Pilgrimpace's Blog


food for the journey 2
August 29, 2017, 5:29 pm
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I recently posted about the daily Henri Nouwen email.

Cris has commented, reminding me that you can also get a daily meditation from Richard Rohr

https://cac.org/sign-up/

What feeds you on your journey?

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the best place

​It has been wonderful recently to spend time with groups of estate clergy from around the country (reflection on this will come soon). 

I was at Belle Isle yesterday with the Estate Group from West Yorkshire. It was great to hear everyone suggesting they have the best parish in the Church and the best job.

Walking home from the station, my friend the Heron reminded me strongly that I do.

Love and prayers



life in a hidden light

There is a very beautiful little film here of my friends the Carmelite Sisters at Wolverhampton.

Click here

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blessed are – beatitudes litany

A Beatitudes Litany that was formed by Tim Watson listening to Birmingham Estate Church Practitioners talking at our recent residential

Blessed are the misunderstood

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those who live with question marks over their existence

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those whose congregations swell by one fifth when a new family arrives

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those who see new families arrive just as the service is beginning and leave just as coffee is being announced

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those who are working at capacity

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those whose congregations are vulnerable and can do no more

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those who find themselves fishing in a declining pool

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those facing tricky handover situations

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those who ask, “where is my calling?”

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are the people who put the bins out

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are the people in need of a new roof

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those who ask, “What is God’s heart for this area?”

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those who come into church, bringing life, making nice banners, but not doing the core things

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those who think, “It would just be nice to have a team”

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are the people feeling called to estates ministry

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are the ministers who recognize that they are the “other” in their contexts

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those who don’t have all the answers

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those whose churches are filled with more vulnerability than capacity

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those who make a feature of the pipe work in the gent’s toilets and buy purple standard lamps

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those who create beauty where not much beauty is seen – or –Blessed are those who uncover beauty where much beauty remains hidden

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those who see generosity and abundance over scarcity

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are the ministers who need reminding, “you’re not alone”

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those who look at the community for what gifts and skills are already present

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those who earnestly ask, “how do we love this place?”

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those trying to work in a blurry way

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those who will not keep reinventing the wheel

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are the churches who decided to stay put when their 1960s building was burnt down

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those who struggle to recognise their own gifts

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those who ask “how can we do effective Christian presencing?”

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those who dance with their daughters at the civic hall

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those who minister at the micro-breweries and snooker clubs

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are the church members who leave their seats to go and sit with visitors

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are the ministers who know that this act was the best thing about Sunday

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those who deliver Fray Bentos pies to Food Banks

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those tired of hearing the word, “capacity”

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those who long for Diocesan officials to come and wander around the parish for a day; visiting the local cafes, listening to the local community

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are the Diocesan officials who do just that

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those who recognise the importance of humility

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those who are a covenant to the people

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those who need to stop

For theirs is the kingdom of God

Blessed are those in need of refreshing

For theirs is the kingdom of God



being there

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back from a very good Birmingham Estate Clergy Residential with twenty colleagues who I completely respect.  The excellent Tim Watson listened to us carefully and led our worship.  He crafted this poem from our words.

Being There

Being there

Not just ticking the boxes

But asking,

“Will joy come in the morning?”

.

Owning the mission

Despite capacity

Knowing our communities

Are first to feel the effects

Of austerity policies

.

Embodying generosity

Willing to share skills

And live out extreme generosity



“Nothing is of any use to me now but the power of giving”

I’m reading Our Holy Ground: the Welsh Christian Experience by John Morgans and Peter Noble.  I really recommend this – it’s giving me great insight into Wales, building on the walking I have done and that which awaits me (and the book increases this – I read about Llantwit Major and think, I could work out a route to take in that too …)

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This quote from Rhygyfarch lamenting the destruction wrought by the Normans speaks to me:

Nothing is of any use to me now but the power of giving: neither the law, nor learning, nor great fame, nor the deep-resounding glory of nobility, not honour formerly held, not riches, not wise teaching, not deeds nor arts, not reverence of God, not old age; none of these things retains its station, nor any power.  Now the labours of earlier days are despised; the people and the priest are despised by the word, heart and work of the Normans.

I can think of so many places now where similar laments are being sung and it seems such a time of sunset rather than sunrise.

And yet I am struck by the first line: Nothing is of any use to me now but the power of giving

I am privileged from time to time to spend some time with a group of people who have been profoundly broken and who are engaged in the long process of rebuilding and transforming their identities.  Recently a couple of them told me that everything happens for a reason.  When I asked what this meant, they said that the evil and terror they had suffered had led them into a wonderful community and their new selves.  We talked about the need, if it is possible, to make something positive of what we are given.

Nothing is of any use to me now but the power of giving

Again, I am drawn back to John of the Cross’s Saying:

Where there is no love

pour in love

and you will find love.

 



broken beauty

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I’m not sure who made this picture (I hope it is OK to use it).  This is a very beautiful thing to think about – especially in relation to small and fragile, but beautiful and strong, Churches in deprived neighbourhoods.  There is a lot about the Gospel in this.