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- Page 5

  • Happy Assembling!

    I will admit that I was sceptical about the two-day BUGB/BMS Assembly, fearing that it would feel rushed and that the things that I value would be squashed or lost.  In the event, it was a great Assembly and, although I did miss some elements, I had a great time.

    I didn't enjoy every last moment - some of the music wasn't to my taste and was over loud, there were late starts and several over-runs - but all that faded into insignificance compared to all that was good.

    Just three significant bits to share for now.


    • The BMS 'Happy' video which you can see here brought lots of laughter as well as presenting lots of information - a good year for BMS
    • In the BUGB session this hugely significant statement was read out.  For some it does not go far enough, for others it may go too far, but overall it is good, Baptist unity-in-diversity stuff.  As was said at the time, this is not the 'final word' but it is massively significant and, in my opinion, a really helpful step... just a shame you have to dig so deep into the website to find it!
    • The closing communion service was the high point... presided by a minister with significant and visible physical disability, served by people who were children and adults, black and white, female and male, married and single and all sorts of other expressions of diversity, it was, for me, a glimpse of the eschatological banquet.  Singing 'For everyone born, a place at the Table' a capalla was heart-burstingly wonderful, knowing that in the congregation were people of all theological hues and with the whole of life as their experience.  I can't really capture it in words - but as one of the servers, I was so proud and so humbled to be a tiny part of it.

    Sometimes I am proud to be a Baptist - this weekend was one such time.

  • Heading South...

    After lunch I will be heading southwards for #bapt14 (I'm only just getting the hang of this hash tag thingy a bit late in the day!)

    I have a list as long as my arm of people who'd love to catch up over a coffee - that's lovely but some people are going to end up disappointed, there just aren't enough coffee breaks to go round!  Really hoping to catch up with my bestest-minister-friend-in-the-world-ever who is now based in north Wales and also some of my Dibley folk who will be there for the first time.  Have a check list of folk I'd like to bump into including college friends, the former-sec-of-the-church-that-said-no, folk from churches where I did student preaches, folk I know from Didcot, and so on and so forth...  Please may I have a ten day Assembly just to see my friends?!

    The laptop is staying home, neither of my phones is smart (the one I use for church is especially dull) and kindle withdrew the free browser on my model so no contact with the www for a few days - something I really value as it gives me the freedom to 'look up' and 'look out' and be differently alive.

    Reporting back will happen in due course but quiet here for a few days.

  • Reflective

    Last night was the last Deacons-by-any-other-Name Meeting of the year (the June meeting is now firmly established as nosh and natter, a reward for another year of hard work and we get July off for good behaviour) as our AGM is in September and the August meeting will, essentially, be part of 'next year'.  That means that in 'churchy-academic' years we have been together for five years (not five calendar years until October). Realising this left me in a slightly reflective frame of mind and pondering what a lot has been shared in that time.

    Looking around yesterday, I realised that, of my DbaoNs, only two were part of that Team when I arrived, and of those one is about to step down.  There is something healthy about a carefully managed turnover over members of this team - three to six years in a role is long enough to learn what the role involves, make a valuable contribution and then step back to allow others to have a turn.  At the same time, there is something important about continuity and corporate memory that means we need to manage transitions carefully.  I am very grateful to have one member of the team who has held a number of roles and so never quite managed to escape for a break.  Aged from mid-twenties to early seventies, we are a diverse group and that is healthy.  We have some good banter, some deep sharing and get through a lot of stuff together.

    Five years... and what a lot we have shared!  Several new Church Members (ten I think), three Baptisms, seven (I think) new babies, couples entering marriage or CP (all ceremonies elsewhere as it happens), a day reflecting on human sexuality, a deep review of our ministry and mission, two half days devoted to exploring (and deciding about) proposals regarding our premises. 

    Five years...in which we've had a Christmas sheep trail, a Christingle, a Good Friday labyrinth,several  'messy' Christmas Eve and 'messy' Good Friday events, student welcome teas, Glasgow West End Festival (philosophy cafes, choral communion, Bake-off, beach party, 'public' loos), the Coffee Club, the Theological Reflection Group, the Bible Study group, various Lent courses, Advent reflections, socials, fundraisers (for charities, not ourselves).... and I'm sure loads more I've forgotten.

    Of course many of these were already established before my time here, but not all... and it is quite amazing to start trying to make a list even of those I can recall.

    Like lots of people in busy and wonderful jobs, I find myself by this time of year wearying and lacking va va voom (and some of that I can legitimately blame on medication).  So it is good to pause for a moment and reflect on just how much has been achieved, how much has been shared.  If nothing else, it encourages me!

    Coming up soon, will be this year's Glasgow West End Festival and soon after that our involvement in More Than Gold 2014... summer is not going to quiet or lazy here!

    Five years... goodness me.  But a good five years!

  • Just for Fun

    Tomorrow I will be heading south to West Brom to attend the Baptist Assembly (BUGB-BMS variety)... it's only over two days but necessitates a Friday journey from here to arrive in time!

    This means Holly's very gracious 'auntie' will be sitting her yet again - so glad it is her and not the 'vulgarian' in this little film...

  • it's The Little Things

    ... like breaking the left arrow key on my laptop.

    Yesterday I thought it was high time I de-cat-fur-ed the keyboard of my laptop.  By the wonders of google, I found out how it was possible to lift the keys, pick out the fluff and replace them... except the left arrow key decided to break, or at least the hinged thingy that goes between the key and the rubber thingy did.  I have managed to source a replacement key and associated 'thingies' from the wonder that is Ebay, and have a backup plan to buy a replacement keyboard and fit that (eek!) if necessary.  In the meantime I am really missing my left arrow key!

    My typing skills are legendary in their awfulness, so the left arrow is my friend, allowing me to track backwards and make corrections without deleting a whole lot of text.  Of course I have found ways round it - using the cursor and mouse, using the up and right arrows creatively, even doing lots of deleting... but the instinct is still to hit the gap that was the left arrow.

    Some might tell me there's a sermon in there, and maybe there is.  Certainly it's reminded me how easy it is to take for granted the little things that make life more pleasant.

    Now then, up, up, right, right, right, delete....