I had to do a lot of brain work and a little less leg work yesterday! I spent most of the morning with our 'acting Team Rector' discussing what God is doing in this team of thirteen Churches and to think about what is going on generally in our parishes.
It was encouraging and daunting to do this. Encouraging because for a group of rural parishes we are actually together doing as much or more than many larger suburban and urban parishes. Daunting because there always seems more and more to do. But these are good stresses, in the sense that much of this is about growth, about stability of leadership and ministry (to a certain degree), about vision and about moving forward. i have to put together today a document which sums up the areas we covered - mission, pastoral events, weddings, baptisms and funerals (also known as 'hatch, match and dispatch', prayer, worship, involvement in community life etc etc - it will be, i expect, quite a long document. So i had better get on with the visit i have to do now, then get back to this.
At the end of the day yesterday the clergy, their spouses and our team administrator (also known as 'the linchpin') met for our belated Christmas meal, which - as always happens when we get together) involved lots of laughter and stories. Another reminder of why, despite any strains and stresses, this is a good place to be and a good team to be a part of.