Rusk woke me up (a rare happening in itself – it usually takes a mighty stramash to pierce the depths of sleep) at 5am today, well at 4.59 to be precise. Waking when there is a 4 in the hour seems so much more extreme than a minute later would have been. After taking ages to get back to sleep, the snooze button on my alarm was well and truly abused until I looked at the clock and there was only 5 minutes before morning prayer, at Church, 2 minutes walk away. Not a great start to the day. I am leading prayers this week – who knows what or who I prayed for during the intercessions, but my incumbent didn’t raise eyebrows too much, so it can’t have been too random.
The meeting with the local Methodist minister followed on straight afterwards. My incumbent is getting used to my first thing in the morning, after a disturbed night, bleariness, so fed me toast and decaff until I looked more human. Lovely man!
General admin until lunchtime followed this, then the final week of the Lent courses, with a bread and cheese (really good cheese – brie, wensleydale and stilton) lunch. The conclusion to the course was to try and persuade people to view PCC (parochial church council = church meeting) meetings as a time to integrate the gifts of the Spirit, that we see in those around us, with the opportunites in the community. i.e. start by recognising gifts and only then plan strategy, avoid starting projects when you don’t have the people to run it effectively. We looked at the beginning of Luke 10 and an interesting question was raised: why do we (i.e. the CofE) persevere with ministry to every community when there must be some where there is no welcome there? Why don’t we do as Jesus taught the seventy and shake the dust from our feet and walk away?
Evening prayer was just me, so after praying the office, I spent some time reading Thomas Merton – The Seven Storey Mountain. I like autobiography, but he comes across as so arrogant and rude, particularly towards the Anglican Church (although the passage I read today had a rather scathing account of the Quakers). I’m persevering with it a bit at a time, mostly because of the picture of him on the front cover. He is such a smiley person – it will be interesting to see the influences on him becoming a monk. I’ve only got to the beginning of his time at university at the moment – some way to go.
Now I’ve just got some hymns to pick for Monday’s Tenebrae service and then I might have a bit of a go at the next Settlers level.