Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Message in a Bottle

...Captain's Log June 21st....
Have been cocooned away from the world for 2 days and nights- n ot adrift on the ocean in a bottle, but in Musselburgh for annual "Deacins Meetins and Greetins" i.e Diaconate Council. Superb fun,and  fellowship with family. that is honestly how I feel, afgter being about 15 years around Deacons. active and retired.
I sensed a new spirit among us, a spirit of movement into the 21st century...we are no longer harking back to a bygone era but sprinting via Facebook and other technologies into a more modern and even more relevant variety of ministries and teams throughout Scotland.
Downers: Assumptions made by central committees and Councils that we are "in the know" about certain new developments, and at times; feeling patronised by those folks who are paid/ valued more highly than us.
Uppers: laughter, more free time with each other for cheese and whines. ...keeping on keeping on and growing in resilience as we have, and continue to persevere against many odds....

Train Sporting!

Early June... Finding lots to do on my weekly 2 hours + journeys to and from home to Aberdeen by train! Took up the hem of a charity shop maxi dress in prep for summer holiday in August. So mindful darning/sewing ....AND colouring- in, have been my pastimes. Actually, all these colouring books are so pretentious and expensive, aren't they??? A child's colouring book costs next to nothing and often has more cheerful line drawings in it.... Just buy yourself a cheap set of coloured pencils or felt tips and you're away! ( by train, of course!?)

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Sunshine and Showers !!

It's been a strange week or two- not just in weather terms, but nationally and politically too, We must not forget the murders of  British and European folks in the Manchester and London attacks by religious extremists.
The only sunshine I can find after those events is that once again, people came together to mourn, and to lay flowers ( quite moving to see them in George Square Glasgow, as I crossed to get local train back to Hamilton)
How extraordinary that such atrocious evil happenings here, should bring out the Rainbow of Hope that is God's comfort through the lightings of candles, visiting bedsides, and showing many kindnessess in little and big ways.
Like Band Aid of the 80's, popstars loudly proclaimed peace. generosity and solidarity,with the sufferings of the world. Maybe it puts the church to shame/OR will spur us on to be bolder in our demonstrations of love !
Speaking of rainbows, I had an interesting chat with T and N who served me my "chippy" (child's portion my blogspotting friend who is a Weight Watchers Rep) !?) So T told me in broad Aberdonian why she doesn't believe in God..
."If I want near your cherch I'd fry and sizzle jis like moi chips here !?" She then told me how her daughter had had a baby boy still-born, and showed me her tattoo with his name on it imprinted on her arm. As my dinner cooked, she continued speaking about how her daughter was now having IVF treatment  and was now  4 weeks  pregnant with her "rainbow baby."
How wonderful that she hadn't a clue that the symbol of  coloured-spectrum-light-show was God
given  after the catastrophe of the Flood in Noah's time!
Showers and Sunshine!

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Why do I always rise to the bait????

Yesterday I had a conversation with my Line Manager about the rights and wrongs, risks and blessings, of being on Facebook where any of your parishioners can see what you do in your spare time, show photos and so on, and so on. I, in my pride, said well I never, or rarely, enter into controvertial discussion topics on Facebook. there are forums for that ( such as the closed one Minister's Forum, where bucks and roes can rutt to their heart's content!?) "But, no, I only put fun things up, or where I've enjoyed and would recommend a film...."
Then today someone had notified me of a particular sermon to watch on youtube. The title alone should have had a red beacon of fire glowing out at me saying "Avoid avoid! Danger! Danger!" What did I do? i listened to the first few sentences then...wallop...straight I fell into a bear bated theological trap of "Commenting"...actually knowing that I might be the only Christian to disagree with this person because their Facebook "friends" would be those lads and lassies who either went to their church, or who would agree with their viewpoint.
So.o.o.o. I have fallen at the first hurdle in my pride, and open a potential tinderbox ..But I couldn't help myself. I was raging!! Why do I always rise to the bait????
On a lighter note- walking round a small district of Mannofield Parish to do Christian Aid collection, I came across a lady from the congregation whom I didn't know. Not hard, I hear you say, since you've only been in post 3 weeks and there are 998 on the roll!!! But I was invited in, and we had tea and a chat. She filled me in on a lot of useful info about the church,and her dear late husband. It was especially joyous cos I had wondered how to fill in my time from early afternoon till 6.15pm when the Alpha parenting course began. (Not enough time to get 2 buses back to my Northfield home base, and too tiring...)
APC was very worthwhile, by the way. There were 3 Iranian Mums included in the number who came.
God is good. Byeeee
PS Will try and blog once a week....

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Pastures New...meh! meh bah! ( humbug)

Started new job at Mannofield Parish Church on April 27th, as well as my part time commute between Hamilton and Aberdeen 3/4 nights a week. Enjoying meeting folks and trying to remember faces and names, names and faces. With almost 1000 on the congregational roll, it could take some time!?
This week, in lovely sunny weather, I was invited out to the garden of one of the "flock" and she gave me a big bunch of
No, rhubarb...delighted...stewed it that evening with maple syrup and ginger...whoop whoop!
This dear wee lady also gave me some  sweet smelling honeysuckle, which I promptly put into water in a toothbrush mug for the kitchen window since my wee home- base ( not the DIY store) is pretty sparse. These wee touches will make a difference. Have also met a local church Session Clerk who lives across the road, so I'll make a bee line for her if I'm feeling lonesome of an evening, especially since I have no tv!?

Found a smashing quote by Maya Angelou that I like " My mission in life is not merely to survive but to thrive, and to do so with passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style!" Hopefully the folks I will be serving for three years, will see this in me....

Oh , one last thing.... I'm truly blessed in this job! why?
For the first time in my Diaconate career, I am in a church where there is
a) A Caretaker ( Jannie)
b) A dedicated office and secretary 4 mornings a week (she's a star, helping me to settle in and much more)
c) I no longer have to buy my own stamps for posting pastoral cards...there's a drawer full of them!?
d) Most people are on email, which makes communication that bit easier and often all in one go ..
And all in a warm modern environment... Thanks God.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Nerve Endings or Never Endings !?

Hi Everyone,
Yesterday, before I said "Goodbye" to St Enoch's Hogganfield Church, there was the small matter of leading the Easter Day Dawn Service in Alexandra Park in Dennistoun. This was an annual  St Pauls's Parish Grouping Event, and I had big nerves! A) Because it was out of doors and the usual perameters of "safety in numbers "and "safety indoors", and "safety in hiding behind a pulpit or lectern were gone !!?
and B) Because it was "chucking it down"  or as they say in USA...".it  sure was rainin, honey! "or in German "In Schottland regnet es immer" AND I had a precious guitar that might well lose its tone if left out in the rain ( like the cake in the song "Mac Arthur Park ) Park?  Ha! Ha!

In the event of rain, I had shoved  the hymn words into polly pockets and the other guitar player and myself tried to hide behind or in fact, in front of a dripping  tree! It was ok. God gave me courage from somewhere ( Holy Spirit?) and we sang and gave a message and prayer out of doors and it was ok. No dog walkers or joggers stopped. There was general mayhem as the youngsters then ran off to find the Easter Eggs hidden on tree stumps, in a host of not so golden daffodils or balanced precarously on Glasgow District Cooncel litter bins , and then we all retired to St Andrew's East Church for a bacon and egg breakfast buttie...especially welcome since we all had wet feet...ah the cup of a hot beverage.....and.that, dear friends, was the ending of nerves....

My second Ending was more delicious tea and cake, served in St EH after the main Sunday diet of worship. No, you couldn't BE on a diet of worship or anything else cos the cakes were all home made ! Yum!
Then  came a presentation of some gifts ( Already I had a basket of citrus yellow and white blooms in a handled basket and a card with a cheque within- how generous)
The local Councillor dropped in ( not dripped in.The rain had stopped by then!?) His present was a wadge of five M and S socks in different colours- how kind.
I said "bye" amidst cell phone photos with folks for the church facebook page and off I toddled, teary eyed. However, we know for God's people endings are never final, since we can look forward to that great feast in the Heavens when Christ returns to take us there by His grace, or we can have a holy bun fight up yonder....
Tis always sad to leave a ministry post but I know I leave some good folks, who will be well looked after by a Reader ...and in a week or so it will be "new beginnings" in Aberdeen.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

I've Just done a long March..that's where I've been !!!

Hi everyone!
Last Tuesday I said "Goodbye" to Glasgow Presbytery- or should I say "They said "au revoir" to me?"
Lovely wee tribute from the Moderator about where I'd served these past 9 years, and then " Glasgow's loss is Aberdeen's gain" aw bless !

Also last week I conducted a funeral for a Springburn man since one of my colleagues from our Parish Grouping was on holiday. ( she had done one for me) It struck me as I drove round trying to find the home of the deceased man's next of kin, that my grandfather was born and brought up in Springburn. And my husband is always saying how the new West of Scotland Signalling Centre has kinda come full circle from where the goods depot was in my Grandad's day of 1910's onward.

You know I said up there that this was my last hurrah for GP....well it wasn't really. I pitched up at Clincarthill Church on Sat to do a wee strand about Messy Church, as part of the Mission Group's networking morning. It wasn't that well attended but  good listening ears and met a few new key people ( just as I'm leaving!)
Have just done service fermentation for this Sunday but my mind is occupied with the Spring Concerton Friday 24th March ( tickets available at door!) which I've organised as a Fundraiser for that exciting east end mentoring Youth Project Junction 12. My next blog will tell you how it's gone. Byeee.