Sunday, March 02, 2008

Of Daughters, Doctors and Daffodils


May God our maker
Our mother
Our friend
Wrap us in wholeness

Keep us in kindness

And bless us each day on our journey
AMEN


Mothering Sunday here in the UK, which made for a busy busy weekend.

On Saturday Hattie Gandhi came home from uni, so that we could all go out for a family lunch together - a real treat...eating seared prawns and salad sitting outside in the sunshine... It felt like the last moments of calm before a pretty continous period of manic activity, and I savoured it to the full.
Later she treated me to a trip to the cinema to see Juno, which she'd already seen in Cardiff. Great film, though very strange to be there with an audience of girls mostly younger than the protagonist. I was interestered to note those times that they found funny which I really really didn't...Good conversation on the way home. We sent alot of hugs across the Pond to someone who might just be reading this.

Youth Group sleepover to prepare for Sunday worship...Lots of very busy and tired people...some stupid mistakes from the curate in preparing the service sheets, a bit of anxiety that the whole thing would flop, but those kids are amazing. Calm, kind, competent. I know who did the ministering, as we struggled to tie up loose ends some time after midnight - and it certain wasn't the curate.


The service, in the event, was a great success. Fervent prayers were answered. Dr Who's arrival at St Mary's was as smooth as anything that depends on a faulty widget in the space time continuum is ever likely to be. The Tardis docked successfully on top of the pulpit and together we tried to educate the Doctor in the ways of the church and the meaning of Baptism. Our learning was enhanced hugely by the three shiney children we baptized this morning - the younger sisters of one of my Koinonia stalwarts, whom it was sheer joy to bring to the waters of Baptism.
As we shared the Peace, one of the characters in our drama explained

“Everyone who belongs to God’s family needs to share his love and his peace with others…Loving and caring isn’t something limited to God…Nobody’s too old or too young to need it or to give it – and everyone deserves a posy when they manage to, because God’s love makes life beautiful.”

There was alot of that love about in the church this morning, reaching out to those whose experiences of motherhood survived or lamented as much as to those who were happy to celebrate amid the warmth of their families.
Junior Church waited to give posies of daffodils to everyone as they came back from the altar rail...and I do so hope that everyone who helps to make the Church a loving and nurturing community felt that their kindnesses were known and appreciated. There have been so many there who have mothered me as a baby priest...allowed me to learn, to get things wrong, but yet to still hold the authority of the orders amazingly entrusted to me.

Not long ago the Best Spiritual Director Ever was helping me to reflect on models of ministry that might loom large for me both in this time of letting go at St M's and in the new context that lies ahead. I said then that I was anxious to avoid falling into the role of manic mother, intent on being the major care giver and so inadvertently disabling others. Together we came up with the picture of player/conductor in a baroque orchestra...needing to be expert on her own instrument but not for a moment dreaming that she needs to play every other instrument in the ensemble...though still having a sense of how they might best work together, which parts would work best on which instruments and how the whole should sound.

At OpenHouse this afternoon, no one voice really dominated. We were just glad to be together in our Father's house. On Thursday I had a very belated "ah hah" moment, when I realised that the most important thing any parent could tell their children was summed up in the chorus
"God loves you and I love you and that's the way it should be"
I've just googled this, and the only place it appears on the net is at shipoffools hall of shame for Cringey and Cr*ppy choruses...and I'd agree that the musical merits of the piece are limited, to put it mildly. However, given a congregation of under 8s and their parents and carers it hits the spot nicely - and I'd absolutely go the stake in defence of the basic sentiment.
So...we sang that...WonderfulVicar did an excellent job of telling a story illustrated by paper tearing...we made and decorated Mothering Sunday prayer bookmarks....and suddenly it was the end...time for the Blessing. My last OpenHouse.
Ouch.
The traditional conclusion, a wild rampage around the church featuring assorted children, an even greater assortment of percussion instruments and "You shall go out with joy" didn't actually manage to divert me this time.
Too many lovely people saying lovely things.
I'm really not good at saying Goodbye. Beautiful card from a family whose wedding had been the first I was involved with, and whose son I baptised last year...many hugs...rather alot of determined blinking...and there's still three weeks to go before I actually leave. Bother. This hurts rather...

4 comments:

Disillusioned said...

Lots of hugs sent your way in these challenging times for you.

You will be fine - but getting to the "I'm fine" can be pretty tough at times.

Songbird said...

Bother, indeed.

Lorna said...

yes it hurts - if you weren't such a great curate the loss would be less on both sides.

blessings on Mother's Day and beyond ... a day at a time, a hug at a time, and in the new post a step at a time.

RevDrKate said...

Note to self: Must be careful whose blogs I read at work. Crying very messy at desk. They will miss you, indeed, but the new folks....oh so blessed to have you. Hugs back.