I was just catching up on reading blogs when Deeleea set a challenge.
Here is my response…
Passing on her challenge – why not make your own and post a link here? (Not having time is an acceptable answer)
So, last time I blogged was the end of half term. A couple of busy weeks later and here we are. I’ve just got back from Mums and Tots (who knows where the apostrophes are meant to go in there?) group and have about half an hour before evening prayer. Rusk loves being around groups of other kids. Today there was only one big tumble, two sharing er incidents and one hand covered in orange ink from the rubber stamp set. Successful I think. There are a couple of new families there so a fairly full room. I do like that it counts as work for me. So many things I do for work I really enjoy.
I’m off on a training day on Wednesday – preparing for priesthood. Not quite sure what it is going to cover, but it should be interesting. It’ll be nice to have a reunion with all the people I was deaconed with last year. Our diocese is quite large and we don’t see each other very often. After that (and Lent group in the evening) on Thursday I’m going back to school for the day. I am doing a bit of work in school regularly with collective worship, but I wanted to get more of a feel for how the school day works, hence spending a day there.
Today the task is to get the bulk of the work for Sunday done. One sermon – to be used twice – and one all age talk. Mothering Sunday – should be able to find something to say for that. Tricky to know how to strike a balance between Mothering Sunday being a celebration and yet being a very painful experience for the bereaved or those who had bad experiences of mothers.
In other news, here is what I did for the Ravelympics, the knitters’ attempt to justify lots of sitting in front of winter sports:
They were completed by the end of the olympics and so I qualify for medals:
The first one is the team medal for completing a project.
The second one is the event medal. I competed in Sock Hockey with some crochet socks. I also attempted the Lace Luge with a lace stole, but this will be a longer term project due to the faffiness of lace!
In case anyone was wondering, they aren’t meant to be a matching pair as far as colours go. Who said socks have to match anyway?
I’ve now moved on to making a scarf and am currently at the black hole stage of knitting, where you knit and knit and knit for an hour, yet the piece seems no longer. Ah well, it will pass eventually.
Back to the sermons I think.
We were hoping to get away for a few days over half term to spend time with my sister, who teaches and so is limited to school holidays. Ash Wednesday falling in half term meant an even shorter break than planned, but still lovely. We borrowed a cottage from friends and spent a couple of days in the Lake District.
We are now back. Rusk has actually gone to sleep without fuss. Mr F is catching up on stuff we’ve recorded and I am relaxing with Chopin on the headphones while I finish off my sermon for tomorrow. This particular congregation asked for something more interactive. We’ll see whether they still want it after tomorrow! I’m looking forward to finding out how Lent was marked 80 plus years ago in this area.
This is the first time I’ve deliberately used someone else’s sermon as a starting point for mine. Our Lent course includes an Ash Wednesday sermon in the front as an introduction, with the suggestion that you make it your own by adapting it. Useful exercise, although I’m not sure whether the person who wrote the original would recognise what I’ve come up with. The vicar preached on something else on Wednesday so I’ve grabbed this for tomorrow instead. Editing is easier than starting from scratch, particularly when there is no pressure to keep it recogniseable. There are bits from the Lent book I’m reading in there as well – the idea that Lent is not something you do alone, that the fast (whatever form it takes) is more meaningful when it is the whole community doing it. If this Lent course is part of the fast for our parishes, then it will work better if more people are doing it. Here’s hoping.
So, I am meant to be writing my MA as fast as ever I can, along with doing whatever work needs doing. So how did I end up here instead? Well, I’m also writing a sermon for tomorrow.
The sermon is about the parable of the lost sheep. I find that after reading the passage through, I need to let it percolate for a little while to see what associations it brings up. Hmmm… sheep, that brings me onto thinking about wool and then knitting. Before I know it, I’m starting to think about all the things I’m going to knit as soon as I finish off this MA writing. Hang on, aren’t the winter olympics in 2010? Yes they are. Oh good, that means a knitalong for the Knitting Winter Olympics. What shall I make?
It is possible that I need an MA-along instead. I could post the file sizes of the chapters each day, to give you an idea of how it is going.
Anyway, I think I have the theme for the sermon, so I’ll make some notes before evening prayer (19 minutes to go – better be quick)
This afternoon I took a visiting friend on a bit of a tour of the parishes. The coast here is so beautiful. We wandered down to the cliff path from one of the churches and sat looking out over the sea. The weather is beautiful today – so sunny and calm. Even on sunny days usually there is what we call a ‘breeze’, if only to distinguish it from the gales that are the customary fare. While we were sitting there watching the fields rolling down to the cliff, while some paragliders floated serenely overhead, I could feel a story starting to bubble up. As if I have time for that now – I have an MA to write you know. I will sit on it until after the end of November and then wander back amid the winter weather and see if the urge is still there. It is such a privilege to minister to people with such a rootedness in the landscape. I feel a real sense that the people here do see themselves as custodians for the future.
The hat went much quicker than expected, and is now finished, pending blocking. I *think* there will be enough wool left (yes, Daisy, it is Rowan Tapestry) for another one. I had about 3 yards of the first ball of purple left at the end of the hat and I have weighed what is left of the variegated ball and have 26g of a 50g ball. Might be cutting it a bit fine, but we’ll see. In the pause between starting the decreases and the 4mm dpns arriving, I started a sock. I have never knitted a toe-up sock before. It looks most peculiar with just the toe done.
The sloes have been pricked, jarred and covered in gin and sugar. It looks quite revolting at the moment, but the caterpillars all floated to the surface when the gin was added and I have fished them out so it could be worse. Not sure I would be able to describe it as suitable for vegetarians now.
Back to pondering the Sunday readings. We follow the related series of readings in the lectionary and it has not yet clicked as to how they are related. I’m sure I’ll get there eventually. I sometimes wish there were footnotes where the compilers could say what they had in mind.
Off to a consultation on stipends and pensions this evening. Pray for us, please.
Well I don’t know where that alliteration came from there – most unsettling.
I was working on today’s sermons until quite late last night – finding it difficult to find uplifting and challenging things to say about flower festivals. Finding a particular lack of inspiration when the wireless connection temporarily stopped my procrastination, I wandered downstairs.
On expressing my concern about not being competent to preach about the topic since I don’t know much about it, Mr F was happy to reassure me. “I’m sure you’ll have to preach about lots of things you know nothing about”. Nothing like a bit of reassurance.
My latest strategy to deal with busy Sundays is not to stop for an afternoon nap – it makes the evening all the more painful. Seemed to work today anyway.
My task for the day is to get the bulk of my sermon for Sunday written. Having been for a brisk walk down to the cliff tops earlier, I now have various ideas milling around. The ideas seem to be resolving themselves into a theological reflection on flower festivals in the light of Sunday’s lectionary readings. I should probably tread quite carefully, since the dangers of annoying the flower arrangers in the first month of curacy are probably more than one might think.
My main question is: what are flower festivals for?
Celebration of creation?
Using gifts of the congregation?
I have various other answers to the question (some more cynical than others), but was wondering if you have any yourselves. Is the flower festival an international thing, or is it essentially a British institution? What do they involve? Do you like them? Have you discerned any theology behind them?
I’m not really sure what to post, but Mr F is still bugging me about not posting anything, so here you go.
I’ve been ordained deacon nearly 2 weeks now. It is a funny thing, but it feels like a lot longer. I’ve slipped into the new life quite easily, mostly thanks to my incumbent being superb.
Saturday is meant to be my light day, a bridge between my day off and Sunday. The main aim of today is to finish writing a sermon for tomorrow. Morning prayer was at 9 today, a welcome change from the usual 8am. After wandering home through the drizzle, I went upstairs to work. A quick check of emails, a quick look at some of the bits of paper that have appeared and I was onto the internet. Sermon writing seems to work best when I am ruminating on something at the back of my mind, with other things (blogs for example) at the forefront. I’m now almost at the point of writing it – got most of the ideas, some clue about the structure and themes. Just writing a blog post to get the typing going. In true vicar-style, I am listening to Test Match Special in the background.
Lunch today was very funny. Rusk, now 13 months old, is very serious about the business of finger food. Each item must be selected with care, checked in case it is a new foodstuff, passed hand to hand several times and then sometimes placed carefully in his mouth. He makes a little pile of food to his right of things he will only eat if he is still hungry when he has finished the nice stuff. Top foods today were cucumber and Gruyère cheese, followed by pear. Chicken was rejected and hummous with bread sticks looked promising, but he offered it to us instead of eating it himself. Apparently, my giggling at his antics is NOT HELPING.
Well, back to the sermon I guess. I’m rather looking forward to it. I’m preaching (and leading) at one of the small churches, with a congregation of about 10. How many people tomorrow will be preaching on sheep and shepherds with a soundtrack outside the church of the sheep belonging to the churchwarden?
In case I miss it, I will just mention that tomorrow will be the third anniversary of this blog. It has been brilliant being a part of the wibsite and will hopefully continue that way for years to come.