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  • Ten years ago today ...

    ... I sat in my office in Dibley waiting for a phone call.

    It was an anxious wait, nothing was certain.

    And then it came... a 98% vote in favour of calling me to the Gathering Place.

    Had there been space in my miniscule office, and had I been more agile, I'd have turned cartwheels.  As it was, I did a little jump on the spot (after I'd put the phone down) and probably made a celebratory cup of tea before having lunch.

    A lot has happened since then. In some areas my thinking/understanding has changed.  In some ways I am far less less confident than I was then - in part because I am so much more conscious of my own mortality.  As expected, the good bits have been much better than I might have imagined, and the worst bits so much worse, that's just the nature of ministry.

    A decade on, I love this place and these people very deeply.

    A decade on, I remain convinced that this is where God wants me to be.

    A decade on - how did that happen!

    For what has been, thanks to God, and, tentatively yet faithfully, for what's to be, yes.

  • Audio Bible...

    I recently spent £25 on an audio e-book version of the 'Bible in a Year'.  In just four days I've listened to fourteen 'days' worth of David Suchet reading the NIV to me, in assorted selections.  He has a very listenable voice, and I've quite enjoyed falling asleep each night to him reeling off genealogies from Genesis!  Because it's dated, and starts on 1st Janaury, I've decided to listen to two or three 'days' at a time to try to catch up a bit (to be fair, I could have leaed straight to June but hey, it's more fun this way!)

    Now that I've worked out how to set the app to turn itslef off with a timer, I'm not sleeping through as much, and I am enjoying very much this new-to-me approach to devotional Bible reading!

  • Trinity Sunday

    Yesterday I stumbled across this stunning image by iconographer Kelly Latimore.

    Something worth sitting with this Trinity Sunday

  • Bittersweet memories

    Row upon row of pink fabric tied to rope.  If you could get closer, you would be able to read the messages... 'remembering mum/sister/daughter/partner/friend...' 'celebrating health/life/hope...' 'praying/wishing for...'

    I took this photo five years ago, when I did a 20 mile charity fund raising walk for Breast Cancer Care, starting and ending at Scone Palace in Perthshire. I still have - and still sometimes listen to - the five hour play list I created with the music chosen by those who sponsored me, along with some pieces of music/songs that are significant to me or are in memory of women whose lives were cut short by this horrible disease.

    Today one of my longest standing bc-buddies, A, will be laid to rest after a courageous journey with stage 4 breast cancer.  Hers was a life well-lived, full of love and laughter, generosity and fun.  We weren't ever close, but we shared some happy times and some sad times along the way.  Farewell, A, may you rest in peace and rise in glory.

  • The Enneagram Revisited

    When we were at vicar school, we did quite a lot of stuff looking at personality types and their possible value/significance.  I have been revisiting the enneagram ahead of a service I'm due to take in a couple of week's time.  I am enjoying the reading, and decided it was time to do a 'proper' enneagram test to see if what I'd understood myself to be in yesteryear was still the case.

    So, I used my 'free time' at the Ministers' Conference to do a paid for Enneagram test here.  And, guess what, after all these years I still come out equally a 'Loyal' (6) and 'Reformer' (1), with 'Achiever' (3) only just behind.  The blurb says that 6s and 1s can be mis-typed as each other, so maybe it's not so odd to be equal on the two.

    The book I'm reading 'The Sacred Enneagram' by Christopher L Heuretz is fascinating, complex, readable and I think quite helpful. How I'm going to distill any of it into 20 minutes is another matter altogether!!