oh dear

I promised them a quiet Sunday.  An easy straightforward blue book service.

But I’ve just thought of a great visual that would build on last week’s work and visually express the (embryonic) sermon.

And it wouldn’t be hard.

And I’ll be good, and resist the temptation to ask the congregation to create it in finger paints.

Maybe?

R.I.P.

little-car

Little Car has died.  Was she a ‘four’ do you think, dramatic timing and all?

On a brighter note, lots of gold stars to award:

to Pauline & Graham, for rescuing me and driving the hills to deliver pew sheets.
to Alison & Margaret, for stepping up and leading the service on almost no notice.
to Maureen, for being right, and for never pausing in your concern  for others even when all reason says you should.

changes

Well it has been quite a week.

In the past ten days I have:

  • been offered and accepted a new post
  • been granted indefinite leave to remain in Britain
  • told three congregation I’ll be leaving
  • spoken to  almost everyone I care most about at length and sometimes several times over

Perhaps, then, you can see why the blog has been limping along with minimal attention.

I knew that there would be a tumult of emotions this week — real excitement at the opportunities that are opening up, sorrow to be leaving people here, and concern for what will come next for the congregations I have been serving.   Not my problem, you say?  Well, no.  But there is so much good here, and I want to see it continue even if I can’t be a part of it for much longer.

St Mary’s, Dunblane offers me fabulous opportunities.  The people I met in interview were enthusiastic about the church, and learning to be articulate about their hopes and plans for the future.  There are children there.  And people my own age.   And all sorts of people, really.

There is a lovely church building, a hall that surpasses anything one would dare to imagine, and a rectory right there in the centre of town.

It is one church, one place; no ferries required.

There are roads (with 2 or even 4 lanes) and train lines.  I will be be able to give Molly her breakfast, and be with my godchildren for lunch — and back again by midnight if need be.

It feels good to be returning to the St Andrews diocese, and to join in the diocesan vision that +David has been unfolding.

I am only ready for this because of all that my current congregations have taught me.  And I am fast realising how much they have yet to teach, as I engage in this transition which is new to me, but all too familiar for them.

So, now you know.  And all requests ‘not to tell” have been lifted.  Comments are open again, as are possibilities.

with love shining

Gracious, unexpected moments…

Yesterday, the lay team (preachers) met for a usual training session.  This was the last of a set of meetings on Christology.  I always enjoy lay training.  It’s an enthusiastic and diverse group, and it’s good for me to watch their excitement as they catch new glimpses of God.  And of course it does me no harm to revisit the basic building blocks of theology, biblical studies, preaching and the like.  Our meetings are usually stimulating and often fun, but yesterday — well, yesterday was holy.

As in ‘take off your shoes’.

Insightful, deep sharing that left my arms tingling.

It began with an assignment:  delve into a theory of atonement (following up on earlier reading) or respond to the phrase ‘God is Christ-like’.  Options abounded:  ‘essay’; focused conversation; artistic response, other form of written response.   I had supposed the result would be one essay, one poem, one collage, and one conversation.  And instead, we got:

  1. an imaginary dialogue between the author and God (beautifully read aloud by two of the group) which simultaneously explored deep and honest questions and made us all laugh aloud.
  2. a passionate telling of the experience of reading a bit of Moltmann and a poem that formed the reader’s response.
  3. a simple and beautiful poem on a Christ-like God, that was read in such a way that this very chatty group was overcome by silence.

I know the member of the group who was ill also wrote a poem.  And I am fascinated by this.  What is it about Christology — about a real exploration of what salvation means, and how Christ shapes our understanding of God that led each of them into symbolic forms of expression?

It shouldn’t surprise me.  It’s what we do, after all.  But it was lovely to see, and deeply moving to be a part of.

One member of the group has posted the poem on her blog.  Another poem is beneath the fold.  The dialogue, we agreed, really needs to be heard aloud.  Fun sermon forthcoming, when the time is right.

Continue reading “with love shining”