Monday, 28 February 2011

Keeping Up!

I'm in good company as I note Bloomsbury's Blog was a little behind in its updates!
How easily, distractions can crowd into the schedule and deflect you from you plans. Some of the distractions for me have been the advent of some unseasonably warm weather which has prompted some gardening - 15 primroses planted in the front garden, the lawns mown, three rows of potatoes planted and tomato plants in their growbags - Oh, and I supervised the fixing of my new bird box ready, I hope, for a new 'family' to settle into.
Signs of spring have been a great encouragement in a couple of weeks that have been dominated by loss. The sister of one of our members died in a London hospital after a short cancer related illness - it was a privilege to pray at her bedside with members of her family whilst I was in London; a friend of many years, a local councillor a tireless worker in the Parish Church also died of cancer and this last week another friend died suddenly of a heart attack in the village.
But, despite this sadness life goes on and in each case the faith and courage of the families has been an inspiration.
In church life here we have been busy, a successful Table-Top Sale, the first of our Games evenings - and, yes, the Games Room is now finished'; Arthur starts his new Home Group this week.
Our thoughts turn to Lent, we will be hiding the 'Alleluia' on Sunday and distributing the Christian Aid 'Count Your Blessings' Lent Giving Sheets.
On Saturday we do our bit for Fairtrade Fortnight by holding a Coffee Morning. Did I mention the Womens World Day of Prayer service we will be supporting at St Saviour's?
Are you keeping up?

Monday, 14 February 2011

Semester Two...downhill all the way!

It doesn't seem possible that I passed the half way point in my studies at Spurgeons. Starting Semester 2 today it is downhill all the way. Scary!
Discussions over the Settlement process which may see me remain in Walmer or move elsewhere have begun and there are profiles to write to advance that process alongside ongoing studies with this semester's studies ranging from Reformation History to Evangelism in the Local Church.
Having turned in my final essay of the Semester and sat the OT exam in January, all the work for the first half of my studies has been completed. All essay marks have been surprisingly higher than I had anticipated and this bodes well for the management of my study time for the remainder of my time at Spurgeons and at Walmer.
Life in Walmer has been busy over the last few weeks, not least with our Church AGM (my annual report and that of the administrators can be found on our website). We had a good meeting with no difficult questions! Our Deaconate remains at 5 with the re-election of Ian which is good for stability in our leadership.
We have a full programme of events, activities and services planned for the year which promises to keep us busy. Alongside this the challenge of moving the church kitchen looks like becoming a reality this year thanks to a generous gift to underwrite the cost of the project.
We had a good Baptists Together service with our friends at Deal and Mongeham and we have reflected upon how blessed we are as a church as we heard their stories too.
The privilege of preaching in the Parish Churches on Christian Unity Sunday and hosting a united service is one I hope will be repeated as we look at ways in which the Christians from the different traditions in our community can cooperate together.
The visit of my Field Placement Tutor and Supervisor apparently more than satisfied them that all was well with this particular student, his studies and his placement.

I have signed up, along with other students, to join a BMS Mission Trip to Thailand in September which promises to be an exciting and challenging opportunity. I shall need to raise some funds to help meet the cost of this so doubtless you'll be hearing more about this in the coming months.