Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Sermon for Pentecost

The sermon I will be preaching in about forty minutes! As always click on the Bible links for the full texts and on [more] for the complete sermon held at New Kid Deep Stuff

Year A Pentecost (2008) RCL Principal

Jesus Loves the Church

I recently found myself in a conversation with a minister who is Chaplain to an Anglican Church in Paris. There were lots of good things that came out of that conversation, but quite early on in the process he came out with something that really made me think. He said ‘I love Church, Church is why I get up in the morning.’

It’s not a sentence I hear very much. Not even for those of us whose life and ministry is lived around the Church…
Actually perhaps for those of us who are involved in the Church to a greater degree we are more likely to criticise and complain – to be honest – because we have invested so much in the life of our Churches.

I promise you, you never want to spend any great length of time in a room full of Clergy. Except our own Team Clergy, of course, who seem to have the gift of laughter and support to an unnatural degree… [more]

Saturday, May 10, 2008

This Month's Editorial

I seem to have got out of the habit of posting my 'letter from the Vicar' on my blog. As it sometimes gives something to comment on, here's this month's!

There are lots of funny (both in the amusing and peculiar sense) ideas of what or who the Holy Spirit – or Holy Ghost in older versions of our Bibles and Services – is. Some I have spoken to actually seem to think that God seems to hang about wearing a bedsheet and floats over services and some people think that the Holy Spirit is a religious version of ‘Santa’s little helper’ who zips around the place helping people do good things. [more]

A bit of this, a bit of that....

Not really had anything to say for the past few days, and not sure I do now!

I've not really been quite sure how to say how things are.... Over this past week or so I have felt very tired, knowing there is so much to do and yet not having the energy or time to do half of them. So it's been a bit of a restless week, and though I have done all that I needed to do, and looking back I've actually got quite a lot done, it hasn't felt very productive.

One of the difficulties of being in this kind of work, sorry 'ministry', is that there isn't really any end to stuff that needs to be done. People are always dying, wanting to be married, getting baptised, and being ill, services need to be planned and arranged, people get ill, some people want 'a visit from the Vicar' with no real agenda but just feel its a right that they get very disgruntled if they don't get to exercise!

I have problems keeping up with the demands, and sometimes I can just let them wash off me and get on with things that really need doing, other times I find myself almost paralysed by not knowing what to do next. Yes, I know all the arguments about time management, about prioritising, about working out the time/cost/needs/demands balances etc etc but there is a fair amount of what we do that is quite amorphous, and working out what is urgent but not important, or important but not urgent, or urgent and important, or not important nor urgent, can be a full time job in itself.

So every now and then (and it happens to have been this last week) I have a bit of a low week. Its not a depression, as such, nor is it necessarily to do with feeling stressed, its just a week where I know that there's lots to be done and I don't really feel I've got much of a handle on it.

Today is turning out to be better, I have got quite a lot done this morning and I am off to do some visits this afternoon, plans for our celebrations of Pentecost are all in hand and I actually got six and a half hours sleep last night! I think a lot of the feelings of lack of achievement, and even a sense of ennui or listlessness, are to do with not sleeping enough, or not sleeping very well...

Ok, it's off to the next thing, after lunch and an hour with the family.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Ascension Day Sermon

All sorts of things going on, so not much time to blog, am preparing for a Baptism and a more meaty service tomorrow evening where I have to put together some thoughts about a subject not yet decided!

So here's the sermon I preached on Thursday evening at a very enjoyable Communion service - we even had a rocket from Kimbolton Fireworks to celebrate the ascension!

Ascension Day 2008 Year A RCL

Acts 1.1-11
Luke 24.44-53

Goodbye, God bless

Ascension day seems a funny day to celebrate. A strange time to have a feast (which of course our Communion is here this evening)! Because, if you think about it, it’s a celebration of something quite difficult.

Have you ever had that feeling of saying goodbye to someone that hurt so much it made you ache? Sixteen years ago Jo and I, who had had an on-off relationship for a few years, found ourselves living in London and York, and at the end of a weekend together we would have that awful goodbye as one of us got onto a train to leave our respective cities. It was probably this ache, this loathing of separation that meant that she came out with the best proposal ever – oh well, we might as well go for it then.

I’m sure for all of us we can understand that pain, perhaps in a smaller or greater degree. Saying goodbye to someone we care about, letting go of them and trusting for both their well-being and the well-being of your relationship with them can be difficult. [more]