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

- Page 10

  • Second Sunday in Advent

    Another action-packed day in propsect...

    Morning worship

    Sunday School party

    Evening worship

    All good fun... tis hte season to be busy falalalalalalalala ♫ ♫ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪

  • Advent 2013 - The First Week

    Well, what a week this has been!  Or just over a week, strictly speaking.

    The tragedy of the helcipoter crash at Clutha Vaults, swiftly followed by high winds across Scotland and tidal surges and flooding in England and Wales, then, as the week drew to its close, the death of Nelson Mandela.  And that's just the high profile, public stuff.

    To be honest, I've found the poetry selection of 'Haphazard by Starlight' for this week rather dark too - not just physically dark, not merely short hours of daylight, but a forboding, pernicious kind of darkness that seeps into the soul.  Perhaps others have found that darkness resonates with their feelings and experiences, but I've found it rather hard-going.

    It has also been a very busy week - even with one evening meeting being cancelled, I was still out three nights in succession, and the days ended up being rather lengthy one way and another.  From taking communion with eldery housebound folk to visiting someone with an advanced and advancing incurable condition, to drinking coffee with folks for whom life plods along, perhaps the heart of this week has been its pastoral focus. I always claim this is the weakest area of my ministry, the part I find most difficult because small talk is not my thing (even if I can blether for hours otherwise), but this week it has proved a gift amidst what has at times felt like relentless pratical stuff that "they don't teach you at vicar school".

    Last night, not atypically, I was awake for a couple of hours, and I made a point of thinking back over the week and naming in prayer people and churches and places and situations that had been part of my week. 

    Today has been no less demanding - I have worked out how to download MP4 and MP3 versions of video on You Tube (legitimately) in order to work them into a PowerPoint presentation for the person who is leading tomorrow evening's worship.  I have wrestled the all age part of tomorrow's service into some sort of shape, and feel that things are now just about 'there'.

    Having done all this, I took myself down the road to a coffee shop where I indulged myself in a mincepie with cream and a large steaming mug of hot chocolate (on the grounds that, just this once, I'd live with the possiblity of soy) with all the trimmings!

    Overall, I've had a good week, and the little candles of hope have defied the darkness at every turn.  As I anticipate the second week of Advent, I hope the the glimmers of dawn will begin to tickle the horizon... time will tell!

  • 'Haphazard by Starlight' - Day 7

    We Grow Accustomed to the Dark

    We grow accustomed to the Dark -
    When light is put away -
    As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp
    To witness her Goodbye -

    A Moment - We uncertain step
    For newness of the night -
    Then - fit our Vision to the Dark -
    And meet the Road - erect -

    And so of larger - Darkness -
    Those Evenings of the Brain -
    When not a Moon disclose a sign -
    Or Star - come out - within -

    The Bravest - grope a little -
    And sometimes hit a Tree
    Directly in the Forehead -
    But as they learn to see -

    Either the Darkness alters -
    Or something in the sight
    Adjusts itself to Midnight -
    And Life steps almost straight.

    Emily Dickinson
  • Privilege

    Today's 'work' has consisted essentially of three meetings, two of which were primarily pastoral in nature, and the other a long overdue catch-up with a ministerial colleague.

    Three very different encounters; three very different circumstances; three different people.

    Three unique privileges.

    This has been a long week, and a busy one - I can't quite recall when I last had evening stuff three days running, or, for that matter, a week with quite so many meetings and events.  Small wonder I am tired... but tired for the right reasons I think.

  • 'Haphazard by Starlight' - Day 6

    The Other

    by Ruth Fainlight


    Whatever I find if I search will be wrong

    I must wait; sternest trial of all, to sit

    Passive, recpetive, and patient, empty

    Of every demand and desire, until

    That other, that being I never would have found

    Though I spent my whole life in the quest, will step

    From the shadows, appropach like a wild, awkward child.


    And this will be the longest task: to attend,

    To open myself.  To still my energy

    Is harder that to use it any cause.

    Yet surely she will only be revealed

    By pushing against the grain of my nature

    That always yearns for choice.  I feel it painful

    And strong as a birth in which there is no pause.


    I musthold myself back form every lure of action

    To let her come closer, a wary smile on her face,

    One arm lifted - to greet me or ward off attack

    (I cannot decipher that uncertain gesture).

    I must even control the pace of my breath

    Until she has drawn her circle near enough

    To capture the note of her faint reedy voice.


    And then as in dreams, when a langauge unspoken

    Since times before childhood is recalled

    (When I was as timid as she, my forgotten sister -

    Her presence my completion and reward),

    I begin to understand, in fragments, the message

    She waitied to long to deliver.  Loving her I shall learn

    My own secret at last from the words of her song.