Monday, 28 July 2008

So arrived!

The bug is in the driveway, there is washing on the line and a football on the lawn. We have so arrived! 
We unpack dozens of boxes by day but I'm sure, at night, they are breeding. Its fun finding places for all our treasures in this loved and cared for home. And the garden is delightful, providing just the right kind of refuge from the chaos reigning indoors.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

We've arrived

We made it. Two days packing and one day's unloading. And a great bunch of guys from Inverclyde Removals . The sun shone and the day got hotter and hotter, the guys must have lost pounds with all their exertion but they were so good natured and everything was safely deposited. 
It was pretty scary being left in a nearly empty house, all our worldly goods entrusted to the removal firm. But it all arrived at our new home on schedule. And now we can't move for boxes. Its been fun unpacking and finding the right place for things. Rooms are gradually taking shape. But I'm glad that I don't have to start the new job for a couple of weeks. By then I might have located my desk diary and my book of common order that I couldn't find today for a wedding left over from my last parish. Meantime, I'd better get back to the boxes.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Service interruption

We move house tomorrow. New home, new area, new church, new job, new schools. Its all change. So there might be a slight lull in the blogging. But then again...

Watch this space.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Fickle summer

These mysterious looking clouds last night were storing up a sky full of rain. Today, the view was of an unrelenting mist. However, I spent some time with Irish visitors who were marvelling at how pretty even the mist was. Sometimes it takes strangers to lend a different perspective.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Bats in the belfry

I got a panic call to go to the church today. The cleaner had found something small and furry in the Laird's loft. When I investigated, at first I thought it was a tiny field mouse that was injured, so not scurrying. But, on closer investigation, I discovered that it was a baby bat. Since they are protected, I decided to leave well alone. I went back tonight to check that it was OK - and discovered 4 bats - maw, paw and the two weans. (The mother is pictured - baby is sooo tiny) I just hope they will sleep through the organ playing on Sunday and not terrorise the congregation.
So I think I can now add a new string to my bow - that of protector of bats! My role here has been well varied - everything, absolutely everything, is the minister's job - the buck stops here. That seems to be a recurrent theme in the clergy blogging community just now - the expectations on solo pastors to fulfill all manner of roles. After all, we're paid to do it, aren't we? There's just no rest for the wicked.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Fading fast

I took my leave of the congregation I've served for the last 7 years at the weekend. After the service I felt totally wrung out.
But there's little breathing space before its time to move house and start a whole new ministry with new folks in a new community.
No such luxury as one thing at a time, everything changes at once.
It was hard to look forward until an ending had been accomplished. But now its time to hit the ground running. Crazy or what?

Friday, 11 July 2008

Playing hookie

Today, a colleague called unexpectedly and asked for a meet. It so happened that I had a couple of hours to spare, so we whiled away some time up to no good. That felt quite liberating. He kept saying it was good to be playing hookie, skiving off, ignoring the pile of work that awaited us.
Another colleague helpfully pointed out that it was all time to which we were more than entitled given the hours we put in. But that rather spoiled things. It was delicious to feel we were being delinquent. We obviously need much more practice!

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

In every blade of grass

One of the things I'm going to miss about living in this part of God's country are the walks I can take daily. No need to take the car. There are lots of choices right on my doorstep. A woodland walk or a farm trek or a wander along the shore. I'm taking my fill before we move. Through all the changing seasons - in Scotland we sometimes experience 4 seasons in one day - there is always so much to see and embrace, so much to absorb. Getting close to the miracle that is creation is cleansing and renewing. And so, among all the other pressing responsibilities that await me, a priority will be seeking out new places to drink in beauty, new places to breathe and be recharged by nature, new places to find God in every blade of grass or every grain of sand.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Doctor Who?

The Church of England Synod yesterday voted for no compromise in the election of women bishops. Now, a way forward has to be found for those who cannot accept this ruling. I often wonder if the Presbyterian system of government in the Church of Scotland, which this year marked 40 years since the first women were ordained to word and sacrament, merely conceals issues that are there anyway but simply aren't talked about publicly.
Without wishing in any way to trivialise this massive debate and the pain and soul searching it brings, I was surprised at my reaction this morning when I heard on the radio that there is a groundswell of opinion that the next Dr Who should be - gasp - a woman!
Maybe my horror is more to do with the fact that Amy Winehouse's name is in the frame. But my hope is that the glass ceiling in the tardis remains intact. Perverse or what? Prayers for those in the C of E - and in the BBC who struggle with such decisions.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Alternative Worship

Worship for me this morning occurred during a leisurely walk, admiring the breathtaking beauty of creation. I was full of good intentions about attending an early morning service but didn't wake up until late. However as I took in this scene I realised that this was far more energising than being in the confines of a building courting the distraction of other worshippers. And the noise of waves lapping on the shore and gulls crying provided a wonderful choral accompaniment.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

What would Jesus do?

Been thinking this week. How long should we put up with nonsense for the sake of the kingdom?How often should we turn the other cheek? How does that talk of forgiving over and over again chime with shaking the dust off our feet when we're not welcome.
And how long would Jesus have kept at it if he hadn't been crucified after 3 years?
What is grace - is it smiling benignly when you want to say what you really think? Or is it speaking the truth in love and doing a lot of damage?
And when you know folk are just so switched off and apathetic is it even worth losing sleep over or wasting energy working it out?
Lots of questions. Would love some answers.

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