Friday, 25 September 2009

The eve of a new beginning

One wonders what God was feeling the night before the great work of creation began or before deciding to intervene in our world in human form or even before coming to earth as wind and fire?
Knowing you are about to do something can be exciting or fearful or even a mixture of both. Despite the planning you may have done in the end are you really in control of the outcome, its success or failure.
Gazing out of my study at the clear night sky lit by twinkling stars million, billions of miles away I wonder what tomoorow will truly bring.
As a church we turn the page of history to begin a new chapter. What will be written, how the pages will fill up and how it will end none of us know.
For me, there is both excitement and fear - very real questions about success or failure.
But I turn to God for support, wisdom, guidance and energy... watch how the story unfolds or even become a part of it.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Day One of next Three Years

Day one of Orientation Week at Spurgeons College and the first day of the next three years study for my Theology degree has almost ended. The sun has shone all day, the people have been very friendly and the information shared been helpful in getting all of to understand the workings of the college and our future activities of the coming weeks, months and years.
We appear to be an interesting and diverse mix of students from a variety of church backgrounds and those of us on the church-based course have our own rich variety of challenges and opportunities as our placements lie before us.
Having left Bloomsbury yesterday with a generous package of support and parting gift I feel somewhat overwhelmed by the faith that congregation have put in my future.
Remaing, as ever, God's humble servant, I hope I can match the belief they clearly have.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Chance encounters

It has been a funny old week as I've continued to settle into the 'new' community that is to be home. Already as I've wandered or cycled through town I've bumped into familiar faces and new ones. Everyone seems to have heard either that I'm back or I'm the 'new man at the church'. It has all been very affirming for me that this most unexpected and unplanned move back to Walmer is really what God has planned.
As yet, and perhaps they are waiting, no one has expressed surprise, merely interest in what I've been up to for the last dozen or so years since I left. Some have asked about the church and what we are planning for the future which is tricky to answer. Encouragingly many have said they are planning to come for the Induction but even more positively others say they are going to come on a Sunday.
Firmly of the opinion I am called here to grow the community I am optimistic and I hope that optimism can be shared and built upon.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Sermons 'R' us

Well, a quiet few days and resisting the temptations of the garden have made for good progress on the sermon writing front. 'Back to Church Sunday' is sorted as is Bloomsbury's Harvest and that with slight modifications can become Walmer's Harvest. Thoughts for Baptists Together service on 18 October based on Joshua 4.1-9 are coming together. So with a full week at Spurgeon's looming for next week it seems that I'm comfortably ahead of my target which is a comfortable position to be in. Can it last?

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

What a difference in 24 hours...

Yesterday I was sweltering in high humidity and temperatures nudging 100 degrees and saying farewell to friends settling into the new surroundings of their Manse in Hong Kong. It had been good to have a break from the stresses and strains of my own move and to see how the relocation from Germany was going for the new Pastor at the Community Church of Hong Kong.
Briefly back in London to tidy up the loose ends of my time at Bloomsbury; to say farewell to our regular Tuesday Lunch Club diners and to see the results of a week's makeover on my former flat transformed for the new residents Vilem and Alena - I'm now in Walmer.
Its a balmy September evening - the Manse feels not dissimilar to the humidity of Hong Kong -but here all is quiet. A surprisingly large pile of mail demands attention and still there are the boxes stacked about the place awaiting my patient unpacking process to begin.
So, its been a strange day beginning and ending several thousands of miles apart and what of tomorrow? Another day of surprises and unexpected encounters...

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Twinkle, twinkle, little star

I'd forgotten what stars were like. Living in the centre of London one has become all too easily content at the 24 hour glow of the city. Gazing out of my bedroom window in Walmer the night sky revealed the countless twinkles of distant stars.
The simplicity of these little flickering lights reminds of the wonder of the created world we live in which all too often gets taken for granted, not even considered, in the hustle and bustle of the big city.
Returning to London for a few days before finally settling into the gentler pace of life in Walmer, the contrast is stark. Doubtless, over the coming months, I shall get used to this as I commute between Walmer and college in London but it will I hope serve as a weekly reminder that for many people in our society there is little time or opportunity given to wonder and marvel at God's creation.