Saturday, 31 July 2010

Inclusive Liturgy

The SEC has finally produced it's 1st move towards inclusive language (I think non gender specific is rather more accurate myself, but it is a flipping mouthful!). Here are the authorised variations - with my thoughts on them:

Page 2 at 5, & page 5 at 15 (Confession)

Current: God is love and we are his children… We love because he loved us first.

Change: God is love and we are God’s children… We love because God loved us first. (I've done this for years)

Current: heal and strengthen us by his Spirit

Change: heal and strengthen us by the Holy Spirit (who can object to going from 'his' to 'the Holy'?)

Page 3 at 11 (Gloria)

Current: and peace to his people on earth

Change: and peace to God’s people on earth (Fine, OK)

Page 4 at 13 (Creed)

Current: for us men and for our salvation

Change: for us and for our salvation (Not so sure - limits the concept of salvation to the gathered "elect" on one reading- but hardly worth a riot in St Giles!)

Page 6 at 18 (Opening Eucharistic Prayer)

Current: it is right to give him thanks and praise

Change: it is right to give God thanks and praise (Okey dokey)

Page 16, 2nd para, 4th line (Eucharistic Prayer IV)

Current: He renewed the promise of his presence

Change: Your son, Jesus Christ, renewed the promise of his presence (unobjectionable and Christocentric)

Page 21 at 23 (Thanksgiving and Sending out)

Current: Give thanks to the Lord for he is gracious. And his mercy endures for ever.

Change: Give thanks to our gracious God, whose mercy endures for ever. (Somewhat clunky but... fair dos)

Page 21 at 24a (Prayer (a))

Current: which is your will for all mankind

Change: which is your will for all the world (Good - not sodding humanity which sounds silly)

Of course, if we used Latin, it would be truly inclusive - naebody wid ken whit onybudy wis oan aboot!

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Law and Order

When Vicar's get in bother my heart goes out to them - usually. This one is different:

Obviously, there is some explanation for this abuse of the sacraments. I suspect it is fiscal cupidity (trying to get enough money to retire into an area of his preference??) rather than stupidity. This fella has lost his job, his home and quite possibly his pension and housing rights at the age of 61. Human frailty, ill health addiction, lust - all those are understandable reasons for clerical misdemeanours. Greed has never been one I understood.

Mind you, just because a court convicts you, it doesn't always mean you're guilty. According to some, even Dr Crippen was victim of a miscarriage of justice At this rate, they'll be retrying Madelene Smith soon!

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Easy in...

The beauty of a sleepover is that, the day before, you don't start until 3pm - which gives a weekday morning to yourself in Edinburgh:-) (OK, you are then ensconced at work for 23 hours but, hey, you can sleep!). Thus my morning was breakfast, washing of clothes, coffee and paper, bank, then elevenses in Peckhams with a raspberry and dark chocolate tart with an old mate who has gone a bit greyer but is still much the same as in days of yore. We caught up and he was slightly caught out by one or two recent developments in me life. Nice to know I can still surprise the troops!

Lunch now beckons, but we'll keep it light - all the choc has filled me rather!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Bits and pieces.

Today was one of parts. My assigned service user was off with their family, so I spend part of the morning in a Portobello backstreet, drinking coffee, eating a Snickers bar (Marathon in Old British) and reading the London Times and the Independent. Then shopping for essential bits and bobs in a very sun-kissed Gorgie-Dalry, before zooming out to the Thistle Foundation in fragrant Craigmillar. Walking home along the canal, I fell in with Bro John and Fr Roland Walls from the Roslin community and we ambled along,talking about odd God incidents (well, I listened). Now having made a nice cuppa Lady Grey, I await the completion of pasta bolognese before a-meeting-ing.

Monday, 26 July 2010

A gentle Monday.

A quiet enough day today with a long-ish walk at Longniddry beach, which is quite gorgeous - provided that you're not facing that damnable power station! Dinner was a rather nice (if deliberately garlic and onion free) pork tagine with cous-cous, followed by apple tart and ice cream. Then a soak in the bath with a Snoopy book and compline. Tomorrow awaits!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Sunday, Sunday

With a re-ordered shift pattern, I had to find somewhere different to go to bug God this morning. St Michael's started at 11am and I had to be at work by noon. So 'twas St Martin's Tynecastle for a wee change being only 10 mins from work and a 10.15am start. Being an ex-Baptist building, it's not exactly dazzling in terms of architecture or decor. Indeed, the apricot/toffee paint really doesn't work with a dull blue main carpet and a scarlet sanctuary carpet. but the Dali-esque mural on the Sanctuary wall works very well, artistic mediocrity notwithstanding. However, the sermon was very meaty with a fine blast of Martin Luther and bags of biblical analysis (2 sermons really). And they sang well - good modern hymns mixed with some old faves. I enjoyed it, though it's deuced low in my humble opinion. Cassock-alb and stole in not my preferred liturgical outfit!

Work was OK with shopping a major part of my day; dinner was a splendid smoked mackerel, trout and egg salad with capers, followed by roast chicken. I is gently sated!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Best laid plans etc.

Plans are often re-written at short notice. I have had to jiggle my shifts to help at work, so must find an earlier service on Sunday in order to be at base for 12 noon. My two split days off this week were both blessed with good weather - so one was spent mooching in a book shop after a veggie lunch, then reading my purchase on the grass in Princes Street Gardens with a take away latte! T'other was spent spent lurking round the Botanics in company, plus looking at a Glasgow Boys exhibition in the National Gallery and a very tasty Chinese meal in a dowdy looking restaurant where us westerners were in a very definite minority! Good going really.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Union man?

After my 1st appearance in Spiky Mike's in 6 weeks (shifts and covering holidays elsewhere) and a wee spot of overtime yesterday, I took advantage of a back shift to catch up on some Zzzz! So breakfast was a bacon and egg roll in a cafe, followed by a trip up the Bridges to do something work related. I became a Trade Unionist! I have noticed that work is fine if you are on the right side of the Managers, but get on their wrong side and it can become difficult. So having the back up of a Union seems a sensible precaution. Once the paperwork goes through I will be a member of Unison (but my political fund will NOT be going to Labour!). That said I don't feel especially inclined to renew my Lib Dem membership. In truth, I was highly unamused by the treatment of both Charles Kennedy and Ming Campbell, didn't vote for Clegg or Huhne as leader, and felt seriously queasy when we clambered into the governmental sack with the Tories. I'm iffy about Labour (fine on social and domestic policy, not brill at economics and their stupidity in getting us into Afghanistan and Iraq, coupled with their steady erosion of civil liberties post 9/11 means I'm really not inclined to join them) and whilst I feel more comfy with the SNP, I am emphatically not in favour of independence and doubt their economic sanity. Think I'll hang loose politically for a bit.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Led into temptation.

Yesterday OUGHT to have been a fairly chilled day. A 10am start, development day (paperwork, such joys as filling referrals to Speech and language Therapy and of course ordering prunes!) followed by staff night out. The 1st 2 happened but then a little problem arose with a lack of SCIP trained personnel on duty (that means trained in how to do physical interventions). So I agreed to stay on a bit. That meant 2 hours with two doses of emergency meds to try and calm one of our peeps until the On Call cavalry could arrive. I came off duty and realised that going anywhere near a staff night out in a pub would not be a good idea. I was tired, stressed and hungry and that was too much of a temptation. Home, redbush tea, compline a fish supper, strawberries and then a smidgen of brie seemed more sensible.

I'm actually quite proud that I realised the dangers and was strong enough to resist the "Oh feck it" temptation. It would have been really easy to say "I deserve a drink after a day like that" (which part of my head was saying) and I have a horrid idea where that would have led. So this morning I'll do a meeting and then go see ma. Sober like!

Thursday, 15 July 2010

New design - same old tripe!

This blog has been static design wise for ages, so I thought a Wee change of style might be overdue. Tonight followed a long shift run: 3-11pm, sleepover and then 7am-2pm (doubling as shift leader). So it was home, a long soak in the bath and a change of clothes, out to dinner with my ex Church wardens (brilliant Thai in Tollcross) and finished with a Doors documentary in the Cameo. Very relaxing! I loved the Jim Morrison quote: "I drink so I can talk to a**holes. Including myself."! That indeed rings true!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Ever so slightly petted lips?

I read this response to the English synod vote today by the Bishop of Ebbsfleet (one of the PEV's or "Flying bishops"):

"Come the final judgment when, as the Prayer Book says in the Marriage Service, ‘the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed’, some will have to account for the broken promises of the early 1990s. Traditionalists were then assured of a permanent and honoured place. Great store was set by the doctrine of reception (whereby no change in Holy Order would finally thought to be ‘received’ until it was accepted by the ancient churches of East and West). It was on the basis of these promises - both now very hollow - that Provincial Episcopal Visitors were appointed, ordinands and their families exchanged comfortable life styles for theological college, curacies, and what promised to be a lifetime of ministry"

Hang on, I was aware that ordination was a promise to follow Christ "for richer for poorer, for better and for worse", I wasn't aware that it would be a promised lifetime of status with a free Vicarage, no council tax and the faithful calling one "Father" all the time. If some people in collars have only just realised that priesthood means walking with Christ the way that may be leading to Golgotha rather than Walsingham via Barchester, then that isn't the Church's problem. If the Anglo-Catholic fantasy is not maintainable (and I draw a clear distinction between that fantasy and the reality of a truly Catholic understanding of what it is to minister in and through Christ), then it is for the ultimate good of all concerned that this be revealed and the corpse buried. Sorry, Milord Ebbsfleet, but I fear you and your tribe will soon be living another equally fantasy drenched life with the Holy Romans - only they will not molly coddle you as much as your Anglican brethren. to whine of the petted lip I can only say as they do in Glasgow : "Aw diddums! Dry yer eyes!"

Monday, 12 July 2010

Wifie bishops and Metropolitical Embarrassment!

Much yowling on the Wifie Bishops vote in Engerland. What from the traditionalist point of view went wrong?

1) The Abp's solution was identifiably ecclesiological mince that would have stuffed the Cyprianic concept of territorial episcopacy. And everyone knew it. But the possible goodwill that might have lived with that for the sake of charity had gone since 1992. Pourquoi?

2) The fact that the last time generous provision was made (not least financially) , a goodly number took the money, joined the RC's and came back when they found they really didn't care for being men under authority without handing back the moolah, meant that there there was a lot less willingness to be generous. One Rip Off is enough.

3) SEVERE umbrage was felt over Pope Benny's announcement of the Ordinariate and the way it was done. The C of E was dissed and that REALLY rankled. Payback time - your Convert Aid Societies can pay the fecking bill!

4) The Leadership of Forward in Faith's "secret negotiations" with my old friend Mgr Patrick Burke absolutely incensed the Anglican clergy. This was duplicitous p****ng around and really evaporated sympathy.

and of course...

It was the Archbishop's idea. The 2 Double crossed dudes interfered in the deliberations and conclusions of a Synod committee and Synods do not like being down graded by prelates. Also, Rowan's centralising/authoritarian tendencies could here be checked and rebuked. Warning signs for a covenant vote. This result was no surprise.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Wee Free whining.

The weel kent Wee Free theologian Donald MacLeod has had a wee pop at the Papal visit in a rather crabby way. I snaffled this from the Edinburgh Evening Snooze:

"In his weekly column in the West Highland Free Press, Professor Macleod said: "On the face of things the forthcoming papal visit to Britain should be an unqualified publicity triumph, offering a heady mixture of theatre, religion and politics.

"It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the event was deliberately timed to clash with the 450th anniversary of the Scottish Reformation.

"Ironically the spoiling tactic has turned out to be entirely unnecessary. Our SNP Government has no intention whatever of acknowledging Scotland's debt to the Reformation, and even less of honouring John Knox, the greatest of all our nation-builders, but now safely airbrushed out of our history.

"That he saved us from national economic ruin, laid the foundation of our national system of education and fired us with an aversion to tyranny, now counts for nothing. Our Government is in Knox-denial

"Why does secular, humanist Scotland so warmly entertain Catholicism, with all its authoritarianism, and yet register terror at the mere mention of the religion of Knox?

"Is it just that we're suckers for funny costumes, and love to see old men dressed in ancient Roman togas?"

No, Donald, it's just that you can't have much of a party with crabbit, dour Calvinists who whine about their loss of dominance over a nation and culture they did much to twist into a superlapsarian parody of the Gospel of Grace. At least Benny's boys affirmed culture like Mozart et al and not just whiny Gaelic psalmody or dreich paraphrases. And, by the way, the religion of Knox included decent liturgical order in the Book of Common Order and regular communion, not dull ministerial monologues-cum-hymn-sandwiches with a quarterly sacrament. And a Kirk that wears Geneva gowns can scarcely carp about funny costumes. PS the chasuble is based on the outdoor cloak known as the paenula, not on the toga. Where were you Professor again? Oh, the Free Church College - not a real University!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Day Off?

Up and at 'em early today as we prepared to receive a group of 12 Palestinian schoolboys from a boys home near Bethlehem. Of course, we might have got the inflatable beds up a darn sight faster had we discovered that the foot pump has a "deflate" hole as well as an inflate one earlier in the day!! My joy was compounded with a relatively painless root canal treatment, but when the jag wore off, I was swiftly advised to leave off the ibuprofen and rely on a paracetamol/codeine mix! It works!

The kids are excellent (if exhausting) and can put away pizza unlike anything I have ever seen! I treated myself to a Greek lunch a couple of doors down from Spiky Mike's. Just like the cafe we used in Paphos! Authentic dolmades and the Halloumi kebab was excellent. Tomorrow I visit the optician to see about new goggles and I fancy the documentary on the Doors (Yank rock band) that's on at the Cameo. Days off are no longer dull!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Bouncing along

Indeedy! Monday had me generating coffee and lunch for an Emmaus House taster day then off to 8 hours as Shift leader in da House. Sleepover and a further 8 hours, followed by cooking dinner and then a meeting meant I was a busy wee soul - but not frazzled and coping fine. I simply couldn't have done that on the bevvy. Today was hectic (one staff down) and then a team meeting, followed by a staff drink in the pub (cranberry and ginger ale pour moi). Tomorrow is the dreaded root canal, so prayer and painkillers welcome!

Oh and some glum news has come to my attention: ++ Rowan Williams has guffed it up again over Jeffery John and the "election" to the vacant See of Southwark. Can we appoint him to Argyll please?

Sunday, 4 July 2010


Fans of ancient satire (and, indeed, ancient fans of satire!) will understand the title. Tuesday was the shift from Valhalla! Anything that involves 3 hours overtime, police assistance and bruising is not a good day. Thank gawd for the meeting! You can dump the Shi'ite and get boosted - and I duly was. Wednesday was by the grace of God a day off. I went to the dentist (Hiss). The filling replacement involved no anaesthetic (gulp!) and was painless (yay!!). As was the X-ray (uh-oh). The upshot is, next Thursday, I will have my 1st ever root canal treatment :-(. Oh joy, oh rapture.

Thursday was OK, due to the zonked nature of the client (same one as Tuesday!), as was Friday. Any injuries received during leisure activities on Saturday are my own fault ("Felix culpa") and swiftly recoverable from (a nice soak in a bath will do it!). Today was fairly easy going and a relaxed bath follows the evening quiche (Holy Mother Church's revenge on gluttony and gourmandism at parish dos!).

This article caught my startled attention: This is the same Jeffery John who was done out of the Suffragan Bishopric of Reading because he was gay, partnered and advanced a theology that was at odds with the potty and unenforceable "Issues in Human Sexuality" guidelines. He's now gay, partnered and (as far as anyone is aware) advances a theology at odds get the picture. What has changed? Is ++Rowan no longer appeasing the foreign Rabids? No, he still wants a Covenant. Is he no longer scared of Evangelical threats of financial sanctions? Has the Cameroon revolution led to some firm Old Etonian pressure on the ABC and has he suddenly come over all Erastian (not entirely unlikely, given that DC is a practicing liberal Catholic Anglican, not a closet Papalist nor Presbyterian son of the Manse who couldn't give a stuff about the internal politics of the English Kirk). Or is Rowan Williams displaying that schizophrenic lack of consistency we have begun to know and loathe? Dammed if I know, guv! Of course, there is the unpalatable possibility that JJ is following his old buddy Rowan's example and will recant of his radical views on human sexuality, agree to follow the policy of the House of Bishop's and bag a mitre and the Tooting Bec Palais as a reward. Some words that Robert Browning penned when William Wordsworth went from radical to Establishment spring to mind:

"Just for a handful of silver he left us,
Just for a ribbon to stick in his coat"

I just hope this quote proves inapplicable in this case.