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- Page 5

  • Great and Small

    In just a few minutes time, possibly whilst I am still typing this, the funeral of Charles Kennedy, former leader fo the Liberal Democrats, career politician, father and above all, human being will take place.  The great and the good will gather.  Respresentatives of parties who opposed his views.  Public figures.  And his family, his friends and the people who really knew and loved him.  In the embrace for the church (Church) into which he was brought as an infant, in familiar words and ancient promises, in ritual and remembrance.

    It strikes me as somehow significant that thirty minutes later, far away at the other side of the country, one of his former a constituents, J, a quiet, private woman married to an even quieter, more private, man, will be laid to rest.  I can't be there - commitments in Glasgow made it unworkable - and I know that this will be a small, intimate affair.  No press.  No reporters.  No public figures.  Family and such friends as were able to travel.  A humanist ceremony for a woman who lived a quiet life, unobserved, save by those who knew her.

    Very different, and yet very similar.  Each in thier fifties; both taken by cruel hidden diseases.  Both people of principle and passion.  Each loved and loving others.

    A reminder, were one needed (I hope it is not) that at the heart of every large, public funeral is a real human loss, a family in grief.

    A reminder too, were one needed (I hope it is not) that everyone is equally significant in the eyes of God; that a quiet life, lived privately and without report is just as valuable as one spent in the public arena.


    So, I will take my lunch break and go to the park.

    I will sit in the sunshine and pause to reflect and remember two people, one known a little, one known only by repute; both highlanders and each now at rest and peace.

    Eternal rest grant unto them, oh Lord, let perpetual light shine upon them, may they rest in peace.

  • Summer Sun

    Several times this week folk have suddenly burst into song, or at the least the first line or two of a song, as they have delighted in the gorgeous sunny days we've been enjoying this week.

    ♫ ♫ Summer suns are glowing, over land and sea...♫ ♫

    ♫ ♫ dum di dum di dum dum, dum di dum dum di! ♫ ♫



    Read more ...

  • A Challenge to Relish

    One of the tasks I've offered to undertake this summer is to put together initial drafts for an Ethical Policy and (or maybe including) a Procurement Policy for our church.  I've spent a remarkably pleasant couple of hours looking at what I can find online (everything from "please pay £x to dowload our template" to Westminster and Scottish parliaments, to banks and supermarkets, along with a few charities on the way).  This has helped me to see the kind of layout that people use and the varied styles they adopt, as well as the kind of stuff we might want to include.

    So far I am around half way through the pre-amble bit, and already relishing the opportunity it gives me to reflect on how to relate our "charitable purpose", the Baptist DoP, and our adopted 'Core Values' to the way we chose to operate and regulate our life.  For sure, we are a FairTrade Church, and that's a good start.  Definitely, we recycle and re-use where we can, and that's good.  Certainly we aspire to inclusivity and try to consider the needs of people with disabilties, which is pretty basic.  But having the opportunity to sit down and work some of this into policy, a document to which we can be held accountable, is challenging and inspiring.  How do we decide where to invest our money?  What contradictions might we be living with, wititngly or otherwise?  It's good stuff!

    I've tried - with no success as yet - to find a Baptist Church who might have such policies... and the only reply I've had is, "well we'll look forward to seeing yours"!

    Trail-blazing again?  Surely not!  But, if we are, then well and good.  On which note, I'd better get back to that pre-amble!!

  • Daisies and Dandelions....

    I decided this afternoon to take myself, and the book I have to review, over the road to the park... it's a glorious day and it seemed a shame to sit at a desk when I could commune, to a degree at least, with nature.

    I finished the book and sat for a few minutes, simply savouring the space and stillness, admired the daisies and dandelions clocks and pondered what I had been reading.

    The book review - 200 words, so plenty of space to write stuff - is my next task.  I feel I could do it in a couple of sentences really: read this book, it's not rocket science, it probably doesn't tell you anything you don't know, but read it... and blow dandelion clocks, and make daisy chains and take time for yourself simply to be, to dust yourself, let go of regrets and remorse and step forward moore hopefully.

    Since I'm doing this for a Baptist publication, I'll say no more here, but look out for the review, buy or borrow the book, and make some space for yourself.

  • Thankful

    Yesterday I was given the sparkly kitten brooch, a thank you gift from P & A, that was meant to be a surprise until Saturday.  It is a precious memento of someone who allowed me into her life, to share in dark places as well as someone with whom I laughed, drank tea and teased her in-the-eyes-of-God husband.

    Today came the early morning phone call to say she had died.  Not unexpected and still not expected.

    And it made me thankful all over again for my own continuing life and generally good health.

    Today there is a lovely blue sky and fuffly white clouds.

    Today the kittens took over more their fair share of the bed, one snoring the other stretching out as long as possible.

    Today I will share communion with a centenarian and conversation with others.

    Today, as every day there is so much for which to be thankful.


    RIP P, I am privileged and proud to have known you.  Rest in peace and rise in glory.