Thursday, 29 September 2011


I've just returned from a 24 hour consultation with the Ministries Council of the Church of Scotland which, unexpectedly, turned out to be a liberating and inspiring experience. Phil Hanlon, Professor of Public Health at Glasgow University who, among other things, leads the 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!

1 comment:

Beth said...

Cool site - must have been a great speaker/presenter - wish I'd been there - could use a glimpse of the future that is not utter despair. And loved the swan. Peace

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