Thursday, 30 April 2009

Back to work

Well, after 9 and a half weeks, my hubbie and I finally went back to work tomorrow. As we'd been off for a while, we were offered a phased return to work on a part-time basis. We didn't look a gift horse in the mouth.

It's quite good to be back. I have been able to catch up with some people (though not many, we've only done 8 hours so far this week). Also, we need to get back into some sort of routine.

Everyone I've spoken to has been genuinely concerned about us. I've even had people I don't usually speak to asking how we were, what happened and how we managed. Oh, I don't deliberately not speak to them, honest!

One more step on the road back to normality. Whatever normality is!!!

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Getting hitched

This month, I've had the honour of being a guest at two weddings. One was a friend from my home church and the other my sister-in-law.

My church friend was married in church (no real surprises there!). The couple are both committed Christians, so it wasn't just my friend's choice to commit to her husband before God, her friends and family. In fact, knowing them, I'd imagine they wouldn't have really "felt" married if God wasn't part of their marriage commitment. It was a lovely service. My female minister does a very good service and is keen, if the couple wishes, for others to be involved in the service. My friend's sister read the bible lesson and her husband's Gran lead a prayer

My sister-in-law was married by the local registrar. Again, it was actually a nice ceremony, despite the more legal nature. The registrar really seemed to care about what he was saying, not just going though the motions. I was privileged to read a poem they had chosen. For my sister-in-law and her husband, they were committing themselves before their family and friends. In their time as a couple, they have been through a lot, with serious health and job worries, but have come out stronger than they went in.

I do not see either of these marriages being less valid than the other. Both couples have made a public declaration of their love, loyalty and commitment to each other. The type of ceremonies they chose reflected their beliefs.

Yet, I have encountered people who regard registrar (or worse, in their eyes, humanist weddings) as less valid than church weddings. Last Sunday, I was told by the wife of the locum minister (my ministers were on holiday) that my sister-in-law would be divorced within 2 years. I was completely appalled by that observation and obvious deep prejudice. This minister's wife told me my sister-in-law and her husband would not have properly committed to each other. "After all", she said, "a promise is a promise".

I didn't really get that argument. Surely if a promise is a promise, it doesn't matter where the promise was made? I asked her that and she was a little stumped and went on about her getting engaged (good argument, I could tell!!!). I told her about my mother- and father-in-law. They were married in a registry office and, if not for my father-in-law's death 3 years ago, would have been approaching 40 years of married. I think they kept their promise to each other.

Yes, the attitude I came across last week was only 1 woman's attitude, but how often does the church seem to portray that. Perhaps not from "on high", but from the folks on the ground. The people that the majority of the population take their stereotype of the church from. The very attitudes Jesus would have been appalled at and which stops people like my sister-in-law coming to find God.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Saint's everywhere.

I follow the Ongoing Adventures of ASBO Jesus. I haven't commented on any of the images here before, but this one really jumped out at me this morning:

How very true. Also, where will most people see saints? I know from personal experience there are many saints and angels working the checkouts of the world.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009


Last night, I was at bible study at my home church for the first time since the crash and my local review. The group are still exploring the Fruits of the Spirit and this week we were exploring gentleness. The bible passage we based the study on was 1st Thessalonians 2:1-12 (I tend to use the Good News bible, but Biblegateway doesn't have that translation, but that's just by-the-by).

I've missed a couple of studies as I haven't been out and about too much for 8 weeks. Anyway, the bible passage really spoke to me. Some parts felt as though they were speaking directly to me. Telling me I am doing God's work; I am called to spread the Good News. The parts of the passage that particularly spoke (I am quoting from Good News now) were:

"And even though there was much opposition, our God gave us courage to tell you the Good News that comes from him". I know, in context, that wasn't what Paul was getting at, but I felt that part of the passage was a sign to me that God has given me the courage to follow his call for me. No matter what opposition I encounter, he is always with me and will help me spread his Good News.

"Instead, we always speak as God wants us to, because he has judged us worthy to be entrusted with the Good News". Yes, he's entrusted me with the Good News. How wonderful and amazing it that? Also pretty scary - wasn't anyone else avaliable ;-)

Of all the bible studies I have ever been to, this was the one I needed. The passage gave me a reassurance. As I've blogged before, I know my call is the right path, but this passage felt as though God was giving that extra bit of reassurance and affirmation while I'm in limbo awaiting my next co-ordinated field assessment placement.

That said, I think the passage was also trying to tell me I need to be a little more gentle. Maybe that's what I need to learn in my next placement? Somehow, I think it might just be...

Friday, 17 April 2009

Post-crash blues

I keep (is that the correct phrase) another blog based on and around motorcycling. I've recently updated it with comments about the limitations both my hubbie and I have post-crash. If you want to read it see here.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Local review - update

Well, the answer is....

I've had my CFA extended by 6 months and I'm to do it at another church, with another co-ordinator. I must admit, I wasn't especially surprised nor disappointed. I felt with the time I'd lost out on between the CFA date being after 5 months rather than 6, due to starting my extended review late, my supervisor being off sick for 6 (or was it 7) weeks and then me being unavailable following the crash and operation, there was some things I hadn't covered and I hadn't had the opportunity to demonstrate I'd learnt from some experiences (especially the fall-out from January's fellowship meeting).

When my supervisor returned from being off sick, I had mentioned delaying the date of the local review, to take this into account. My supervisor didn't think that was necessary as he thought we'd covered most things. I also discussed delaying post crash and, again, he didn't think it was necessary. Well, looks like I hadn't covered everything. If I had, I wouldn't have thought I'd need an extension (maybe a rejection, but not extension!!!).

Okay, so if it really is my calling to be a minister of word and sacrament (which I firmly still feel called to), I won't be able to being training until next year at least. That said, I also think it will work out for the best. I have learnt from my first placement. I know I didn't look at myself, and my call, as much as I should have. I will be able to do so at my next placement.

God is with me. I really know that. In many ways I feel He's given me this opportunity because I am following His calling.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Happy Easter

These semiphore statues are in York Minister. The message says it all, since the first Easter. And not just in the minister, but throughout the world and with us all always, until the end of time. That's if you know semiphore...

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

No April Fool

My local review was this evening. I'm glad it's over with (and was after high noon). I think it went fairly well. I answered all the questions as openly and honestly as I could. Now, I just have to wait.

As I can't drive yet, my hubbie took me to the meeting. When I got in the car I was shaking a lot. Okay, it was a bit colder than it have been all day and I wasn't wearing a jacket, but it was all the nervous energy releasing from my system.

This morning my hubbie and I were at the physio. She was really impressed with our progress. Well, we're both stuborn and have been doing what we were told (which, in some respects, is unusual for us). Just before we left, though, my hubbie managed to get one over a senior physio. He didn't do it for an April fool, but he hadn't met this one:

Hubbie: "So, will I be able to play the piano?"
Physio: "Yes, I don't see why not. In fact, it would be great exercise for you."
Hubbie: "That's amazing that is. I've never been able to play the piano".
You should have seen the expression on the physio's face.