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  • Beauty ....

    Yesterday as part of our service, inspired by the story of Esther, we talked a little bit about beauty and beauty-contest mentality.

    I was aware of this video on BBC London website, which says everything I wanted to say, only better., and now I'm sharing it...

  • Remarkably Unpassremarkable

    Yesterday I travelled a long way on five trains (and five more back again) to attend the ordination and induction of a minister for whom I've been invited to act as mentor during her first three years of ministry.

    It was a very happy service.  A small, grant-aided church on the edge of a big city, their usual congregation  augmented by representatives of two denominations (it's an LEP), the college where she trained and a variety of friends and family.

    I love ordination and induction services (combined or separate), they always remind me of my own, and reconnect me with the promises I made in years past.

    What was good yesterday, in a congregation where there at least as many women baptist ministers as in the whole of Scotland, this was totally unpassremarkable.  What was good that no-one commented on the fact that the candidate and the preacher were women; there was no notice taken that one of those who laid on hands was a black woman minister... and it felt so very, very good.

    I hope for a day when it is equally unpassremarkable in other contexts too... when my unchosen place in history is firmly consigned to history, and other 'firsts', onwhatever basis they are deemed noteworthy, have also come and gone.

    It was a long day, a long way to go for a 90 minute serivce, but it was well worth while.

    Rev LH may God bless you in your ministry at WUFC now and for many years to come. Amen.


  • Bible and Homsexuality - a Website

    This website is worth a look, whether you think you have thought through this topic or not.  In a series of short, easy to understand videos, we are granted a scholarly look at some of the key 'clobber texts' and arguments about same sex relationships.

    For sure, human sexuality is a much broader topic, but that doesn't diminish the value of this resource as a starting point for anyone who wants to understand better what the Bible does or does not have to say about same sex relationships.  It is also a helpful resource for anyone who wants to reflect on the lenses through which we read scripture and the dnager of assuming there is a single, plain reading that is always valid.

  • A First Time for Everything...

    Today the vet who has cared from the Clepto Kitties, and who previously cared for Holly Bethany Cat, retires.  I've never had a vet retire on me before - but then to be fair, I've never been with the same vet long enough for this to be a possibility.

    The practice we are registerd with was established in 1945 and our vet has been there since the 1990s, having previously worked elsewhere in both England and Scotland.  What is special about this practice is that it is so caring and so interested in both the animals and their people.  Over the last seven years or so (eek!) there has been solid, wise advice, practical suggestions along with a good blend of pragmatism (your cats don't to be wormed or have flea teatment if they never go outside) and common sense (buy some products on line and save a fortune).

    Even today, we chatted about how best to manage Sasha's chronic medical condition in an honest, open and helpful way.

    I wish my (former) vet a long, happy and healthy retirement.  That she will be much missed is, I think, the best testament to all she's been and done.

  • Serendipity?

    This week as I've been pondering the direction to take for Sunday's service, and working up a reflection that I think is reaonsably OK, there have been a few 'hmmm' moments as I've become aware of similar ideas being explored in very different contexts.

    Whenever this happens, at least to this extent, and with something that I feel is fairly specific, I'm left wondering is this serendipity, is it God's Spirit or is it simply that because I am thinking about something that I am specially alert to it.

    I never find a satisfactory answer, which is perhaps why serendipity is such a useful (as well as delightful) word).