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)…
As tempting as it once was, I could never really have been a benedictine.
It’s the requirement of hospitality that would do me in.
Tomorrow the bishop comes. So imagine the scenario:
‘Welcome, bishop. Mrs Bishop. Right this way. Yes that’s it, just step over the ice chests and don’t trip the bags of crisps. Yes, yes it is a lovely new barbecue that you saw on the back seat of my car. Please ignore the seventeen other bags on the porch, and the unwashed dishes in the kitchen. The last loo roll is where it needs to be, and the kettle is on…’
We did clean the sacristy and print the church magazine. Pew sheets and growing season challenges are ready. Apart from that I’ve spent the day under a blanket, nursing LemSips and trying not to cough.
Time to go watch Casualty. Maybe it will offer perspective. (Cough, cough)
Those of you who have had the misfortune of seeing me lately will know that I have been having what my parents used to call a ‘grumpy day’. All week. I have been frustrated by what seems to be happening in the Anglican Communion; bewildered by the ease with which Gafcon seems to be claiming ‘plain readings’ of scripture, the 39 articles, and the 1662 prayer book as the clear standards of faith; and repeatedly tempted to despair over the future of the church.
But not today.
Today, the church was out in all its glorious eccentricity. Five year olds building sand castles, 89 year olds playing cricket, normally sensible adults wearing silly hats and flower lays and even a Hawaiian shirt. We played boules and Frisbee. We gathered in passing tourist from Australia and Germany, and a few locals (yes, I am counting the dogs) and ended the evening by passing our fire and marshmallows on to a family group from Dunoon who were just setting up camp.
At last a reminder of why we hold onto church (and not just God) despite all the nonsense.