Many years ago, while still living in Scotland, an acquaintance and I together with our husbands found ourselves attending a Presbyterian church service on a Scottish Island one Sabbath evening.
We quickly made our way to the first pew available and took our seats. In those days, there was pin drop silence in these Churches before the start of a church service. Within minutes of sitting down…. I heard the acquaintance whisper to her husband ” They have stolen this from us!!!” I was quite taken aback by her statement and was anxious to know what she was referring to!!!! I was afraid that the locals might hear her and chuck us out!!!
She was pointing to an image of the burning bush on the front cover of the Scottish Psalter! I couldn’t believe my eyes!!! Hang on a minute….How can you steal the burning bush??? The burning bush is the emblem used by almost all Presbyterian Churches worldwide.
It is usually accompanied by the Latin words “Nec Tamen Consumebatur” which means the bush was not consumed. The bush referred to here is the one that Moses encountered in the book of Exodus Chapter 3 verse 2.
My acquaintance is the daughter of a Church of Scotland Minister (deceased) and Wife of an elder! You would think that she would have known better. What saddened me most was that when we go to another Church we are very quick to find fault or in this case accuse them of theft!!!!
The Mhinisteir has turned into a Safeguarding advocate. Like most people, he used to wonder if the Church of England was beginning to get a little too obsessed with Safeguarding.
We have had to face a few safeguarding issues here in our neck of the woods and it is only now that our eyes have been open. Thankfully nothing happened but It is quite astonishing as an ordinary person to see how slack the Church appears to be.
My feeling is that all these talk about Safeguarding is really to protect the instituition rather than the victims. A letterin the latest Church Times seems to sum up my feelings.
We had a powercut yesterday morming. Instead of panicking I was rejoicing because that meant that the Mhinisteir couldn’t do ANYTHING! Wonderful I thought as the Mhinisteir has been overworking and I am very cross!
I also got reminded of the umpteen powercuts that we used to get in the Highlands of Scotland especially during the winter months. The hot water flasks will get filled and we would just sit around until it was over. Sometimes it would go on for more than 48 hours but you just learnt to adapt! In some ways, it was exciting.
I am not sure that I am coping well with the heatwave. In Scotland, I used to pine for a little bit of the hot weather that they always enjoyed in England.
Now that I am in England, I can’t cope with these sweltering heat. We are just not suited for this kind of weather. The whole house feels like a furnace. It is exhausting!!
Back in the Scottish Highlands, I used to patiently wait for a week or so for my shop bought bananas to ripen but here they get all brown and ugly within two days. What a world of extremes we live in!!!!
Until I moved to England, I was not familiar with the term Churchwardens. Back in Scotland, under the Presbyterian system, we had Deacons and Elders.
These are some of the observations that I have made of Churchwardens. I was prompted to write this blogpost after seeing Dave Walker’scartoon in the latest Church Times.
1. Unhealthy obsession with Church building. They like to say “it’s their Church!!” but absolutely no interest in spiritual things. In fact, they don’t attend Sunday services regularly!
2. Never available. Work, holidays etc.
3. Do not want to give up their position.
4. They can “never” find a deputy when they go on holiday and even insist that funerals be rearranged!
5. Have absolutely no clue of their responsibilities.
6. Everybody in the Church is afraid of the Church Wardens!!!
7. Not uncommon to find a Husband and Wife team = more control!!
8. Do not have the Church’s interest at heart.
Saturday marked the 50th Anniversary of the first moon landing. Most people of my generation will know the name of Neil Armstrong. I imagine it to be a favourite question in pub quizzes. Last week on Radio 4, there were countless programmes to mark the 50th Anniversary. Why?
Mankind or should I say humankind in this politically correct world have no regard for the God who created the Sun, Moon and Stars. Why acknowledge the moon landing when we so blatantly ignore the creator of the moon?
I find it strange that we have trouble believing that Christ rose again from the dead but have no problem in believing that Man did go to the moon.
“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” – Romans 7:24
A few weeks ago, I was desperately looking to buy a birthday cake online. I would have loved to bake my own but it is just not possible at the moment. I didn’t have too much time before the big day and so I was beginning to panic as I just wasn’t making any headway.
Just before my desperation turned to despair, I found an online cake shop.
I was a little skeptical as the reviews were mixed. By faith, I bought the Large chocolate cake
I paid about £29.00 for the cake, candles and for the cake to be gift wrapped. Free standard delivery for orders over £27.50.
The cake arrived on time for the Sunday as I was going to take it to Church for the after Church tea fellowship.
The cake went down a treat that Sunday. People were commenting on how moist and yummy it was! There was not a crumb left.
Oh I forgot to mention, it was the Mhinisteir’s birthday!!!
The only criticism I have is that Customer service could have been better when responding to queries.
Disclaimer: I am not paid by sponge.co.uk promote them.
On our way back from the Petertide Ordination, we had to have an overnight stay at Travelodge. Travelodge wasn’t my preferred choice but that was the only option available. After that stay, I have come a Travelodge convert!!!
Once we arrived in our room, I crashed into bed while the Mhinisteir catched up on the day’s news. We do not own a television in the Vicarage so It took the Mhinisteir quite a while to find the BBC NEWS Channel. By the way, It is by choice that we do not have a television. We also do not have any of the subscription channels like Netflix, AmazonPrime etc.
One of the main news headlines for that evening was the appearance of Sir David Attenborough at Glastonbury. I know Glastonbury is a music festival but nothing more. But what was Attenborough doing there? Didn’t know him to be a musician. Curiosity got the better of me and so I decided to sit up in bed and watch the news clip.
Sir David Attenborough was in Glastonbury to talk about climate change. He received such a warm welcome from the festival goers who were mostly young. A few were interviewed by BBC News and they all said that they found him so inspiring and that they had so much respect for him. Really? In this day and age when we have become youth obsessed??
Unfortunately, Churches are guilty of youth obsession too. EVERYTHING has to be centred around the young so much so that we have started singing action songs in some of our Churches! The mantra is that the youth are our future!!! Vicars need to have cute boyish looks and chiselled jaws in order to attract the young heathens.
If this is really the case why was Attenborough so well received in Glastonbury? He certainly looked his age with his shrivelled skin and a head full of silver hair.
It was his message that was attractive! We too in the Church have an attractive message. THE GOSPEL!!! Sadly, we no longer find it attractive ourselves and have started to idol worship the young.
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me” – Exodus 20:3
Recently, the Mhinisteir was in conversation with a fellow colleague. They were both due to participate in a special service elsewhere in a few weeks time. The Mhinisteir asked the other Vicar which Ecclessiastical robe he should be using to which the other Vicar replied ” Mhinisteir, I don’t know the proper names for these robes!!! It is the long black skirt followed by the white mini nightie that you put on top “!!!! The other Vicar was of course referring to the Cassock and Surplice!!