Thursday, 30 June 2011

School's out!

Even though it's another few weeks before I take a break, I always heave a huge sigh of relief as the end of each school term comes around. I am chaplain to 3 primary and 3 secondary schools, work that I love. But, at the end of each term, I too am excited and more than ready to take a break from that part of my work.
Today's end of term service was even more emotional than usual because the Head Teacher is retiring. It was wonderful to see so many former pupils of the primary school (who were obviously bunking off their last day in their secondary schools) come to bid her a fond farewell.
Paper aeroplane prayers finished the service off nicely but I'm sure I'll still be finding paper aeroplanes in unexpected places for some time to come.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Beyond words

When we've finished
debating and deliberating
moderating and pontificating
God remains
When we've crossed every last T
and dotted every last i
God hangs on in there
And when we stop for a moment
and  acknowledge that
we cannot control the world
God stuns us
with the beauty of creation
peeping out from behind clouds
romping over sand dunes
rippling on the water
and suddenly
shakes down
and slots into place
and we are besotted again
with the God of mystery
whose majesty
is all around
even when we're not looking
and whose wonder
saves us from ourselves
and all our plans
and lifts us up 
to higher things.
Liz Crumlish June 2011

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Moving on and letting go

Not sure if this little chick survived the predators that abound in our garden but there was little we could do to change the course of nature. Just have to hope survival was the order of the day.
This week, the last week of the school term locally, involves harnessing similar hope for all our young folk as they move on, whether to another stage in the same school or on to new schools and colleges.
We release them, whether they know it or not, with hopes and dreams and, dare I say it, with lots of prayers for not just survival but for healthy growth. May all the preparation to date and all the nurturing serve them well in the next stage of their journey.
Looking forward to end of term festivities.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The longest day

A very dreich Scottish day heralded mid summer. But there was nothing dreich about the pastoral encounters that filled the day. I never fail to be amazed at the contrasts experienced in the roller coaster of ministry and how the heaviest of days are tempered by light relief. Dedicating a memorial bench, sharing a cream sponge with an octogenerian, making hot chocolate for rowdy teenagers. It's all in a day's work, however long that day might be. No day is long enough, though, to celebrate the diversity of God.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Work in progress

This rainbow was constructed in the sanctuary out of our hopes and dreams. It is good to have it as  sign of hope and a reminder of what, in God, we might become as well as an assurance that we are loved just as we are. One of the most wonderful things about ministry is hearing people's stories and being reminded every day that each of us is unique and special. Our God moulds us and gifts us through every experience of life, through joys and difficulties. In God our hopes and dreams become realities.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Light touch belonging

Light touch belonging, spinning yarns, reaching the 90 per cent,  daring to risk, releasing dreams: Just some of the phrases buzzing around the Church of Scotland's Mission and Discipleship Council as we meet in Dundee. In fact there are so many creative sparks flying around that we set off the fire alarm and were forced out into the sunshine, awaiting the fire brigade. On resuming our meeting, however, there was no dampening down and, late into the evening we were still on an exciting voyage of discovery, sailing out of the harbour, not into the sunset but into choppy waters, risking the storm. None of us are unrealistic about the challenges facing the church as we seek to be involved in God's mission but neither are we running scared. We are assured that every once in a while God gives us a window of opportunity to catch up and join in building the kingdom. Looking forward to creating more havoc today and, in the chaos, discerning the hand of God proffering the kindling that will nurse these sparks to life, setting the church on fire to serve the world.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Broken for you...

I had the privilege this weekend of celebrating communion in the two parishes I've been serving as interim moderator.
I celebrated in three different sanctuaries on Sunday but, in each, I was behind the communion table and it was left to elders to distribute the elements among the congregation. Today, however, in the intimacy of a sheltered housing complex in the parish, it was good to get "up close and personal" with folk as the sacrament was shared. Helping gnarled, arthritic fingers select a piece of bread. Assisting trembling hands to grasp a cup of wine. This felt like communion, honouring the whole church in heaven and on earth.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

He left us to it

He left them to it
and went back to the Father
Gave them the great commission
and then took off
as only Jesus could
took off
in a cloud of glory
leaving the disciples
wallowing in a cloud of confusion
and today
millennia on
it seems we're still
surrounded by clouds
covered in confusion
not sure of what's next
And so, once more
Christ commissions us
into all the world
make disciples
Father, Son and Holy Spirit
no contingency
and I
are it.
and make disciples.
We've been tagged.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

The light shines on

Still recovering from the effects of last week's General Assembly, I was feeling slightly weary tonight when I met with volunteers to plan this year's holiday club. But their enthusiasm soon rubbed off and I left feeling uplifted and looking forward to the plans for the week. More evidence that God uses leaders with feet of clay, accomplishing mission in spite of us.

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Feed