Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Life's little ups and downs.

The Burns wotsit was good fun yesterday, but a tragic double booking of the hall kinda curtailed the quiz night. Someone forgot to put it on the year planner and the hall was let out to the local bridge club. Oops
Today started with a trip to say mass in Bo'ness in wild West Lothian (where strange hairy beasties and Diocesan Youth officers live) and I had to rediscover how to celebrate in the Eastward position and use things like the Comfy words and the long miserable confession from the Prayer Book! This afternoon is a meeting in Edinburgh, then a Confirmation class. Plus a funeral to sort for Friday. Busy old life!

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Say goodbye to the new slimmer you!

Today has a Burns supper for the MU and also the Quiz night with buffet. Bang goes the 3lbs! Still, mum is appearing so will join me at the Burns nosh (saves taking her out for lunch!). How it can be a supper at 2pm I'm not sure, so perhaps it's a late lunch or an early High Tea. Still, haggis neeps and tatties are an old favourite so it ought to be fun. The Feast of Rabbie Burns (transferred)!

Monday, 26 January 2009

That was the weekend that was.

Well, that was a fairly good weekend. Cowdenbeath won and extended their lead to 5 points, I preached a not bad sermon on St Paul (wee, baldy heided and bandy legged), discovered I've lost 3lbs since Christmas and got bored witless at our joint service of Prayer for the Middle East. I agreed with everything that was said, but haven't heard such dull, passionless and uninspiring delivery in years. Stir me to action? Not a hope - it was excruciatingly dull. I nipped out quickly at the end - I simply could not bear to do polite chit chat after the service: "Wasn't that a lovely service Rector?" "NO!! It was boring and a waste of an hour." Not the done thing, so I foreswore honesty and scooted.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Music and prayer.

I had an interesting conversation yesterday about the use of music in prayer. Not in public, liturgical prayer, but in personal devotional prayer. Often when saying the Office, I sing a hymn. Out loud, on my own. I also find music can move me to pray quite spontaneously. Perhaps there is something of sharing in the creativity of God in this. I am not a creative type really. Can't cook, paint or do things with wood and metal. But I can sing a bit and can use words. In singing someone elses devotional words to someone elses tune, I find I co-operate with the creativity that has been expressed. That seems to help me to pray in a way that sitting passively waiting on God doesn't. Actively co-operating with God leads me to reflection/meditation and in a way that is quite different to analytical musing. The action seems to still the mind and open it to the divine majesty and reality. A case of praying as you can rather than worrying about praying in a way that is awkward. It was a spiritually enriching conversation.

Friday, 16 January 2009

One of those days.

Yesterday had the dubious joy of the Publisher programme having a bad hair day while we were doing the order of service for a Requiem. More than made up for by a lively session with an S1 class at the High School where for the 1st time in my life I was asked "Was Jesus gay?" (who knows?). Then a session with the Higher class on how to get to heaven. I was very good really - I didn't say train to Euston, tube to Charing Cross, right, right and right again! I ended up trying to sort out the necessity of faith, good works and sacraments and ended up by saying all are useful, but ultimately it's all about grace. Faith and good works being products of grace and sacraments being channels of grace. How terribly Lutheran of me!
Today could have been a disaster, as there had been a flood overnight in the office. My service orders, luckily were at the other end of the office. The Old Kirk's were not Hee! Hee! Hee! God is an Episcopalian! And so the Requiem went well.

Monday, 12 January 2009

A day at the office.

Well, plenty of telephone work today. A funeral on the go (which will be delayed until February as the next of kin are in New Zealand for a bit), plus a major requiem for Friday. Plus a session with my local MSP. Partly I went to see him to say yes to his proposing me to lead the time for reflection at the Parliament in Holyrood, partly to ask him to support the proposed Aggravated Offences Bill. This is a private members bill which will put assaults on LGBT persons into the same category as racist or sectarian attacks. This means they will be recorded as such, rather than simply lost in general crime figures and that judges will be required to take the aggravated nature of the assault into consideration when sentencing. It would mean that defence lawyers could no longer use the "I thumped him because he made a pass at me" defence, because if they did, they client would get a heavier sentence, not a reduced one. Happily, my local MSP was broadly in favour of the Bill which the Govt has indicated it will support, although it may simply incorporate the Bill into other legislation to speed up the process, rather than let it saunter through on its lonio. So I feel like a virtuous citizen today! Hassling your reps may well be a worthwhile activity.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

And a first!

Has anyone ever had a confirmation class ask to delay the confirmation because they want EXTRA classes??? I just have!

Clerical queries

Well, here's some stuff from my in-tray:

1) An invite to celebrate communion in a local C of S Kirk on Lent 1. Whilst I will dress Episcopal and use the 1982 Eucharistic Prayer, how do i celebrate with the elements in individual cups in the pews and in baskets at the pew ends? Is the Epiclesis going to reach beyond the table and do the biz on the bits?

2) will I let my local MSP nominate me to lead Parliamentary prayers at Holyrood?

3) What will I say to the MSP when we meet with regard to the Aggrivated Offences Bill on Monday?

Answers on the virtual postcard please.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

New year!

Well, here we go again: the panto was most enjoyable, the kids enjoyed it and, strangely enough, the King's Theatre wasn't quite as far from the town centre as I recalled. Karen Dunbar was a 1st class lead, Gerard Kelly excellent as Buttons and it was nice to see Andy Gray back from his troubles. Indeed, the day was only blighted by 2 small factors: my vertigo (seats in the upper circle) and the outrageous car park pricing at the Buchanan Galleries.

And today the footie is off again due to a deep frozen pitch. Why in the name of heaven do we insist in playing in the middle of winter? Surely a summer season would make more sense? It's not as if we are a mad keen cricketing nation, so it would hardly clash with anything and you might well get a better turn out at games.