Monday morning, my time for looking ahead at the week to come, doing some planning, some preparation; a routine that will change soon when my new colleague arrives and Monday mornings will become a time to review the preceding week before planning. Looking back now at the week I've just had, God's work is astonishing. In a full week, here are some highlights:
Monday, a PCC meeting at which a growing church with an active PCC restructured its working style in order to work more efficiently, effectively, and most important, missionally.
Tuesday, the sustaining communion service moved to the nave and tested out bringing back a nave altar, long since out of use. It was good. So was a challenging and restorative session with a mentor whose sharp questions and insight I am really coming to value. Oh, and at the school governors meeting I gave notice of resigning as a school governor. Vacancy: chair of governors at a fantastic C of E primary - apply here.
Wednesday: a funeral with burial, and the sun shone, bringing warmth into a day that in other ways at other times and places (not to be described here) was cold. The warmth of a good friend who was there at just the moment I needed her brought the same quality of warmth. God's love flows through and touches the hurting places.
Thursday: Surviving chairing my first (and I hope last) school finance meeting and getting things done that were needed, I went on to a CMD day of outstanding quality with inspiring people- trainers and fellow learners. There is always more to learn, always scope to change. And then in the evening the deanery ascension service. Not nearly enough people came. Shame, because the telly watchers who stayed home missed an excellent sermon. It was pleasant to listen to a sermon instead of delivering it, especially a sermon of such quality.
Friday, in the midst of a busy day, lunch in a café I'd never been to before with a dear friend. I think we'll be back. And in the evening, a family meal with a much loved uncle and aunt. Talking too long and late, but with family who are dear friends too, you just can't keep track of time!
Saturday, a wedding long awaited between two very special people which brought joy to a whole community. 'Now thank we all our God' really was an appropriate choice as the last hymn.
Sunday, and the nave altar was back in use for a poignant early service saying farewell to a church member leaving the area after over fifty years. Goodness, we'll miss him. And then a lively main service with the new children's activity for small children appreciated and the presence of primary age children involved in helping with the interactive address, which made the service more accessible - a need we didn't have when I first arrived. Praise God! Then in the afternoon a baptism for a just-two year old whose happy babble as she imitated me at the front of the church was joyous. And finally the wonderfully creative youth fellowship doing brilliant theology yet again as they planned the main service for Trinity Sunday. It's going to be such a great service.
What a week of blessings. There was a lot of other stuff too, a great deal more, and it didn't all feel like a blessing by any means, but without question God was blessing, in the challenges, the stresses, the celebrations and the acheivements. May our God be blessed, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Still, I won't be ungrateful if this week is a bit quieter...