Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Where does the time go?

For the benefit of Ros (and anyone else who might read this blog) I am finally posting an update. Quite where the time goes I really don't know and despite the best of intentions of try to have the discipline to update this blog every week or so I have clearly failed.

So here goes with an update on the last three weeks which comes with a warning that as I am away from this weekend a further update may not appear for another three weeks!!

Since I last wrote, I have had the opportunity to deliver face-to-face updates to many Bloomsbury friends at their summer party in Ealing which I was able to attend. It is always good to share news first hand and show that there is a living breathing person behind these virtual updates.

Life here in Walmer has been hectic. Without the formal discipline of study that two days a week in London enforces in term-time all too quickly I have fallen into my default mode of 24/7 work for the church.

Work on the summer project for the college on my Portfolio and Journal is getting some attention (I need to report this in case anyone at the college reads the blog), but it doesn't have the urgency attached to it that it might just yet as the submission deadline is weeks away.

We have marked Sea Sunday when we benefitted from the insights of into maritime life from a former cross-channel ferry captain who until recently, when he retired, been an Anglican vicar of a Kent village.

We also, as the BU encouraged all churches, shared in The Big Lunch. This nationwide event seeks to build and strengthen community cohesion by bringing together friends and neighbours to share lunch together. Whilst, despite our best efforts, our immediate neighbours did not respond to our invitation members of the fellowship did bring their friends and family along and we had a super time of fellowship together out on the church lawn.

We have started a summer series of Hymn-Sings on Thursday afternoon which are proving popular and attracting friends we have lost touch with back into the fold.

We have welcomed a new member into the fellowship - the fifth of this year - and someone else has started a conversation with me about joining.

We anxiously await news from the BU about our application for a BU Ministry Grant to help us meet the challenges of paying a half-stipend in order to keep me here. The Deacons have met with the Association visitors to put forward our case.

On the building front, Church Meeting has agreed that we explore the feasibility of moving the church kitchen to a more appropriate location in the building and work on the replacement of the garage roof nears completion. (We plan to make the garage a games room to store the former youth group equipment.)

With three days remaining before I jet off to the Baptist World Alliance Congress there is what seems a mountain of things to organise and do before I go so for now blogging must cease.

As ever I ponder, where does the time go?
(And I've only been here ten months today!!)

Friday, 2 July 2010

It's another glorious sunny day!

...and what am I doing. I'm stuck indoors writing this blog! Not for long!!!

It's been a full week beginning with Baptist Together events. Firstly the annual Barbq for our three cluster Baptist churches, this year hosted by our friends at Mongeham. The sun shone!

We had our united service on Sunday evening, again at Mongeham, and it was very warm with a good crowd from all three churches packed in the chapel on another very hot day.

Alan, one of our industrious workers has finished staining an old pew which has been languishing in the garage. It now has pride of place under the office window in the garden and has already become a popular resting place for weary gardeners and reading Pastors. Hopefully passers-by will soon take to using it too.

We've finished our LIFEsize series of studies appropriately in New Testament church style sitting outside under a gazebo in The Manse garden. It was a good reminder to us that whilst we have a large building it is not necessary for us to be 'church'.

Plans for our hymn-sings which start next Thursday are well in hand with a team of teamakers and cake bakers lined up.

We've also sent out our invites to our 'Big Lunch' Barbq we're holding on 18 July.

The 9 July is Sea Sunday and we have a former Vicar and retired Ferry Captain coming to preach and the town will be busy with the annual Royal Marine Band Concert on the bandstand.

There is much to do and I'm now off to do some of it in the sunshine. A fresh update will come soon (sooner if we get a wet day!)