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  • Much Food for Thought

    Apologies to loyal readers that posting is increasingly infrequent, and then tends to be splurges of several posts all at once!  A typical week now seems to involve at least ten to a dozen online meetings (all which are really good) and so time for blogging gets squeezed almost to zero.

    Yesterday was an all day online conference 'in' Oxford and an evening lecture 'in' Manchester.  Both involved people I repsect - and indeed some whom I count as friends - leading sharing theological thoughts with audiences in excess of 70 devices from around the globe.  That's food for thought in and of itself.

    "Communion, Covenant and Creativity" was an exploration of ideas around the Communion of saints from a Baptist perspective, drawing on insights from the arts - paintings, music and poetry.  There was a bit of philosophy and of course theology.  It was wonderful, rich and varied (even if the Zoom doorbell hadn't been turned off by the host!), gave me much to ponder and some ideas for Remembrance Sunday too! You can buy the book on which it was based here (other booksellers are available). 

    "Finding a Friend: the Baptist Encounter with Judaism"  was, for me, an excellent reminder of history I knew, and stories that were new.  The accompanying Q&A was thoughtful and helpful. Again the full lecture can be purchased here (gone are the days when the Whitley lecturer had to cart hundreds of copies around with them to sell to students and others as they visited assorted Baptist Colleges).

    Not quite a day 'off' but a day of stimulating inputs to feed my mind and maybe also my soul.  Both will be available a recordings and I am fairly sure a quick broswer search would take you to them, once they are uploaded.

  • Officially Old?

    Many readers will be familiar with the poem that says, 'when I am old I wil wear purple with a red hat that doesn't go.'  Well, on Sunday I wore purple tights with a red duffle coat and headed off for a lovely autumn walk kicking up leaves and, if not running a stick along the park railings, at least using them to prop up my phone so I could get a selfie!

    The red duffle coat is now a decade old - buying it was an act of defiance and decadence in the face of my cancer diagnosis, so that it is now ten years old is symbolic in its own right.

    To grow old is a previlege denied to far too many, and this year as a pandemic cruelly steals lives of above and beyond the five-year average (globally) perhaps that is especially and acutely apparent.

    My red duffle coat is very shabby - stains that won't come out, pills from use, and cat hairs that no amount of brushing, rollering or sellotape will remove.

    When I am old... is 57 old?  Technically, yes, as 'young old age starts' at 50-55, depending whose definition you choose.  Purple tights, red coat, knees visible below the hemline (!)... if that's old, then I'll gladly embrace it!

  • A Grand Day Off - and more Foraging

    Windfall apples from Clydebank; blackberries from Yoker and Scotstoun!  It amazes me how few people I see gathering blackberries, and even the odd looks I get when I pause to pick up windfall apples.  Is this a country bumpkin thing?  I don't know, but another great haul!

    Today's walk was a little over eleven miles according to the website I used to check it, and it was really good fun - from home up the canal, along the canal to Clydebank, where I am sure I walked almost a mile following the arrows round the shopping centre, and then back along the road via Yoker and Scotstoun.

    Truly we are blessed to live in such a beautiful city where, within a mile or two, we have rivers, canals, parks and hills. It was at times a rather wet walk, but it was such a joyful one, with autumn beauty and bounty all around.

    Now there is nothing quite like a scalding hot cuppa whilst the blackberries and apples cook!

    This sign in Greggs, where I stopped to buy a sandwich for my lunch, made me chuckle... (not very clear - keep apart 2 metres, that's about fifteen sausage rolls)


    Thank you, God, for autumn abundance!

  • A very 'Baptist' Communion

    This morning we did a reflective communion service, nothing unusual there.

    It had no sermon/reflection - so that's not very 'Baptist' is it?  But we had lots and lots of prayers, which surely is quite 'Baptist'.  And we had a reasonable amount of scripture.

    We used a published liturgy, with minimal alterations... not very 'Baptist' perhaps.

    It was multi-voiced, and the presidency was entirely 'lay,' allowing me to participate without leadership responsibility.  And that bit is, or should be, 'very Baptist' because we are supposed to have a view of ordination and communion that means they are not inextricably linked, and that anyone approved by the local church may preside at table.

    Our Worship Group, who shared the presidency, reflect some of the diversity of our church, and echo the vision to which we aspire... and that feels very Baptist, and very good.

    Thank you A, E, H, L and P, I feel very blessed.

  • Yet more things they don't teach you at vicar school...

    This morning, just as church began, Sophie leapt up onto the table and began to nibble the leaves of the flowers.  The inevitable happened, she tugged too hard and the vase toppled - but with timing worthy of a cricketer, I caught it without a drop being spilled, and carried on regardless!