, or portent.

    Although, I admit, I desire,
    Occasionally, some backtalk
    From the mute sky, I can't honestly complain:
    A certain minor light may still
    Leap incandescent

    Out of the kitchen table or chair
    As if a celestial burning took
    Possession of the most obtuse objects now and then ---
    Thus hallowing an interval
    Otherwise inconsequent

    By bestowing largesse, honor,
    One might say love. At any rate, I now walk
    Wary (for it could happen
    Even in this dull, ruinous landscape); sceptical,
    Yet politic; ignorant

    Of whatever angel may choose to flare
    Suddenly at my elbow. I only know that a rook
    Ordering its black feathers can so shine
    As to seize my senses, haul
    My eyelids up, and grant

    A brief respite from fear
    Of total neutrality. With luck,
    Trekking stubborn through this season
    Of fatigue, I shall
    Patch together a content

    Of sorts. Miracles occur,
    If you care to call those spasmodic
    Tricks of radiance miracles. The wait's begun again,
    The long wait for the angel.
    For that rare, random descent.

  • Windy Weather!

    This morning I was blown uphill on my way to work - which I was happy about; however I think the lady trying to walk downhill was not so chuffed!

    Scotrail decided to suspend all the trains - perhaps as well given the number of small and not so small branches I stepped over, to sat nothing of leaves, bread crates, plastic bags and flapping awnings.

    I have stopped counting the number of sirens on emergency vehicles tearing up and down the road, but it's a lot - bad weather seems to have some inevitable results.

    But all here is well - I have checked the roof, swept the paths and checked the met Office Weather status.  It seems the winds are due to abate and we may even get some (shhhhh) sunshine later.

    After all that fun and games I think I earned my slightly larger than usual skinny fairtrade latte - but now I need to get on and earn my keep doing proepr minister stuff!!

    PS Today's poem will be posted late as I have back-to-back stuff all day until late evening! Happy madness!

  • Communion

    The first Sunday of the month is, unsurprisingly, Communion Sunday at the Gathering Place.  Recently I have to an extent 'formalised' arrangements for taking communion with those often termed "shut-ins"... trying to ensure that it happens in the week following the church's celebration of communion and making sure that at least one, and preferably two or three, other people go with me.

    This week was the first time we managed to organise to share with each of the two people who are no longer able to get to church.  Each was a very special time, and each moving, humbling and a sign of community.  For any Anglican or Catholic readers, we were almost at the 'reserved sacrament' level, as I took the left over bread and juice from Sunday (though had to buy new bread yesterday for the second visit) and for ordinance theoligians like me it was just common sense not to waste food!!


    A coffee table is set with mismatched glasses

    (A wine glass, a tumbler and what looks suspiciously like a whisky glass)

    A quarter loaf lies on a serviette

    From memory we sing a hymn, and half a hymn, and a psalm

    "The Lord's my shepherd"

    "Blessed Assurance"

    "Great is thy Faithfulness"

    Familiar words and forms transport us back in time

    And across in space

    Linking India and Aberdeen, Northampton and Glasgow

    "When you do this, remember"


    Another coffee table is set with gleaming crystal sherry glasses,

    (A source of amusement to host and guest)

    A perfect roll sits on a sideplate

    Next to it, on a large plate, a splendid, iced sponge cake

    Awaits its fate

    Hymnbooks this time, No 144, No 555

    Pitched too high, then too low, by verse three we get there

    More links of place and time

    Wales and London and College and Kirk

    "When you do this, remember"


    Two nonagenarians (one almost a centenarian)

    Re-membering and re-connecting

    With times and places and people

    And with the God who comes close

    When a few people gather in Christ's name -

    "When you do this, remember"

  • Advent Pauses

    This evening is the first of our Advent Pauses - a thirty minute guided reflection based on material from Christian Aid and focusing on the lectionary Isaiah readings for Advent Year A!  I am looking forward to leading this first of three (we couldn't make four work this year!) evenings.

    The same material will be repeated tomorrow lunchtime, led by one of our many talented folk, and will be followed by a simple lunch, with donations for Christian Aid.

    Anyone who happens to be passing the Gathering Place at either time is very welcome to drop in, slow down and reflect.