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  • The Ministry of Counting and Collating!

    The last couple of weeks, and the next few, see us in an interesting phase of church life as we sort, pack, store, share, sell, recycle or send to the tip, the contents of our premises in readiness for a period of 'tabernacling'.  At such times as this, I find a lot of reassurance in such books of the Bible as Numbers, where we find the ancients undertaking similar tasks, and Nehemiah, where there are equally long lists of who did what.

    Strange though it may seem, I actually derive some genuine satisfaction from the systematic sorting and counting, allocating and sending of assorted 'stuff'.  I don't like house moves, and I'm not overly enamoured at the thought of moving my office a mile and a half down the road, but at the same time, there is something good about getting the whole enterprise underway.

    Whatever you think of Myers Brigg Personality Type thingies, it seems that mine is suited to the 'bean counting' nature of this task, something that is the way God made me and the reason God called/sent me to this place at this time.

    I am enjoying researching organisations that might benefit from those items that we no longer require, and even finding a good challenge in balancing charity law requirements with a desire to be generous.

    They don't teach you this stuff at vicar school, but for those of us with the appropriate gifts and skills, there really is a ministry of counting and collating!

  • Harvest Recipes

    Today we will be sampling some international cuisine.  Here are the recipes...


    Gallo Pinto (Red Rooster) - Nicaragua

    (The original meat free chicken!!)


    1 onion, chopped

    2 cloves garlic, crushed

    3 cups white rice (boiled)

    2 cups black beans (cooked)

    1 tsp cumin

    1 tsp coriander

    ½ tsp ginger

    Spring onions to garnish (optional)

    Salt and pepper


    Fry the onions and garlic until soft, add the spices and cook for a few minutes to infuse.  Stir in the cooked rice and beans and mix well.  Service hot or cold.  Garnish with spring onions, if desired.



    Sukuma Wiki (Stretch the Week) – Uganda


    1 bunch kale, chopped

    2 tomatoes, chopped

    1 onion, chopped

    1 tsp cumin

    ½ tsp coriander

    ½ tsp turmeric

    1 ½ tsp salt

    1 cup water

    2 tbsp lemon juice


    Fry onions and tomatoes until soft, add the spices, vegatables and liquid, stir well to mix.  Cook over a medium heat for around 20 mins until the kale is cooked to your liking.  Serve hot with chapattis or other flat bread, or as a side dish.  Can also be served cold.



    Dahl Bhat – Nepal


    1 cup lentils (soaked if necessary)

    1 onion, chopped

    3 cloves garlic, crushed

    Large tin of canned tomatoes, chopped

    Zest and juice of one lime

    1 red chilli chopped finely

    1 tsp cumin

    1 tsp coriander

    1 tsp turmeric

    Ground pepper to taste


    Fry the inions and garlic until soft and add the spices to infuse.  Add the remaining ingredients and cook for around 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft.  Best served hot with boiled white rice; can also be eaten as a side dish or cold



    Khir – Nepal


    1 cup pudding rice

    2 cups milk (full fat is best)

    1 tbsp ghee or melted butter (not hot)

    ½ cup sugar

    Cardamom pods or 1 tbsp ground cardamom

    Cashew nuts


    Grated fresh nutmeg (or ground) if desired


    Boil the milk with the sugar.

    Coat the rice in melted butter

    Add the milk and cardmom to the milk and boil until cooked (around  20 – 25 mins depending how soft you like the rice)

    Stir in the nuts and fruit, and add nutmeg


    Serve hot or cold – yummy!

     Don't eat the cardamom pods!

  • Pausing...

    This has been a very busy week.  Nothing unusual there, but as it draws to a close, I am taking just a little time to pause and take stock... and I am sure this is a "good thing"

    The next month or so is going to be increasingly demanding as the practical and pastoral implications of packing up and moving out of our premises (for a season) and, just to make it more complicated, I will finally get round to taking my summer holiday in the middle of November!!  Logistically this is looking like a very bad time to take leave, but there's nothing that can be done about that (short of cancelling it and letting down a very old friend, which I'm not willing to do)

    My personality is such that I can cheerfully work myself into the ground, which helps no-one, least of all me, so I am going to be much more intentional about creating spaces simply to "be" and to "pray".  My hope is that by stating this so very publicly I am making myself somehow acocuntable for ensuring that it does happen.  My diary is crazily stuffed but I have spotted a couple of days when I can - and pledge to - turn off the technology, ignore the phones and 'retreat' for a few hours.