How to do Advent?

So many experiences come together at this season.  The  light decreases as we descend towards the year’s midwinter turning point.  The increasing frenzy of the retail season is hard to avoid as it seeks to draw us ever earlier into the whirl.   The church’s calendar invites us to prepare for the coming of God in […]

Busy weekend

It’s been a busy weekend on the diocesan front with a lay leadership event at All Saints Inveraray on Saturday, a pre-Christmas fair at Christ Church Lochgilphead and a ‘Reflection for Action’ session after the service at St John’s Cathedral in Oban.  No doubt other things were going on that I don’t happen to know […]

Heroes, sung and unsung

It’s interesting that the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Berlin wall coming down have almost coincided with Remembrance Day on this 100th anniversary year of World War One. About 18 months after the iron curtain crumbled, I visited Germany as the Scottish representative at a European Base Christian Communities gathering.  The meeting took place in […]

Harvest

Many of us have taken part in harvest festival services during October.   It’s no accident that the SEC Faith in Action committee’s topic for this month is ‘The Environment’.   For those of us not directly involved in ‘bringing in the sheaves’, the environment offers a huge range of themes for prayer and action at harvest-tide. […]

Teresa of Avila

Teresa of Avila, the 16th century saint, is remembered today.  It seems that she combined Mary and Martha in her life and spirituality.  She taught and wrote on prayer and contemplation and also founded a reform movement.  She is recorded as cleaning and scrubbing each new convent house she opened reminding her sisters that ‘the […]

‘Give to Caesar…

.. that which belongs to Caesar and to God that which belongs to God’.  Thus Jesus’ typically cryptic way of handling a trap set for him by the authorities.  It has sometimes been used to justify the separation of religion from politics.   The press and politicians can be quick to tell bishops to get back […]

Friends for the Road

Some time back, I recommended ‘The Heartbeat of God -Finding the Sacred in the Middle of Everything’ by Katharine Jefferts Schori the presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church in the US.  I picked it up again the other day and was moved by the chapter ‘ Called by Name’ which features the story of ‘Blind’ […]

Moving swiftly on?

The constitutional ferment continues.  Those who thought a referendum would settle matters once and for all (in whichever direction) find themselves in a very different world.  As many others have said, it’s brilliant that so many people – most of us! – got involved and that so many issues got talked about.  Personally I have […]

This week

However ‘it’ all turns out, I have found myself re-engaging with issues and trying to inform myself.  I’m not engaged in civic life locally or nationally and so I don’t have much right to moan about how things are run.   Some have complained about the lack of information but it depends where you look, what […]

Creative Passions

A bus enthusiast and the custodian of a 13th century church on Salisbury Plain – what do they have in common?  Sir Peter Hendry drives a 1962 routemaster one day a year to the abandoned village of Imber.  A mad idea that arose from a conversation in a pub, it’s now a charitable service licensed […]