So I visited the local ‘anglo catholic’ Church of England church today for the first time as part of my homework. It certainly was an interesting experience. The wife and I checked out the church yesterday to look for service times and the main Sunday meeting was described as ‘solemn mass’. Given that we didn’t know what the solemnity would involve, we agreed that she and the baby would not come with me so I went alone.
So I’m here at New Wine serving on team for a week with most of our church and, since most of our church is here, the vicar called a small meeting this afternoon to discuss the new leadership structures that our church is hoping to initiate and asked me to come along since I’m on the DCC and PCC. I must admit that being named as a potential member of the leadership team caught me a bit on the hop and has left me even more confused about what God might be saying!
Well, I’ve just had my second DDO interview and I *think* it went well but to be honest, I came away feeling fairly fragile about the whole experience and I’m not entirely sure why. I think part of the reason is that she generally didn’t provide feedback on whether my answers were good, bad or awful and so it left me feeling insecure about my answers and whether they were good enough.
Prayers from Common Worship.
O God, who brought us to birth, and in whose arms we die, in our grief and shock contain and comfort us; embrace us with your love, give us hope in our confusion and grace to let go into new life; through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Gracious God, surround us and all who mourn this day with your continuing compassion. Do not let grief overwhelm your children, or turn them against you. When grief seems never-ending, take them one step at a time along your road of death and resurrection in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A prayer from Christ Church, Highbury published on the Diocese of London website.
O Saviour Christ, in whom there is neither Jew nor Greek, east nor west, black nor white, we pray for all, of whatever nation, who are suffering after todayâ€™s explosions. We pray especially for those least able to receive human help and for those who are anxious about lost relatives or friends. We ask that through your ministry of love and life, wounds of body and spirit may be healed and that in You people will find peace with God and peace with one another, for your truth and mercyâ€™s sake, Amen.
More prayers and material for reflection
- Psalm 46… God is our refuge and strength
- A Service of Lament from New Patterns for Worship… Lighten our darkness, Lord, we pray
- A prayer for the Leaders of the Nations from Invitationtoprayer.org… wisdom, courage and insight at this time of darkness and fear
- A prayer from LICC, Connecting with Culture… God of all, so much has happened
- Prayer from Simon Says… in the face of terror, we seek your mercy
The London atrocities are deeply saddening today. The contrast with yesterday when I was jumping around and hugging a stranger in Trafalgar Square could not be greater. Whereas yesterday I couldn’t help but smile, the events of this morning certainly took the smile from my face. I take comfort in the knowledge that the God of yesterday when Jacques Rogge announced the result of the Olympic bid process and London had one of its happiest days in a long time is still the God of today and He will be the God of tomorrow.
Ahead of my next DDO interview on Monday, I have completed my life map… my homework from last time. I had to draw out a wavy line on which (on one side) I wrote significant events in my life and (on the other side of the line) how my understanding of God was developing and changing along the way. It proved to be a really interesting exercise. I found myself half trying to cover bases in terms of my understanding of God… have I got in ‘Father’ yet or ‘Provider’… and half trying to think about what the significant events actually were!
It’s been about two weeks since it was announced that John Sentamu will be the next Archbishop of York. With all the debate about the ACC and the sheer work involved in getting this blog up and running, I’ve not had a chance to comment before now. I must admit that his name was not one I had heard so it came as something of a surprise to me, albeit a pleasant one!