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  • New Challenges...

    This little selection of books is the core texts for a course I have enrolled on, to train as a Pastoral Supervisor.  There is certainly a LOT to read , mark, learn and digest, and it will be demanding - but it's also exciting.

    There may, in due course, be posts about what i am learning (the course starts at the end of March, I'm just getting myself organised in good time!)

  • Staycation Treats...

    Having a few days of Annual Leave gives an opportunity for a bit of rest and refreshment... in this case, a delicious afternoon tea, where, apart from slicing cucumber, halfing tomatoes, making a sandwich and cutting a cake, all I did was assemble it!  Of course, I could have just put out the same things on a plate, but the point was to make it special.

    Recently, I have been very much reminded how bad so many of us minister-types are at self-care. It is a life's work for me, and I think that so many people (ministers or not) have been taught 'it is more blessed to give than to receive' that we forget that we cannot give what we haven't first received.

    So, yesterday was afternoon tea.  This morning was the full veggie brekkie, equally a treat in a different way.

    Whether it's edible treats, long soaks in the bath, gentle ambles, films, music or books, it's important to be kind to ourselves.

    As the song says 'learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all'IMG_3148.jpg

  • Other Plans...

    A year ago, I was eagerly anticipating the start of a two week block of Sabbatical time, during which I planned to walk the Whithorn Way.  From day one, these plans had to be adjusted to accommodate other events, and severe winter storms led to me abandoning the endeavour, and instead enjoying some social history in Glasgow.  It seems quite strange now, looking at photos of large groups of people in relatively small spaces.

    The sabbatical ended up being put on hold, twice, and has now changed form into something very different, though equally interesting and challenging, as I plan to begin professional training as a Pastoral Supervisor at the end of March.  The strange world we inhabit means the course notionally runs in Australia, so I am looking forward to meeting people from a different culture.

    This time last year, I was looking forward to walking St Cuthbert's Way (which I cancelled days before Lockdown happened) and had ideas for holidays and meet-ups with friends acorss the UK.   As it worked out, I last went outside of Scotland last February when I had half a week at Windermere, and have only been outside Glasgow once (for work purposes, and with speical permission) once since Lockdown began.

    Instead, I have walked more than a thousand miles since October alone, all within the city boundary, and have enjoyed much natural beauty as well as visiting parks I had never quite got around to before.

    As we near a year since restrictions began, I am starting to look back, to recall and enjoy the moments that were good and life-giving, of which there are so very many.

    There's a saying that 'life is what happens whilst you are making other plans' and I guess the past year has demonstrated that especially clearly.

    One day I will get to Whithorn, one day I will venture beyond the Anglo-Scottish Border, one day I won't tramp round wet streets in the dark, one day I won't spend half my life in a rectangle on someone's computer screen... and until then, in the meantime, I will choose to look for everyday beauty, will savour each day for its own worth and keep on keepiong on, trusting that, in the end, all will be well.

    The photo is taken looking along Sauchiehall Street near Charing Cross - I like the slightly strange street art, and I love the clear blue sky just a few days ago, before the winter rains set in.  My Dad always taught us to look up - and I think that was wise.

  • A Little Levity

    Over the past months, I have from time to time enjoyed the videos recorded by the Marsh family who live in Faversham (a town in Kent, south east of England).  As I talk to minister colleagues, there is a growing sense of weariness, an 'ennui' or 'fed-up-ness', in our churches and commnuities, and, if we are honest, within ourselves.

    This is the most recent offering from the Marsh family which echoes that in a humourous way - I hope it makes you smile (and you may enjoy some of their other offerings).

    We continue to hope, to actively be people opf hope, to glimspe signs of hope... and sometimes a little bit of levity helps with that.