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Showing posts from April, 2005

The privilege of ministry

Today was the day of the funeral of the aforementioned musician (did anyone notice my deft use of the word aformentioned there - i took an online IQ test and apparently am quite clever, its just a shame no one has noticed) Anyway, it was a good funeral - at least as good as these things can be! It had laughter and some tears, some very good tributes by some very accomplished musicians and a chance to celebrate a life as well as mourn its passing. And my reflection on this? Well, its a reminded of the huge privilege we have as ministers of the Church in being allowed in to the most profound times of people's lives. It is of course also a huge responsibility and i, normally a placid type of person, get furious when i hear of the abuses that those who call themselves pastors and ministers are often guilty of. I have quite a high view of the calling to ministry, and - i hope - a humility that goes alongside that as i realise how inadequate i am for the task! thank God for the divine

Express yourself

I spent the morning today with the widow of a very talented and dedicated musician. It struck me in conversation that to this person music was life, it was all about communication, expression, emotion, mystery, precision, hope, love. Music was all. Music is, of course, a language that is powerful and affecting. It is something that most of us are used to in the background (as i type this i have my internet radio playing some very chilled jazz - no doubt that i will be enjoying something heavy, or folky, or poppy any moment). Because music is so much in the background we often forget its there, a bit like we can forget what a gift language is because we spend all of our days gassing away - well i do anyway. It is easy to debase the languages and forms of expression we rely on, to allow things which can be exceedingly positive to adopt a neutral policy. I do this with my music, my writing, even my observance of faith. Thank God that every now and then we all get a glimpse of the

a flurry of activity

twice in two days - i obviously have more time than i know what to do with (ha ha) whilst i wait for a friend to turn up and help me transport an item of garden furniture half a mile up the road i have a few moments for reflection, and these reflections have been inspired by the excellent thoughts for this week, and a link to an earlier blog, by sarah dylan breur http://www.sarahlaughed.net/lectionary/ I have problems with the idea of pastoring in the Church in the classic sense. By that i mean that the word pastor means, in its etymology, something akin to animal husbandry, which at worst suggests that there in an inherent superiority of human beings over animals and that somehow this idea spills over into the relationships a minister has with her/his people. In other words, to quote one of my lecturers at Theological College 'I don't like calling myself a pastor because you aren't sheep'. I do see the positive side of that image, of nurture and self-sacrifice that

i'm baaaack

Actually, I've just popped in because i thought i really should start to say something again. Things have been very pressured lately just because of the time it has taken to do everything that needs to be done - so much for this being a one day a week job! I have six wonderful parishes full of intelligent, committed, thoughtful, concerned people. Many of the expectations placed on Clergy are unrealistic, but there is a certain level of pastoral visiting that one needs to do, after six months of unsettled life with a move, holidays, Christmas, a new baby etc it was time for me to do some remedial work, to visit as much as possibly could - this has been the focus of the last three months or so.... It goes on, I continue to make as much time as is humanly possible for visiting people, alongside other meetings, appointments, service planning and leading, events, praying, reading, writing sermons, and of course the hours i spend in a car getting between places. This is not a compla