the Scarecrows do well! - Amazing....
me (for once) but we all owe a debt of deep gratitude to Chrissie
and the team who comprised the planning committee for that weekend
in September when the whole village came alive with people and
scarecrows as far as the eye could see. And thanks too to everyone
who baked and made filled rolls and poured teas and coffees as
if your life depended upon it!
Thanks too for organising our two evening events - very enjoyable
in different ways and Thanks to Sue for a splendid Harvest Supper
and to all who helped serve. There are so many others who contributed
- please don't feel you are overlooked! Even the weather was
on our side!
I must also
thank Ken and Iain for filling this slot for me last month while
I was away in Germany.
That was a
quite a life-changing experience for me. Partly a holiday on
the Rhine - which was great - but then I went as the guest of
the Lutheran Church in North Germany to attend a big conference
they had organised. There were over 80 foreign delegates from
all over the world - the Lutheran Church has spread almost as
far as the Anglican Communion(!). We English contingent were
the only Anglicans there as the Lutheran church is tiny in the
UK and the Lichfield Diocese has long been in partnership with
the church in Mecklenburg - now a part of the much larger Nordkirche
region.... There were two of us from Lichfield; 2 from Durham
diocese and one from Ely. Having arrived in Hamburg, we were
divided up into many different 'Exposure Groups' of around 6
- 10 people, some German and some from overseas and dispersed
around the region. My group, which included people from Brazil,
Latvia, Sweden and Tanzania as well as me, was based near Neumunster
in Schleswig Holstein. Our topic for discussion was Justice in
all its forms and especially Biblical Justice. After 4 days of
visiting local churches, a refugee camp, a centre for adults
with learning difficulties and mental health problems and a vicarage
built to the highest standards of sustainable energy (not good
for my envy!) we were all gathered together once more at a large
conference centre near the Danish Border for a further four days
of Bible study, consultation and talks from international speakers.
And before you ask -most of the communication was in English!
travelled back to Hamburg for a grand final church service -
this lasted well over 2 hours (!) but did include the performance
of a full Bach Cantata and two sermons - one in German by the
Presiding Bishop of the Nordkirche and one in English from a
Kenyan Archbishop. I was asked to take part by reading some of
the prayers - which I was pleased to do, although it felt strange
speaking them while standing in the sanctuary and facing the
high altar with the congregation a long way behind me!
I have been much occupied with the 'other half' of my job - facilitating
a number of residential training courses as well as trying to
manage the life of this wonderful and very active village and
give some time to the Deanery. Travelling is all very well, but
I am looking forward to being a bit more 'home-based' for the
next few weeks as we experience Remembrance, Advent and prepare
for all the festivities of Christmas. There, I've said it - the
'C' word..... Arrggh!
I hope you
are having a blessed Autumn/Winter,