I really haven't got time to blog at all, still less constructively this week -so naturally, here I am!
Life is being led in a rather stream-of-consciousness way, because I'm knee-deep in funerals and addresses/sermons for a wider range of situations than normal, which has left me with a constant anxiety that I'm about to use the wrong words for the wrong people in the wrong place. Special service to sort out with/for Koinonia; Annotated Eucharist for 1st Communicants; euros for Dufflepud's History trip; wedding rehearsal; did I remember to appear to inter those ashes? is there any milk in the fridge? and what about flea-ing the animals?
I'm out every evening too. Deanery Synod and PCC shouldn't be allowed to fall in the same week, such is their life-enhancing potential.
On the other hand, an evening spent listening to Ken Leech speaking (for InclusiveChurch) around the question "What is a parish in the post-Christendom era?" was simply wonderful. The awful thing is that by the time I can process and blog it properly we'll probably be hurtling towards the end of next month and the moment will have passed. He has always been a mega-hero for me, and is probably partly responsible for my long-time yen for a run-down urban parish (or is it that yen that made him a hero in the first place?). With "The Future" becoming something I really do have to consider seriously, I'm trying to discern whether I have, in fact, anything to offer in the sort of context I've aspired to for so long. I was 25 when I moved away from Kennington and the life of SJDK. It might just be that my vision of inner-city ministry is impossibly romantic and that I couldn't even begin to cut the mustard if I actually found myself in a UPA parish. I just don't know, - but I'm trying to be open in all directions.
Amazingly, I had the chance to actually talk to Ken over a curry later last night, when obviously the fact that I could have said anything meant that I managed to say nothing very much.
But he's no disappointment, that I can assure you. He must surely have done Greenbelt in the past, - Isn't it time he returned?
Over lunch today, though, the net result of such a good evening was another visit to my amazon wish-list, to add those of his titles I don't actually own (too many, actually- my former vicar was generous with her loans, so that I have some sad and unlikely gaps where I'd thought beloved books were actually my own). And that was not a good experience, because I really really want to buy all the books listed there,- but my "to read" pile is currently even larger than my "to do" list. Oh dear.
I do struggle with the concept of a wish list anyway - it feels as greedy and me-centred as those difficult Saturday mornings spent negotiating with LCM in Peter Jones to determine what china we could both live with for the next, who knows how long. On the other hand, there are some among my extended family whose talent for gift-selection encompasses fur coats for vegans etc, so you could argue that it's more a matter of self defence. Either way, though I do have a birthday soon, it seems more than ridiculous to ask for anything from that list when the Christmas titles remain, for the most part, stacked unread around the study...Bother!
We had some CME last Saturday on using the Bible in ministry which I'd also like to blog about, specially in the light of the comments on the Lectionary the following day...but not yet. Of course, I could probably have produced something coherent and (possibly) worth reading in the time it has taken me to witter away - but I didn't. Indeed, I chose not to. Paul had it right, didn't he?
Right now, it's time for the next funeral address, I think - or shall I do a wedding, just for variety?
Neither - at that point the phone rang...My bank, checking some strange spending patterns. Thank God! I might otherwise have found myself financing c£2000 of someone else's spending - but the splendid Co-op guys were wide awake, so though I had to destroy my card and will spend some time changing passwords on every site I visit, no harm done. Nasty feeling though.
Do remember to check your accounts, peoples. Please.