Friday, 19 October 2012

Chance Encounters

Yesterday seems to have been full of chance encounters.

On my journey into London yesterday morning on the train I was entertained by two children who were bored on their 5 hour train that ride that didn’t even finish at Legoland! (they had another train and a bus to go!)

Then on the walk to meeting building from train station I smiled at someone who looked like Jude Simpson – an author and poet who’s been at Greenbelt at some point in the past.

After lunch and presentation, I popped up to almost the top floor for a planned nice chat with boyfriend’s best friend. Which was very lovely but planned so not actually a chance encounter..

Then a quick unexpected chat with a friend and ex-colleague also on that floor, who I thought was out of the building that day, so it was a nice surprise she was there.

Next a visit to someone’s desk who wasn’t there, but is someone I want to meet at some point – the one encounter I’d hope would happen and didn’t – though wasn’t planned so it wasn’t her fault she wasn’t in today.

Just as I was about to leave the building I randomly bumped into an old 'Aunty', it was very nice to have a quick hello and find out about life.

On the walk about the station I have a lovely positive but short conversation with someone from the meeting  who was passing me on his bike, who really put my mind at ease about the presentation that I had done.

Because of all those encounters – chance or otherwise I arrived at the station about 2 minutes before they announced the platform, but then got stuck behind slow people dragging suitcases, however, I still able to get a table – which is where I was when I did the first draft of this blog!

Then after that – and I promise this is the last ‘then’ - I popped to the shop on the train and saw a friend who I’d not seen in quite a while – another exciting chance encounter

One of the many things Chick (Yuill from LICC who we have been working with at work) has said in all of the many Imagine meetings is that when we meet someone with leave something, (like our DNA) every contact is traceable. That’s what CSI is all about. So whether it's a chance encounter with someone that makes it all ok again, a smile with a stranger who looks like a poet, or a planned ‘coffee’ with a friend, they all make up our days, our time and therefore the things that make our lives, and make us who we are.

So I hope as we go, we share a word of encouragement, a smile or a coffee, as every interaction can make a day. 

Monday, 15 October 2012

Don't worry, be grateful

I preached (badly) on Sunday night and said sometimes if feels like the world is a dark place – going on to talk about Jesus being the light of the world. I talked about not wanting clich├ęs (but I’ve already blogged about that). Then tonight a house group we were talking about how we use our skills, time, and talents as well as money. The conversation moved on from what we plan to what we worry about, as well as sharing and praying through some of the concerns of our church family.

This weekend I was at a MWiB Millennium Development Goals (MDG) day – Hope for Creation. We learnt about the issues surrounding climate change, and challenged in our selfishness, and our understanding of what we deserve and want and what we need. It is also incredible to be part of a movement that prays and stands and sings out against oppression, in solidarity with others and to show their love for one another, God and the World.

I got to spend the weekend with Brother – as he lives near the venue for the MDG day, it was the usual fun of pizza, Big Bang Theory, essays and church. The latter of which was harvest, and there was a table of need, where we remembered that others don’t have spare tins to give away – or clean water. I was a bit uncomfortable as there was no mention of farmers in the UK until the prayers near the end. Maybe I am rural now!

All of these together have made me realise how grateful I should be. Life can be hard, but right now life is ok! We can often look around and see people worse off than us. My house is a bit messy, not so messy that it needs a whole day on it, just at the stage that my Mum would say “little bit little bit little bit gets it done.” Things aren’t so bad that they can’t be fixed. I want to search out for the God things in life, but right now I need to do the washing up, cos that is a small part of the world I can make a better place. And (soppy note) I do love my housemate and it’s always worth making him happy by doing the washing up.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Dead Good

This blog has spoilers from last week’s Doctor Who and the first episode of Hunted, and maybe Jesus Christ Superstar – if you don’t know the story of Holy Week.

I’ve been thinking recently about death. I’m not trying to be morbid I’m just thinking Is there such a thing as a good death?

I sometimes get emails that are titled ‘sad news’ these are often from the district office telling of a Superhuman who has died. And this week I got an email from the circuit local preachers secretary saying we had lost one of our own.

There seems to be a lot of death at the moment. My life often goes in waves, there’s a few months where everyone gets engaged, then we have months of weddings, or everyone we know is pregnant – they aren't but it feels like it. But right now it seems to be there is a lot of death around.

Boyfriend and I watched the first episode of Hunted yesterday on iPlayer. It’s a show where a lot of people were shot, but the most significant death was that of the unborn child when the mother ( the main character) was shot in the stomach. She then goes on to be undercover pretending to be an American whose husband and son died and is now teaching a young boy whose mother committed suicide last year. The conversation with the father was an obvious pointing out to the phrase ‘I lost my wife’ going on to say something along the lines of ‘well that’s silly, she died’

On a side note it was rather exciting as that scene was filmed at the boat house in Regents Park where boyfriend, his best friend and I had hired a pedalo the day before. (Obviously the day before we watched it, not the day before they filmed it).

Doctor Who last week – which again I watched via the internet after the event - was yet again all about death. Most episodes with Rory in seem to though! After watching Rory die in a life that had been all on his own it was great to see Rory and Amy’s name on the same tome stone dying at an old age. For The Doctor they have died, but actually we know they have lived a long life together.

Death is sad as it takes out the future, all the plans and dreams. So much in life is about second chances and re-sits, death shocks us as there is no going back. I've heard stories recently of people coming to terms with terminal illness, and have really felt at peace. How incredible.

Even the word dead we use to mean so many things – 'dead tired', 'dead on my feet' and 'like death warmed up' are all phrases we use when we are not our best. But 'dead happy' and 'dead on' both seem to make less sense, very happy, right on. Why use dead at all?

When I was told about the local preacher who had died the other person with us made some comment about him dying on his own terms, in his own house, not having to be in hospital, not losing his independence. A good death?

Last night Mum, Dad, Boyfriend and I went to see Jesus Christ Superstar. It was such an incredible production. Bringing the story right up to date, and with Tim Minchin, Chris Moyles and Mel C (who was always my favourite Spice Girl) all I can say is WHAT A SHOW! The one thing that bugged me was how it ends with death. I often joke that we can forgive in church as that is what our faith is all about, but maybe it’s more about death and life. And by that I mean life before death as well as after death. My faith has never been about a get out of hell free card, I’m not sure it would matter if there was no heaven or hell, and that living my life to the full in a way that enables others to live too is enough for me.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

What to blog

This is the second blog I’ve written about my weekend, but decided after writing 429 words in the previous one that I wasn’t happy with it so here is Mark II.

I spent this weekend with 35 other members of the Methodist Women in Britain (MWiB) Connexional Forum.  The forum is made up of a rep from every District, the five executive members (Pres, VP, communications, finance and recourses and Area pres), a representative from Women’s World Day of Prayer (for England and Wales – apparently Scotland is different) and - as of Sunday when we changed the constitution the Helen Kim Memorial Scholar – me! I’ve been going to the previous forums as a non-voting member.

There was much business to be done and if you would like to know about that then please ask and I can let you know, but I’m not going to focus on that. However a piece of business that I was looking forward to was the social media policy – and when this was agreed it meant I was allowed to tweet during the sessions.

As well as business the important part of our time together is that of worship.  We started and ended our time together with worship – well that's not totally true, it was lunch, but you know. The theme of all opening and closing worship as well as evening (which I led) and morning prayers was ‘When words are not enough’

My original blog went into detail about how this was done, but I hope you understand why I have taken this out. There is something about being a part of forum, a powerful group of women who are all very different from all across the Methodist Church in Great Britain. This was our fourth meeting and despite there being some substitutes and new faces we are still bonded as a group. So even if I had their permission to share the stories here I don’t think I would want to, as its special. The time together, the care for each other. We laugh and we cry together.

I would always hope that worship is about sharing our lives with each other as well as with God. In that time and in that place. So I probably could tell you of the garden shown one morning, but it wouldn’t mean as much as you don’t know the gardener.

I usually write about my story, but I don’t think there is just a my story. My life is so intertwined with others.  Even more so with technology now a days. Writing this is finding a balance between sharing who I am, and not sharing too much of others.

I will however tell you about the final song we sung  (496 from singing the faith) which I fell in love with the chorus –
“All around us we have known you,
All creation lives to hold you.
In our living and our dying
We are bring you to birth”
Bernadette Farrell (b.1957)

So I join with the other women of the movement, as we join with the rest of our church, are other Christian sisters and brothers across the world and with all creation to live to hold God.

To check out what the President said about the weekend find her blog here Saturday and Sunday