Friday, 31 August 2007
Its quite something when you go to do your usual bit of village pub evangelism and some one else is sitting in your seat. That's almost as bad as someone sitting in your seat in church! Anyway, that was the scenario tonight. Lots of new folk, who don't know the rules. And the place was really noisy. What on earth is the world coming to when the pub and its occupants mirrors the church and its occupants? Spooky or what?
Wednesday, 29 August 2007
As I've mentioned before, being adventurous and creative in worship is something that feeds my soul and re-energises. Its not that I don't value the traditional and see its place, especially in the community I serve. But I relish the idea of offering alternatives that speak to different people in different places at different times.Currently in Inverkip, there is trad Sunday morning in its usual, for us, 11am slot. There's also an early morning healing service as well as mid week evening prayer and a Taize service. Or the late night contemporary youth experience or a Saturday morning bacon roll service for guys in their 30s and 40s. Some of these happen only monthly, so its not as frenetic as it seems. But, over the summer I've been exploring and hatching other ideas: A Sunday night contemporary service, and an opportunity to explore spirituality, prayer and meditation.
I knew that when I mentioned these, folk would raise their eyes heavenward, so I spoke really quickly, promised I would keep folk posted ( and rope in folk where and when necessary) and moved swiftly on. I think it worked. Does worship create community or do communities create worship?
Tuesday, 28 August 2007
This is not a view of some tropical island but of Tighnabruaich in the early morning light. In the West coast of Scotland we are simply spoiled with the beauty of creation all around us. The thought of that beauty disappearing is too awful to contemplate. I can't bear to watch pictures of Greece being ravaged with those terrible fires. The dreadful loss of human life and the laying to waste of the lush vegetation is unfathomable. Can this really be caused by human greed and incomprehensible evil?
Saturday, 25 August 2007
Friday, 24 August 2007
I've wondered for a while what it is that so re energises me about emerging church when, in fact, it demands lots of time and preparation on my part. Today, something really hit a nerve and may explain the energy giving force for me: Its much easier to speak to folk who are not traditional church about faith than it is about folk inside the walls. That is not to say that we shouldn't keep trying. Church folk need to find salvation too, but folk new to the discussion aren't so hung up and buttoned up.
Another interesting question was on maturity in the church. That, too is something that needs not to be sought from the past, its not dependant on age and experience and a proven record but, rather, about vision for the future, a vision that sees the big picture and that unique yet integral part that is emerging church.
Tuesday, 21 August 2007
Sunday, 19 August 2007
Not sure if its a hazard of parish ministry or a hazard of village life, maybe a combination of both. But sometimes, straightforward tasks take much longer than they should. Why? Because there are so many interruptions. A walk from Inverkip to Gourock the other day, probably achievable in less than an hour took two and a half hours. I managed to miss three ferries. I just kept meeting folk and spent an hour just trying to get out of the village. But I've come to realise that there's important things going on in those interruptions. That's often where ministry is at. And a huge bonus when I eventually did make the ferry was capturing this image of the sun silhouetting traffic on the Clyde.
Saturday, 18 August 2007
Inverkip Gala Day went ahead in spite of relentless rain. There was lots to do - even within the confines of the church hall and grounds - and folk seemed to keep on smiling. Awards should go to the Guides and Scouts in the village who had to be outdoors with their coconut shy and barbecue respectively. However I think they won the sympathy vote and folk did brave the weather to support their efforts. Well done to the Rural for keeping everyone topped up with hot drinks and beautiful home baking. Its good to see a community getting together and making the best of circumstances.
Friday, 17 August 2007
Today has provided some space for reflection. Only problem is, sometimes reflecting on things leads to unnnecessary complication.
Conversations taken at face value, when revisited, become fraught with different nuances. Straightforward communication becomes sinister.
While I generally crave space for reflection there are days when I am best kept busy so that my mind can't torture me with my perceived inadequacy and failings.
Oh to see pink fluffy bears overhead instead of charging rhinos.
Wednesday, 15 August 2007
Took a cruise on this old paddle steamer yesterday, from Tighnabruaich to Tarbert, Loch Fyne, both tiny, character filled places on the West coast of Scotland. Walking down the main street in Tarbert, we ran into a friend whom we haven't seen for around 20 years and who is now living in Los Angeles. It was wonderful to catch up with him and his family, albeit briefly. We never can tell what is just around the corner for us or who we might encounter on our journey. Life is such an adventure.
Monday, 13 August 2007
Sunday, 12 August 2007
Saturday, 11 August 2007
Thanks Lynne and Stuart for creating unusual memories.
Wednesday, 8 August 2007
Tuesday, 7 August 2007
Morgan Freeman, who plays God is just so perfect in that role. He has a presence and a depth that attracts.
This has been a good summer for movies.
Sunday, 5 August 2007
Made another mistake in church this morning: I thought it would be fun for folks of all ages to play with modelling clay. I wanted to introduce our holiday club theme which is about God's love transforming the world. We're using SU's Wastewatchers material. The idea was to make different models from the clay. This worked well and folk showed their varying degrees of artistic skill. Just one snag. I got the modelling clay from the £ shop - like the $ stores - so it was a fairly cheap variety. This showed in the way everyone left with stained and sticky hands. Still, they also left with smiles - very forgiving they are in Inverkip!
Wednesday, 1 August 2007
Today, in a mentoring session I also made another, perhaps basic, but nonetheless revealing and useful discovery: The reason I've experienced growth and a return to health this past wee while is because I have taken the time to attend to me. I've attended study programmes, gone on retreats, things that, previously, I dismissed as too time consuming. And so I have learned the hard way but, hopefully in good time, that time out is essential. Nurturing oneself is a necessary part of nurturing others. As I said pretty basic stuff but stuff that its taken me quite a while to get a hold on. Here's hoping that now I've grasped it I won't let it go easily.