Priest's Page...

'Maureen's Musings'

October 2010

What a difference a year makes! Last October we were deep in the controversy about the Swine Flu epidemic - Remember that!? And now this year I write this after a very successful Confirmation Service when it was a joy to see 10 new members of the Church confirmed and one formally received into communion with the Church of England - and a nicely full church - most of whom were able to come and share in communion together ... no worries this year about whether or not to share the wine. And a few days later we have baptised another 3 new members of God's family - Kai, Amber and Daisy-Mai.

By the time you read this the Pope will have made his State Visit to the UK. I do hope that all Christians will be able to gain some inspiration and encouragement from the visit of this leader of one of the great worldwide churches. And we will be looking forward in the Lichfield Diocese to the visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd. and Rt. Hon. Rowan Williams in early November. Rowan will not only be visiting Lichfield, but there are events planned in other locations - notably in Telford, Stafford and Walsall, that perhaps some of us will be able to attend. The day in Telford looks particularly interesting with an opportunity to hear Rowan speak about the 21st Century Church and then in the afternoon an all-age worship celebration ... "giving every parish the opportunity to come together as a Diocesan family to worship God and be addressed by the Archbishop." At a time when the secular world seems to delight in trying to divide and conquer those with a faith, it is good to know that we can come together from various different traditions and listen to an outstanding theologian. And don't worry - although sometimes I admit that Rowan can use rather obscure arguments, he is also very skilled at communicating with those of us with more normal intellectual powers!

He is even braving a youth event featuring 'live bands' at Rising Brook Baptist Church, Stafford on the Sunday evening - maybe we will be able to take some of our young people to join in that one ... I bet it will be LOUD - but also joyful and thought provoking.

As some of you will know, I have also been settling in a new addition to my household over the past few weeks. Jandi came to me from Sunnyside Kennels. She was picked up as a stray on the streets of Wolverhampton and was then in kennels for a month before she chose me to be her new human. We have had some interesting times together - largely her teaching me all the things of which she is terrified - like loud, sudden noises and balls being kicked. But she is also one of the most affectionate and gentle dogs I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. At first she seemed totally silent - not a bark to be heard. But as her confidence has grown and she has begun to think of the Vicarage as 'home' - 'her home' - so she has become more vocal in its defence. So now if you visit me you are likely to be greeted by growls and barks when you knock on the door. Please don't be put off. Once over the threshold, she will welcome you like a long-lost friend.

How often do we risk appearing a bit defensive and even aggressive when we are feeling unsure of our surroundings or other people? Worth remembering that the person you sometimes think of as 'stand-offish' or even downright rude may just be feeling shy and uncertain of you?

Every blessing,