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  • Voting Day...

    Just in from voting in an EU election that we didn't expect to have after the 'leave' result back in 2016.

    There are a lot of very fed up folk out there. There are a lot of people who have totally lost faith in politics. There are people making predictions based on the weather (my Dad used to be big on that one!) and there are algorithms to assist tactical voting either way.

    How anyone votes is their choice - even if anyone eligible chooses to vote at all is their choice.

    By Sunday we'll have an idea how the whole EU looks politically, never mind this tiny island.  If praying be your thing, pray for wisdom, compassion and peace.

  • Nessie and the Kelpies...

    I almost certainly won't see either, but they are clues to where I'm going to be for the next few days!

    Tomorrow I head north to Drumnadrochit (such a great place name) to share with M & T as we bless their marriage in gorgeous surroundings.

    A quick flip back on Sunday then off again on Monday to Larbert (not so romantic sounding, alas) to be part of the Board of Ministry meeting peopel ar various stages of their ministry journey and, with others, discerning answers to some specific questions about what that might look like at this time.

    Just two of the wonderfully diverse aspects of the nioniostry I am privileged to exercise.

    [No blogging then, as either no internet or no time or both]

  • Twelve Months Later...

    ... it's another glorious morning in Glasgow!

    Social media platforms like to remind me what I was posting a year ago, two years ago, anything up to seven years ago when I started using them!

    Today I was told that it was exactly a year since my first chaplaincy visit to the Care Home.  It was a very sunny day, and for two figs I'd have called off, because it was only a week since my Mum had died in another care home, and I was still sorting funeral arrangements.  Every time I go to the Care Home, I glance across at the bench where I sat, waiting for my taxi to take me home, and phoning venues for the funeral tea.

    I'm glad I did as my Mum would have demanded of me that day, and pulled myself together and got on with it.  Over the year I have probably spoken with around forty folk, some once, some many times.  Sometimes it's hard going, sometimes it's good fun; always it's privileged.

    Whilst it wouldn't be my natural vocation - I find endless small talk with strangers incredibly tiring - I seem to be OK at it, and it is certainly valued by the residents and some of the staff. I am grateful someone trusted me enough to give me this opportunity, and pray God can  bless others through it.

  • Forty Years? How did THAT happen?!

    A quick skim of social media this morning and assorted friends posting about their children starting GCSES - the Scottish National 5s are well underway but much more spread out.

    I suddenly realised that it's forty years since I say my 'O' levels, during a very sunny June in 1979.  I can still recall English Language and Literature, and Maths in the Sports Hall; Physics, Chemistry, History and French in the Main Hall, Tech Drawing in the Tech Drawing room (where else?!) and RE in the Scout Hut!  I can still recall the bemusement of having a 'moderated' answer booklet for my English language paper and the smirking external examiner who read over everyone's shoulders in the Physics exam.  I still recall the topics for French Conversation, the essays I wrote for English (lang and lit), parts of the RE paper (notably my essay on the Last Supper) and some questions from other exams.  I still remember worrying how many marks I'd lose on the English precis because I mis-spelled 'pillage' and the awful sinking feeling when I opened the history paper to discover not a single question that matched what we'd been taught.

    I liked exams, and, not wishtanding the disaster in history, generally did really well. I'm not even sorry about the history, it was good to learn early what failure and disappointment look like; in any case, I now have published work on church history, so all's well that ends well, maybe!

    Forty years later, it's sobering to look back and realise just how important those exams seemed, indeed were, and how little they actually count for in the end. 

  • To the Church in Anywhere Write This...

    Today we took a glance at the letters to the churches in Revelation 2 and 3, and had the opportunity, if we wished, to write a message in the same sort of style to our own congregation...

    To The Gathering Place Church,

    I am delighted that...

    It would be wonderful if...

    I want to encourage you with these words...

    Love from Jesus

    Many people participated, and those several had the courage/openness to share those 'letters' with me.  I have enjoyed reading them, been humbled, challenged and encouraged by them - which means that they did exactly what I might have hoped.

    I wonder what others might write to their churches?