I have just found Molly (my house cat) sitting on the outside window ledge. Lucky for me — and for whomever opened the window — she jumped in and not out when I called to her in panic. Lucky too that I found her before either the next door cat or the regular canine visitors came to call.
Apart from that little glitch, we had a fine morning with +Mdimi of the diocese of Central Tanganyika, a beautifully catered lunch afterwards. If we still believed that the blessed were winged in heaven, many a fine gilded feather would have been earned by certain members of the congregation today.
As we welcome various pre-Lambeth bishops around the province, a helpful reminder from Timothy Radcliffe’s What’s the Point of Being a Chistian:
‘The Church exists to gather people so that we may rejoice together. Herbert McCabe OP writes that
we express our joy in bodily signs, by dancing, singing, or laughing. We shout for joy, or hug each other, or turn cart-wheels. Just how we express our happiness will of course depend on what country we live in and the local customs and traditions. In parts of Africa you would express it in highly sophisticated and formalized dance. In parts of British suburbia, I believe they manage it with a slight twitch of the upper lip.’
inner quot., God, Christ and Us.
The ‘flu is passing. Slowly. I thought I was well enough yesterday to do a few hours desk work and attend (not chair) a vestry meeting. That turned into 6 hours at the desk, plus the meeting, and a giant lesson in overestimating my abilities as I crawled into bed exhausted. So today I am not trying to work. I’ve found the back of a kitchen cupboard I hadn’t seen for a while. I’m looking for recipies for each of the varieties of bean and grain that have been lying there ignored. I might do a bit of light hoovering before the cleaning party come to prepare the rectory for the visiting bishop on Sunday.
The congregation have been great, offering practical help and lots of encouragement (if that’s what one calls repeated cries of ‘stop that now. go to bed’).
I would feel better about a week of lounging around if I had the concentration either to pray or to read theology. But I don’t. So instead, it is cookbooks and Harry Potter, and a very happy cat.
Splendid service this morning with the bishop commissioning the lay team for the various roles. Or at least, I am assured that it was. I was too busy trying not to cough to notice much.
The treasurer did later ask if trainee priests were taught how to drink Lem Sip surrepticiously throughout the service. He seems not to have noticed the liturgical use of hand-sanitizer before the peace and again before shaking hands at the end of the service.
And then, I left them all still laughing and talking with the bishop, so that I could get to Tighnabruaich in time for the next service. But thankfully, I noticed my anwering machine flashing: one of this afternoon’s congregation, saying that everyone else was away or ill, and that she more than willing to go to the Church of Scotland service tonight, and that I should stay home. Usually, when it’s just one or two there, I say ‘no, no, that’s all right. I’ll be there.’ But today (cough, cough) I simply said ‘thank you’ and counted my blessings.
That tiny congregation shows me a far greater level of pastoral care than I show them.
And — added benefit — this gives me a few hours clear to think about the Christmas carol service. I’m already running eight weeks behind with it.
Or I could clean the house…
Hmm. Which shall it be?
(ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha)
Dashing through the snow (tra-la-la)…