Saturday, 31 October 2009

Half Term Break

This has been a college free week although the necessary reading for forthcoming assignments has continued.
The extra days in Walmer has meant opportunities to do some extra things most significantly the 'great move' shifting the church office to the vestry and the vestry to the office. The end result is very pleasinga nd meant it was possible to work in the church office and keep the side door of the church open all day to attract visitors.
Thursday was a singnificant day too - having decided to make use of a free hour over lunchtime to head into town for essential supplies with the space of that hour I met half of the church membership who had also taken the opportunity to get out in the sunshine.
Admittedly we are a small membership but it was really quite remarkable to see half of them in an hour.
The scaffolding needed to remove a wobbly chimney stack has now been removed - we await the builder's bill for the necessary work and also a reply to the brick manufacturers who supplied substandard bricks in 1904. Hopefully they might make a 'goodwill gift' to help our funds.
Tomorrow the Academic Dean from Spurgeons comes to hear me preach so I'd better check my notes once again to ensure I make the grade.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Moving Again...

It felt a bit like moving home again as I spent the morning moving furniture and setting up office space but this time it was all done within the church building as a small band of willing workers set about swapping the Church Office and Church Vestry from opposite sides of the building.

For a while the front of the Sanctuary looked like a removal firm's store with sofas, desk and office supplies all of the place.

After some valiant service from 'Henry' on the carpets and a good dust in some corners everything found a new home in its new room.

Seizing the opportunity that willing hands has provided we've done so preparation work in the vestibule in readiness for a 'painting party' to brighten up the area, and, we hope, open up the space to make it more inviting and welcoming.

Having unearthed the rogues gallery of framed photographs of former ministers, we've re hung them where they can be seen outide the 'new' vestry.

Half-term from college is supposed to be a welcome break from the pressures of study but it looks as though its going to be just as busy this week as any other - only in a different way.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Week 3 - Shhh1 Don't tell the college

Week three is now almost a distant memory as Week 4 dawns tomorrow very early.

Having been a bit negative about collehe worship, a surprise presented itself. The worship hour led by a third year student began with a time of reflection as we listened to 'Comfort ye my people' from Handel's Messiah and then we sang 'We are blessed' by Andy Flannagan. It was great to sing something I knew (thanks Tim for introducing me to it) which clearly many in the chapel has not encountered. Words with meaning work for me and it lifted my spirit and I was keen to report this to my reflection group who it seems had not heard of Mr Flannagan before.
Anyway, three assignments have been submitted to date. How soon they will be marked and returned I don't know but perhaps my pigeon hole will reveal all tomorrow.
1500 words on the authorship of Deuteronomy is the next challenge!
Here in Walmer it has been a good week. We've has the local school in to fill the church with pupils and parents for Harvest. Our Friday Night Pizza evening hit the spot with some frank and honest sharing which is the aim for the group.
Oh, and by the way, I was once again on the losing team at the Quiz Night.
We had visitors at morning worship to boost our numbers and complied with the swine flu guidelines by not having a common loaf.
Tonight we join with our friends at Mongeham for a united Baptists service with folk from Deal too at which I'm the preacher. (Don't tell the college I've exceeded the 4 sermons a month rule already!)

Friday, 9 October 2009

Week Two

It's raining! Having abandoned the idea of cycling to the library to return a copy of the Qur'an and to buy Pizza from the supermarket for the teenagers tonight. I've ordered Dial-a-Pizza and now with some unscheduled free moments I can blog for a while.

College has passed off this week without any major traumas although I did bravely confess toi our reflection group that 'Chapel' was not working for me. Too much guitar stumming singing about how much 'I love Jesus' several times over! Oh, for some quite reflective time or a song or two to remind me of what God is seeking to do for me.

Anyway, thanks to the efficiency of the Church Manager at Bloomsbury service recordings have arrived on disc that I can submit as Assignments 1 and 2 for the Worship & Preaching module. With my dictionary entry on Thomas - Assignment 1 for Introduction to the Bible - done too that's three boxes ticked for this semester already.

I've submitted my timetable for the week to the placement co-ordinator. She's funny - sending a reply 'keep an eye on your day off' - clearly she doesn't know me. I've told her 'day off' is not a description I understand.

We've had our Baptist cluster fraternal today - this needs some work to encourage greater cohesion but my colleagues talk of a willingness to try and work at it. Walmer is going to host the larger Network Fraternal in December.

Harvest looms at the weekend and I'm holiding an 'Open House' tomorrow afternoon so folk can come and see the Manse after its make-over. We're also decorating the church in the morning. The start of our 'landmine' display is very impressive thanks to one member's inginuity.

Although it is still raining I need to go and set up my Wii for tonight so the blogging stops for now!

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Week One

Well, the first week draws to its close. We are in good heart and greatly encouraged by the support shown to us by so many friends last weekend for the ~Induction Service. It was wonderful to see smiling faces filling the whole sanctuary for this special day.
Even more heartening was the sight of new and returning folk in the pews for our 'Christmas' celebration on 'Back to Church Sunday'
Throughout the week support has been encouraging too for our Simply Prayer and Seeing Jesus sessions both in church and in the Manse. Finishing the week with four young people tucking into Pizza was a real blessing on which to draw the week to a close.
We've also committed ourselves in Church Meeting to new mission, vision and value statements which puts us on a firm course for the future.
Of course, important though it is, the life of the church is just one aspect of my role as I grapple too with studies at Spurgeon's which have begun well and for which I have an assignment already drafted and two more underway.
So, the new chapter begins both for me and the church and the opening pages are full of expectation and promise...