Vicar's Page...

'Maureen's Musings'

November 2015

Wow! Didn't the Scarecrows do well! - Amazing....

Words fail 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!

Finally we 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!

Since returning 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,