Thursday, 24 February 2011

The strangeness of silence

Drop thy still dews of quietness
Til all our strivings cease
Speak through the earthquake wind and fire
Oh still small voice of peace.

Quiet day in college yesterday. Some observations- we walk more slowly to church when not chatting with friends.
We eat our meals much more quickly when not distracted by chatting to friends ( but those reading and eating ate more slowly!)
Quiet days in college are not the same as a silent retreat. Its very hard to not talk to your spouse in your flat when they are not part of the college experience and are feeling pretty depressed anyway. Whereas last time I remained in silence from 7am to 7pm even when in the flat but yesterday I only maintained it in college and then went out for a walk and time of reflection in the afternoon.
Apart from wuiet day the last weekend was half term and we spent saturday out with daughter, son in law and children at a motor museum. Lovely day together. then on Sunday my son came to stay and we had a lovely couple of days catching up. I had been worried about his situation with his father but he seems happy and enjoying his 6th form. He has plans for uni and is doing well with his AS's so I have to keep praying for his dad to provide a stable homelife for him.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

life at theological college

Well its over a week since I last posted. Had hoped to get my next essay well on the way by now but somehow life got in the way- again!
The last two weeks I was on church sacristan duty.The involved making sure the church was open by 9am and then being in the church half an hour before any service to make sure all was in order- hymn numbers on the board, books out etc. On the days we had Eucharist I had to be there earlier to set up for the service make sure the group on cleaning knew what they were doing and os it went on. I really enjoyed my duties but found it ate into my time quite a lot.
Had a lovely day out with K on Saturday. We visited a church which advertised snowdrop teas. the graveyard was awash with snowdrops and aconites and the ladies of the church served coffee and cake out in the churchyard. the church itself was 1000 year old beautiful small church in the middle of what felt like nowhere. I loved the way the community was using God's wonderful nature to draw people in. Then the Vicar was there along with other church members chatting to those who visited. There seemed to be well over 100 people there.
Looks like my summer placement is coming together. I feel called to rural ministry and so I had asked for an isolated rural placement. It was suggested that Northumberland or Cumbria might be a possibility but after some discussion and contact with a few incumbents it has finally been decided that I will return to Derbyshire to do my placement. now its been decided I'm feeling really excited. More to come later.
In the meantime I'm still enjoying my midweek placement and my Sunday placement. each are giving me new insights to the life I can look forward to in the future.
now its time to try and get a decent early night.

Monday, 7 February 2011

It's done!

I've finished my second essay. Thats 14000 words since the second week of December. I've now got another 14000 to do before easter. I love this life and I enjoy writing essays when I get down to them but there's so much that gets in the way- so much else I'd rather be doing. Last week I was assistant church sacristan and this week I'm duty sacristan in church. I really enjoyed learning more about the behind the scenes of church life- lighting the sanctuary light, what to do when a carafe of wine gets broken by a falling cross etc! All great learning experiences.
At the same time I became aware last week how much I am missing solitude. Life in community is fun, upbuilding frustrating etc but I used to gain so much from an afternoon out on my own just walking and talking to God and some how that doesn't happen now. Usually if I go out walking in the afternoon its with K and thats important too as I need to work on our relationship while we are in this gold fish bowl. Of course I'm spending time with God praying in community and on my own but the 10 minutes I had on my own walking from lectures back to the car last week in Oxford was so refreshing. I'd forgotten what it was like just to be with God.
Note to self find some me time soon!