Wednesday 16 October 2013

Autumnal Ramblings

Autumn Rain by RayCrystal
It's classic British autumn outside: grey with heavy, but warm(-ish), drizzle; and it's far too long since I posted anything to this blog, so ...

It's not even as if there's been nothing I fancied blogging about. There've been reports about genes and free-will, all sorts of health-related issues in the news, and, of course, reports of various security perverts spying on us "for our own good". As if MI5 and GCHQ are at all trustworthy or even the least bit accountable to anyone, certainly not parliament.

Consider the SpyCatcher affair, when the British government sent its Cabinet Secretary, Robert Armstrong, to lie to the Australian courts, to cover up a faction inside MI5 working against Harold Wilson in the 70's, when he was prime minister. Then there's paedophile traitor Geoffrey Prime, whose day job was working at GCHQ, but whose hobby was using surveillance to identify young girls most likely to be home alone so he could attack them (in spite of being positively vetted six times, it wasn't GCHQ or MI5 who finally caught him, but the local police using traditional policing methods). There's a really good article on Adam Curtis's BBC blog about the history of MI5 here. Maybe US readers can reassure me that their NSA is more trustworthy and accountable?

In terms of my own church life, I am in the process of getting re-licensed as a lay reader, at St John's Church here in Caversham. Considering that we used to belong to St Johns several years ago, this seems like a bad idea - like a deadhead sticker on a Cadillac. Also, St John's remains the far side of Caversham from me, which is hardly helpful when it comes to local involvement. Nevertheless, I spent lots of time last year visiting local churches and St John's was where the wind of the spirit seemed to be blowing me, so that's where I've ended up.

As a part of the re-licensing process I've been doing some supervised preaching. This is quite challenging as Anglican sermons are VERY short compared to Baptist ones, but also an opportunity to be as creative as I can in presenting truth in a different way. For harvest, last Sunday, I took in Biblical-style flatbread - made that morning - so people got sight and smell and touch and taste, as well as the words.

Meanwhile we have a son who's in his final year at university - so he needs to work on job-hunting - and a daughter who is planning to go to uni next year, so we've been taking her on visits to open days in various parts of the country.

Life goes on, and remains a gift - even in soggy autumn.