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A Skinny Fairtrade Latte in the Food Court of Life - Page 2

  • Love Pray Vote

    This evening I was in a Zoom meeting to plan for a Churches in Railway Town election hustings - and I am really pleased that our little church will be hosting it.

    If you want some good resources to help you think further about the upcoming election then go here, and look at JPIT's 'Love, Pray, Vote' resources.

  • Advantages of a WFH Day...

    Today is a Work From Home (WFH) day, which meant I spent my lunch break finishing off the garden tidy-up ahead of this weekend's church barbecue.  In the foreground, to the left of Sasha cat, is a seemingly extraneous stalk... it's actually some self-seeded mint, and very good it is too, I recently used some to flavour some new potatoes.

    Hospitality has always been an important aspect of ministry for me... I recently found some photos from a barbecue I held the first year I lived in Dibley, and of course over the fourteen years I was in Glasgow, there were many photos of table settings as I welcomed church folk for roast dinners. I have no idea who will come on Saturday, though I am grateful for one offer of an additional barbecue, another person who has offered to lead some singing, and someone else who has volunteered to organise lifts for those who need them!

    In an age of ready meals, take-aways/carry-outs and meals on trays, I am looking forward to the slowness and messyness of a gathering to cook and eat al fresco (or maybe sous parapluies) on a spring Saturday.

    Meat ordered for meat-eaters, and some vegan marshmallows to toast... hopefully catering for most!

  • A Cord of Many Strands

    It's a passage I have used many, many times, and I used it again today, this time in the message paraphrase...

    Ecclesiastes 4: 9 – 12

    It’s better to have a partner than go it alone.
    Share the work, share the wealth.
    And if one falls down, the other helps,
    But if there’s no one to help, tough!

    Two in a bed warm each other.
    Alone, you shiver all night.

    By yourself you’re unprotected.
    With a friend you can face the worst.
    Can you round up a third?
    A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.

     

    As people arrived at the service, they were given a piece of cord, and told they didn't have to do anything with it until I invited them to do so.  I had made a three-cord plait, and observed that it was stronger than a single strand, then wondered how much stronger a multi-stranded rope would be... As we sang 'Bind us together with cords that cannot be broken' people were invited to bring their cords, which I then plaited into a single 'rope' which is stronger still.  Of course the analogy has limits, but it was surprisingly moving to stand at the front of the church and receive each person's cord to add to the whole.

    The real challenge, for me and for us, is to progress beyond symbols, however lovely or meaningful, to the truth to which they point... I am hoping next Saturday's summer BBQ in the manse garden might help with that!

  • A cross to travel across the land...

    At the Baptist Assembly we were invited to add names of churches, colleges, Associations, chaplaincy settings etc to one of two large wooden crosses that will, this year, travel across the land.  I *may* have added two churches, but then I have been in pastorate at both in the last twelve months... and the one I no longer serve will always have a very special place in my heart.

    Photo by BUGB.

  • Baptists Assembling in Telford

    This weekend I was in Telford with a thousand or so other Baptists for the BUGB/BMS Assembly.  I had a good time.  I caught up with a lot of friends.  I sang songs that annoyed me and songs that inspired me.  I listened to wise people speaking gracious words.  I was challenged.  I was encouraged.  I laughed.  I felt sadness.  I felt joy.  And as I left I found myself reminded that these are crazy people - but they are my crazy people, and Iove them.