In case you'd failed to notice, I'm very strongly ENFP - so today's signs are very much about relationships.
- Our Recessional at the morning's United Benefice Eucharist was, unsurprisingly, "Lo he comes", perhaps my favourite Advent hymn, and as we launched into the final verse there was, for me, a strong sense that we were all truly focussed on being Church together, that people from hill and valley alike were living what they sang"Yea, Amen, let all adore thee!"
- The apocalyptic imagery in today's gospel was reflected in the weather in and around Stroud on Sunday, which had a distinctly dampening impact on our Christingle service at Church in the Valley...BUT there was something very special about looking at the circle of people spread out around the church just before we turned off the lights, and realising that we had a real connection with virtually every single one of them. 50 people, most of whom I didn't know at all a year ago, but who now feel committed enough to the life of our church to head out into the darkness on the wettest and wildest of evenings.
- During the Fayre on Saturday, one mum from Messy Church had approached me to ask if she could come to other services in jeans, because jeans was what she had. At the time, I felt like crying...What have we done as a church through the years to make her believe that she wouldn't be welcome unless she came dressed in "Sunday best"?...but at the Christingle service, I rejoiced: she had believed me when I told her that God welcomes us exactly as we are, and had come to join in worship.