Friday, 22 January 2010

Twiddling my thumbs - not!

I've been spending time updating friends in other ways. With Bloomsbury's magazine due out soon and with a letter to supporter's well overdue I have been in reflective mode looking back over the last few weeks and months and recalling the highs and lows of both college and church life. I won't repeat the detail here but suffice to say on balance all is positive and the new year promises much.

That said, its raining today which is not so great. Best made plans to spend the day out in the community, chatting in the village, delivering posters to neighbouring churches, and popping into school are on hold unless the rain eases.

Sunday's sermon is written, the powerpoint is ready, all college assignments are in and even the Manse is in fairly good order so I'm at a loss to know what to do.

The reality is of course that I've already found one thing to do and I'm doing it now -updating my blog and I'm sure that once I hit the 'publish' button I will start on a fresh task. News of that and more will this space!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

'As you can see rumours of my death are greatly exagerated!'

With these words an elderly member who lives alone began to share testimony of recent events in her life.

Having missed her at a number of events in the past week and that folk had tried to raise her on the phone without success, prompted action late on Friday night when a deacon called the Manse.

Visiting her home which was in darkness, speaking to her neighbours who confessed they had not seen her all week, alarm bells started to ring. Her brother, living 20 miles away was called and he came as soon as possible armed with a key and fearing the worst.

To our great relief, but her surprise and shock, on entering her home she was in fact OK - contentedly watching t.v. although mildly annoyed at regular telephone calls all evening from callers who 'withheld their number'.

In the cold light of day and after reflection and further concern shared by others who had been alerted to the potential situation the night before, she shared he gratitude that folk were concerned for her and that God's love was evident through this and through their well meaning actions.

As we witness the horrors of the scenes in Haiti and recognise the outpouring of concern and support from nations and individuals there must be much for us to learn and reflect upon, as we seek to hear what God wants to say to us about how we respond to crisis, whether at home or abroad, in our personal lives or the lives of others.

Apart from the unexpected events of last Friday, the week has been largely uneventful. Studies for the semester have ended although one further assignment needs to be written before the month ends.

We have started to prepare for our Annual Church Meeting on 30 January when members will elect new Deacons and hear reports on the life of the church in the past year.
That we have an extra nominee seeking election to the diaconate is encouraging and will share the load carried by the existing team.

Two names will be brought to the church for membership with a further name brought to the next meeting.

One member has asked for Baptism and we've set Easter Day as the date for the Baptismal Service.

As the sun shines through the window of my study as I write this update, the future looks bright. We thank God for his care for us and look forward to all he has planned to do amongst us here in Walmer in 2010.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Winter Wonderland

The train journey to college was slow! Despite the platform information at Walmer and on-line the trains were not running to London but rather a shuttle service between Ramsgate and Ashford from where eventually it was possible to catch a stopping service to London. The long stop at Maidstone East was a further delay whilst the service was regulated and other trains passed by. Arriving in London to yet more snowflakes gently falling from the sky onto the already snow covered ground was a reminder of events of the past week when in varying amounts each day snow had fallen.
The snowman hastile built on the front steps was melting fast by Sunday morning but almost certainly snow will still be on the ground when I return home.
This is the last week of lectures for this semester and sees us rounding off our first round of modules. As is the norm with most things these days we have to fill in a questionaire for each lecturer rating our satisfaction of the teaching - content, delivery, etc., - and comment positively and negatively on aspects we wish.
With another assignment returned with a more than favourable mark there is little I wish to cooment on so am simply ticking the 'very good' boxes for everything.
The next couple of weeks will be given over to finishing two final essays due by the 1 February.
At church we are preparing for our AGM at the end of the month. Accounts are being auditted, Deacons are being nominated and joyously two names for membership will be presented to the Deacons this week.
On a practical note - snow from the church roof slid off with some force and through the roof of the garage which leaves us with a big repair bill some of which we hope the insurance company may fund.
The new year has begun... and already the challenges have been many.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Happy New Year!

As the snowflakes once again fall outside my study window I realise that it's high time I posted an update.
With college studies due to resume tomorrow and the prospect of an engineering works effected journey to London looming there is just time to post a few lines.
Christmas was celebrated well. Attendances where encouraging with visitors at every service and a relaxed atmosphere throughout as worshippers drank their 'mulled wine', ate mince pies and chose and sang their favourite carols.
Slowly we re-told the Christmas story ending this morning with the coming of the Wise Men and an opportunity to let incense fill the sanctuary as we reflected upon the gifts the travellers brought.
Doubtless the chocolate coins - the gold - have already been eaten but hopefully the frankincense and myrrh everyone received will stay in home a little longer.
Two major essays need to be written this month as the semester draws to a close so that focuses the mind a little on the Spurgeon's front.
The Church's AGM looms large at the end of the month too with reports to be written, Deacons elections to be arranged and accounts to be prepared, audited and reviewed.
As ever then there is much to this space.