Just back from Open House…a riotous success, I think (certainly about 50 people appeared, which is always encouraging) though I’m not sure that I got across any of the teaching points, what with microphone problems and a plethora of vocal and active toddlers.There are now several regular families (regular in the sense of getting there at least once every third month!) and I was specially pleased that one mum who came for the first time last month had brought along a friend and her children today. She said she had been telling everyone about it, as she couldn’t believe how welcome the children were…If the only thing that gets through is that everyone is welcome in their Father’s house, and that unconditional love means just that, I will be more than content.
Overall, though, I’m feeling a bit flat today.
Partly this is a result of being well and truly tired…I do appreciate the wisdom of all those who commented that I need to sort out some time off. Believe you me, I know. Unfortunately, because this coming week features three busy busy days spent outside the parish, but not on relaxing things, I’m not likely to do much better for a minute or two,- though Wonderful Vicar is very aware that this needs addressing, and is doing his utmost to clear space for me.
On Wednesday I go to London to take my mother’s cousin’s funeral…which has proved incredibly complex to arrange. But I have to say that the parish of All Saints, Fulham has one of the kindest teams I’ve ever encountered….they have coped amazingly with a series of bizarre requests and queries from an increasingly fraught curate on the other side of the country, and done everything and more to make a tricky situation easier. I can’t praise them too highly.
Before then, I need to write the address, of course, but I also need to produce a series of starter questions on prayer for the follow up groups which are meeting to discuss the input at our Wednesday evening “Taste of Prayer” course. There are a good few rather urgent parish visits to make too, but Thursday sees me at a training day in Birmingham and Friday I get to drive to Leeds, for a university open day. Saturday is CME AND an ecumenical youth event….and then, Lord help us, it’s Sunday again. I’ve booked the padded cell for Wednesday week, and plan to enjoy every second of it.
Meanwhile, though, today is my father’s birthday….I can’t actually absorb the fact that had he lived he would now be in his 90s. He never ever looked his age, even as he fought the cancer that killed him when I was 18. He was the most important person in my universe throughout my childhood and whenever something goes especially well or is especially hard, I still long to fling myself into his arms. I don’t know how he’d have felt about my ordination. He was by way of being a pretty traditional AngloCatholic, I think (certainly, that was the flavour of the church where he was a sidesman throughout my teens) but he was also a man who liked to ask questions, to find out more, to read round.
I like to think that having considered the evidence he would have come down in favour of the ordination of women…but I do wish I was certain.
I do know he would have supported me regardless, and would have basked in the joy that my ministry brings me, just as I know he would have been a delighted and delightful grandfather.
I’m glad that so much of him is evident in my children, specially TeenWonder,- but I still miss him.