Friday photo – another year, another garland

I am amazed every year at the creativity and commitment of those who grow and arrange these flowers to form the Cotehele garland. This year it is very bright and to me radiates hope. The flowers are largely the same every year but the way they are put together changes creating a different feel. It is now part of my Christmas celebrations, sitting in the hall, a log fire burning, looking and marvelling and being filled with wonder. Little rituals of rest and reflection among much of the busyness of Christmas nurtures me and connects me to the waiting dimension of advent.

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Friday photo – spot the kingfisher

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Trust me, there is a kingfisher in this picture, it is just so hard to spot! My 8x camera setting on my phone didn’t capture the beautiful colours and shape of a bird I lost spotted over six years ago. In a completely unexpected moment of joy we were having a coffee on a break from writing and I saw this amazing turquoise thing glistening in the sun, hovering above the water. I am always on the lookout for kingfishers when I am by some water but they are elusive. I wasn’t playing with my phone over my coffee I was looking out the window at the view and taking in its beauty, it is a bit of a lesson for me – and one of the reasons I post a photo each Friday, I want to engage in the discipline of noticing but am easily distracted by what’s in my head and what’s on my phone!

Friday photo – inspired by faith

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I saw this poster on Sunday at Woodbrooke. I like the beginning and the ending – I could think of lots of ways to respond to the idea of inspired by faith but this answer is one that came to me in my teenage years through engaging with church. What are you inspired by faith to do or be or think or create or….

Friday photo – contextual ministry

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Wednesday was one of my favourite days of the academic year when our third year students present aspects of their vision for ministry. I am really proud of all of them and was moved so much as I read what they wrote. I am choosing to share this picture, however, because it emphasises the way that we encourage students to make connections to their context. Roko is from Fiji and has taken a cultural metaphor to explore his understanding of ministry. He is a skilled reflective practitioner and his work demonstrates a creativity and depth of insight of where he has come from and where he is going.

CYM is full of students like Roko who are creative, gifted and who are becoming the type of minister, youth worker, chaplain, children’s and family worker (and more) that God created them to be. See www.cym.ac.uk for details of studying with us.

Friday photo – autumn prayers

 

Yesterday I presided at the lunchtime communion at the Children’s hospital – I am last reserve so only get to do it very occasionally!  As soon as I walked in these amazing pumpkin prayers caught my eye – what a wonderful way for the chaplaincy team of celebrating a cultural festival (I will not get into the what should Christians do about Halloween debate) in a child and young person friendly way. They looked good around the autumn coloured leaves prayer tree. Looking closer each strip had a different prayer or statement on. This was the work of our wonderful CYM student Jodie. I work with lots of creative people and am very blessed by the different ways we can make connections between our faith and everyday life.

Friday photo – long time no see!

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These are my wedding and engagement rings. I cannot remember how many years it is since I last managed to get them off my finger! Thank you Slimming World! If you look carefully you see that they are no longer round, they have been distorted through the years and taken on the shape of my fingers. Apart from the six months of my engagement I have worn both rings every day and they never did get taken off even when they did slide off relatively easily. I love my simple rings and don’t mind them being misshapen as that’s what life does, one person’s misshapen is another’s better fit, they are now clearly my rings – perfect for my fingers, no one else’s. I struggle to value my uniqueness some days but seeing these rings afresh helps to remind me.