After Now project, led delegates in an examination of the perceived difficulties of ministry in contemporary Scottish culture. His easy yet incisive style and his attentive listening and gifted analysis were incredibly helpful in getting to the heart of what inhibits and depresses us as servants of an institution in chaos that seeks to serve a society in flux.
I'm sure everyone would take away something different to inform their own particular ministry. For me, that gift is the "permission" to recover a sense of vocation - focussing on those things to which I feel called and for which I feel gifted. That doesn't mean that I am not willing, from time to time, to be stretched and challenged to develop. But it does mean, perhaps, that I can live with the fact that I am not good at chairing committees or at producing detailed plans from the big picture dreams that I embrace. Fortunately there are others who have been gifted with those skills and I am more than happy to surrender to them those tasks that I find mind numbing and that sap the energy I might usefully invest elsewhere. Already I am feeling re-energised by that prospect!
Tuesday, 27 September 2011
Saturday, 24 September 2011
Tonight I am musing on whether driving something more sedate that requires TLC and nursing along might encourage slowing down and paying more attention to detail. Taking pleasure in the journey as well as the destination. Encountering God along the way.
Sunday, 18 September 2011
Like so many lives around us, ravaged by storms, the depths of which we will never fully know, yet maintaining an integrity and a strength that promises survival. May we always tread respectfully in awe of the changes wrought by the storms affecting those we encounter in our daily lives.
Thursday, 8 September 2011
I've been thinking about those bugs a lot this week as I've spent time with lots of grieving young people who have lost a good friend. I'm impressed at the way they are sharing their grief lovingly and sensitively, bringing hope and comfort to their communities. They have devised their own very moving rituals for remembering and saying goodbye. They have also, in their hurt, been able to celebrate many good times and achievements. Like the friend they mourn, these young folk are making a huge difference to their communities, lighting up the darkness with their own brand of shining light. That light cannot help but penetrate the awful darkness into which they have been plunged.
The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5
Monday, 5 September 2011
If only we who claim to love Christ could be as convincing and passionate about our faith.
Sunday, 4 September 2011
As I looked around I could see familiar faces, folk whom I have grown to love and who have allowed me to be a part of their work and worship and living.
I could also see folk who challenge me to be even more loving, for that's what it takes.
And, as I noticed, too, those missing from our company, those who have gone on the be part of that great communion of saints, I was filled with compassion but also an awesome awareness of their presence sharing the sacrament that unites us in love - love that goes beyond death.
I am thankful to be part of a real community. The reality means that it is not always easy, it is not without conflict and challenge - for that is part of being in community - but reality also involves keeping on loving - in the easy times and in the difficult.
Today, there was real community in communion.
Saturday, 3 September 2011
God calls us forward
on a journey
a journey whose destination is unknown
a journey that carries no earthly promise of reward
God calls us
whatever stage of life we are at
whatever state of faith we have
Here is food to sustain us on the journey
so, come to this banquet
in response to God’s call
And let us feast
at the table of God where ALL are welcome.
Prayer of thanksgiving and consecration
Take off your shoes, you are on holy ground
put on your sandals, it’s time to move
God, at different times, in different places,
what you require of us changes
but, wherever we are, whatever awaits us,
you provide us with what we need.
You equip us to respond
and sustain us as we journey,
Today we hear your call to us
to be a community on the move
to shake off our comfort and complacency
to follow you.
To follow you into the unknown
and to embark on a journey
that offers no assurances
and no security
but calls us to trust in you
to lead us forward.
As we gather here in community
sharing bread and wine
in memory of Christ
who left all that he knew
to become one of us
may we be inspired to follow his example.
You led the Israelites on a journey of a lifetime.
May we be excited about the journey you’re taking us on.
And may we know
that the food you supply
Christ’s body broken for us
Christ’s blood poured out for us
is sufficient to sustain us wherever you lead us.
May your spirit be present in this communion
and in our hearts as we share together.