Yep, once again it has been a while, nearly a month since I blogged. And, as you might suspect, its been busy-ness that has mainly kept me from writing here.
Not that I am complaining, though, it has been overwhelmingly a good busyness - that long list in my last posting has very much occupied my time, and I still feel I am trying to keep up with myself admin wise, but in terms of contact with people, of offering the pastoral care that is at the centre of what I feel my calling to be in ministry, of preparing and leading services, in preparing and preaching sermons these past few weeks, indeed these past few months, have been extremely rewarding.
But now, in many ways, its time to get down to business. We in our five parishes are asking 'what next?' and wondering both how we can grow together as a 'Mission Community' and what that means for the individual life of our parishes. This might mean some difficult decisions, actually it will mean some difficult decisions, particularly about service times and frequency, about offering other ways of being church over and above a focus on worship services, about meeting the needs of those who want to ask questions about faith without buying in to the existing Church culture, about welcoming families and young people without forcing them to fit into a particular Church mould.
One of the most striking and joyful things about this group of parishes is a willingness to consider other ways of doing things. Yes, there is a concern about 'what could we lose?' or 'what could go wrong?' but there is also a desire for positive change. And I feel that one of the reasons I was appointed was that I was (and am) willing to go through potential difficult changes, whilst still wanted to sustain and maintain that which is good about our existing life together as Christians in these villages.
And I realise that this is going to mean that I have to keep an eye on my busy life, if being busy is stopping me seeing the bigger picture, and confronting the needs beyond the current way of doing things.
So, with all that in mind, my blogging has been secondary of late! Though I hope to get back into the swing of things - if nothing else then keeping up a blog means that I think things through out loud, and often get helpful feedback. There is much to think about, and lots to pray about, regarding these parishes - so there may well be lots to blog about too!