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  • Back to Normal...

    After last week's rare quiet week, in which I had time to do some reading, reflecting and looking ahead, it's back to normal with a vengeance today!

    It was lovely, on Sunday, simply to sit in church with no responsibilities... except that I felt hugely responsible for everyone present!  I wanted the college staff and students to have a good experience of our church, and I wanted our church to have a good experience of the college.  I guess I am protective of those I love, and when two of those come together, I am doubly concerned that it all goes well.

    I think it did go well - feedback from both sides was positive - and it was good for me to be in a 'different place' on a Sunday morning. (I also enjoyed singing alto)

    Today it's back to service prep - hymn-choosing, ideas gathering - and it's feeling good... natural links are emerging between the services of the past month and those of the next... which just goes to show that, as ever, God's Spirit is active and enabling us to discover 'more light and truth' from the scriptures.

    Posting may continue to be erratic, but for (hopefully) good resaons.

  • And breathe...

    Church life right now is exciting and engaging... and very full on.

    This is a rare week - I have no service to prepare as we have staff and students from the Scottish Baptist College visiting us.

    This means I have the unexpected gift of some breathing space - a bit of 'sabbathing' where I can refresh my mind and soul more deeply, and rest my body a little more intentionally.

    Time to think a little bit strategically, time to listen to helpful podcasts, to dip into books, to pray and simply to be.

    So, yes, I am actually practising what I preached on Sunday!

  • A Century of Baptist Women in Ministry... and Curious Connections

    In 1918, the first woman Baptist minister to be appointed in sole charge of a church in England was appointed. 

    Edith Gates was born in 1883 (the same year that the Boys' Brigade was founded and that some pioneering Baptists left central Glasgow to found what would become The Gathering Place). 

    At the age of 35, she entered her pastorate at Little Tew and Clevely in Oxfordshire.  When I was 35, I was just beginning the process of candidating to train for Baptist ministry, and was appinted to my first pastorate at the age of 40.

    In 2009, the first woman Baptist minister to be appointed in sole charge of a church in Scotland was appointed. 

    And so, I stand of the shoulders of giants, and on the days when it gets tough or isolating, I can be heard mumbling to myself "Edith Gates, Violet Hedger" as a kind of mantra.

    You can read a bit more about Edith Gates here