Friday's primary school assembly was fun - told the story of Christmas using Bob Holman's interactive version, which included wolves howling!
The primary school is small so there may only be about 40 - 50 kids there but we all know each other and they're not afraid to ask questions. So they did! They asked loads abut the traditions of giving presents and where did Christmas trees fit in? You never know what questions children have but it's great interaction!
This morning I caught up with one of the office bearers. A few ideas were bounced around and we have a couple of ideas to follow up. And, this afternoon there was a pastoral visit in preparation for a funeral.
Now I'm finishing preparing worship for tomorrow and then ...
... decorate the Christmas tree - yeah! It's got to be finished by tomorrow morning when the manse heathen and I host the congregation, at Acharacle, to breakfast before worship.
lovely venue and we enjoyed the evening - carols, teas, coffees, hot chocolate, cakes and lots of chat. Many thanks to the distillery staff ( Sophie ) for making us to very welcome.
Thursday was a quiet day in that there were no events on! Desk time for admin and prep, and prep, and prep. I admit to a late night, watching election results coming in. There's a lot to reflect on in the results, but I do hope and pray that politicians now turn their attention to looking after the needs of the people they have been elected to look after.
This morning, I've been to the High School with the neighbouring minister ( we are both chaplains there ). In at the deep end, we had a conversation at assembly about religion and politics - of how Mary and Joseph were caught up in politics, had to have their child with no outside help, were on the run from the forces of evil, escaped a kind of genocide. And yet, God was able to work through it all and Jesus grew to be leader of a movement that focussed on justice and helping those in need. We then talked of how churches are still involved in working for those causes - of how local churches are this Christmas helping eg Lochaber Foodbank and Lochaber Hope. Church will always be involved in politics, with a small 'p'. We then wished the children a Happy Christmas.
I'm now off to be involved in an assembly at the local primary school.
On Monday I was up at Spean Bridge for a meeting about a joint project with the neighbouring presbytery. About three hours on the road in total for a meeting of 2 1/2 hours, so it was worthwhile.
Yesterday started with another meeting. The neighbouring minister and myself are joint chaplains of the High School and we take assemblies each term - what do you do for an assembly just before Christmas that is on the day immediately after a General Election ... Well, we're going to mix the two and hope that it works!
Pastoral visits after that and sitting in on Acharacle Community Council in the evening. Oh, don't tell anyone, but we went to the pub after that.
Today, I've done some baking for a carol service this evening and we hosted Acharacle nursery for Little Christmas. The nursery come into the church building where they hear the Christmas story, told with the help of lovely little wooden figures, and then they go into the chalet to draw and play for a little while. It's lovely. I'll add photos once I've taken a cake out of the oven - excuse me ...
When there's a lot on, it's difficult to sleep without waking regularly and wondering if all the jobs are done!
Today, there is Breakfast and Advent fun at Kilchoan, worship at Acharacle and the Peninsula Carols at Strontian this evening.
At previous Breakfasts we've had bingo in some format or another. This year we'll be giving it a miss: I struggle with Bingo!
The first year, I got it completely wrong and everyone had the same words on their sheet - last year someone else did it and all was well. How hard can it be!!! I have played Bingo before, admittedly it was a long time ago, and it's easy to find on-line ... but, good grief, the 'simple' things are hard sometimes. (I suspect there's a sermon in there somewhere, I must make a note.)
Anyway, perhaps I'll see you later?
Tuesday! Tuesday! Already!
Saturday morning at the Rotary Christmas Festival was fun. Chatting to adults and children is always interesting. After being 'dragged' around the stalls, the children like to have something just for them.
Saturday afternoon and evening were the continuation of prep for Sunday worship.
Sunday worship was at Acharacle first then down the peninsula to Kilchoan for worship there in the afternoon. It was communion Sunday, the first Sunday in Advent and the first Sunday in December. I'm never quite sure which definition means it is communion - first in December or first in Advent, I think it's December but it was easy this year!
On Monday morning I nipped out and picked up the manse mutt from kennels - she'd been there since I was away last week and wouldn't have had time for her over the weekend. Now she's home and asleep on the desk ( yes, really ) while I work.
Church lunches at Acharacle in the village hall and there was, as usual, a welcoming atmosphere, soup, bacon rolls, teas, coffees, biscuits and cake - thank you so much V for the wonderful Christmas cake!
Admin and prep for the rest of the day and today I'm off to Fort William for Presbytery this afternoon. There's a meeting of the village hall committee this evening and then bed.
Yesterday afternoon, we went off to Kilchoan in the mobile manse and stayed overnight. We = manse mutt and myself.
Good chats with various people and a lovely walk on the beach while being closely supervised by a nosey seal. Also did some reading and research for Sunday's sermon.
A month ago I was on holiday - and that seems like a long way back! Next week, I'm taking a couple of days off and away as that seems to be the only way to have a proper rest. I love being a minister but sometimes it empties you out. Next month will be busier.
What's been happening?
Aside from Sundays and the usual admin - a wedding, school and pastoral visits, Messy Church, coffee mornings, church lunches, session, presbytery, village hall, local development ad community council meetings, Remembrance and a special Time for Reflection.
Now it's planning for next month. There is absolutely no guarantee that there will be time for ay reflection but I'll try to put up a rough diary of what's been happening.
Meantime, I'll off to Kilchoan later today, in the camper van and with the manse mutt. I'll be taking the Posada (thanks to those who made the sheep!) and some Advent calendars into the Primary School so those items are ready for December.
Messy Church planning meeting this morning - getting ideas for Advent! Then a meeting about the future of the church building at Kilchoan. Promises to be an interesting day!