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  • Harvest Thanksgiving

    Sasha checking my leaf arrangement ready for the service this morning!

    Zooming for Harvest - or any other festival service - is a bit strange.  But our Gatherers did themselves proud, with plants, flowers, leaves and other autumnal arrangements in shot to help create a bit of atmosphere.

    We learned about Operation Agri's current project in Tanzania, and we had a personal reflection from someone whose parents had served in that nation, and whose garden became a subversive mission project, a generation ago!

    We sang, we prayed, we reflected... and already many have donated to the appeal fund.

    It felt like a good morning.  As so often is the case, I am proud of 'my' people.

  • Hymn Singing

    We had a lively conversation about hymn-singing this morning.  As I type that, it strikes me that folk may come to this post thinking I'm going to be responding to Coivd regulations on congregational/public singing - so to be clear I'm not and we weren't. We're online, and mostly sing along, in our homes, to recordings of ourselves from the past.

    The interesting points that seemed to emerge in conversation were...

    • Do we 'like' or 'dislike' hymns/songs because of the words or because of the tune?
    • Should we refuse to sing words with which we struggle or disagree?
    • Is it true that (to borrow a phrase from someone who was part of the chat) there is a degree of 'Darwinism' about hymns such that, given time, only the 'best' or 'fittest' survive?
    • What should/could we sing at harvest?
    • Does it matter if we 'like' hymns/songs if the theology is 'good'? (Or vice versa)

    These are excellent questions, to which whole research projects have undoubtedly be devoted.  I don't have any answers.

    For now, the 'harvest' choices have been made. No scattered seeds and no harvest homes, but some awesome wonder and prayer for healing of the nations. 

  • Another week flown past! And another year!

    Oh my goodness, time does fly past these days - and the weeks are very full in all sorts of ways.

    On Sunday we received into Memebrhsip of church two people who began worshipping with us around the turn of the year.  It was done online, live, and it was very moving.  I look forward to having their inputs to our shared life in the years ahead.

    It was also the 11th anniversary of my arrival here, and our Rededication aservice, another moving moment in our shared life, made possible by the wonder fo the world wide web.

    This week I am thinking about our harvest thanksgiving service, about plans for Advent, and a wedding blessing deferred from March (provided there is no new travel ban in the next 48 hours).

    In between, I am striding out my daily steps in my charity fundraiser and enjoying the glory of this autumn season.

  • More New Skills...

    This morning, I was was up, dressed, coiffed (before the wind mussed it up) and out of the door by 06:30, setting off to try to catch the early light before the wind or the sounds of the city became too loud to record myself speaking.

    This was my third attempt over a number of days... the riverside was too windy, the first park I tried too noisy, but this one, first thing, seems to have been just right!

    I have always admired those who work in film and television, aware of early starts and much standing around in cold places - but perhaps now I understand it just a little bit better.

    Had someone said to me a few weeks back that I'd be up for this, would even give up several hours to try to 'master' it, I'd have laughed out loud.  But actually it has been surprisingly fun, and I am glad I did it.

    Can't share the footage though, it's under wraps a while yet!