Photo credits

The Embalse de Riano in northern Spain. The picture was taken by .... me!

Tuesday, August 2

The creed

I like this creed in latin gregorian chant.

But do I believe it?

I do, but probably not as originally intended.

... one holy catholic and apostolic church ...Well I think that is intended to mean the Roman Catholic (one excluding the others), and I feel Rome has lost the plot in key areas over the centuries. (One man's tradition being another man's chinese whispers)

... Filioque... I do believe this, but it's addition without the consent of the Orthodox churches casued the great schism, and it's not sufficiently important to impose its addition. I'd rather keep the Orthodox on board.

... One baptism ... yes, but not infant baptism - rather I believe in the baptism described in the Bible where people were baptised after coming to faith (yes, if you read the story of the Philipian jailor to the end they all believed, ie they were all old enough to believe, hence they were baptised. The story tells you there were no infants.)

... and not the sprinkle they have in mind either. It's immersion. Perferably in a flowig river.

... for the remission of sins... no. Baptims is a sign of our faith and more but not for the remission of sins, but the rituals we do don't proide remission from sins: it is faith in Christ's death on our behalf that takes hold of the free remission for sins that he offers.

And then there's the communion of saints. Evangelicals like me say this happily meaning that we (the living believers who are all saints) are a big happy christian family together. But I don't think that's what it means. What it was intended to mean is the surrounding presence of certain deceased individuals elevated by the institution to a non-biblical special status equivalent to that of a minor deity in a pagan pantheon, able to omnipresently hear prayers from all over the world and answer them when God is too busy, especially if you have a macabre bit of his/her body or failing that a picture or idol (I mean statue) with you. This breaches the first comandment.

What I am saying is this:

1) we rattle off the creed without thinking about it
2) It's not such a uniting document as was intended and really is quite specifically Roman Catholic.
3) I don't believe key parts of it (unless I twist its intended meaning which is how I get by each Sunday), but I am still fully confident that I am a true Christian.

Still called?

I still feel a call to the ministry.

THis is not because I am suddenly feeling better having found a church to stay in, where I am not just an exile and a refugee, where I am not in a darkmplace making the best of it. the sense of call has never left me.

The only real obstacle is my finances. And, as per previous post, I don't see how this will ever be sorted.

After our recent sticky spot in our marriage, Mrs said she was not sure of my call. Am I?

It's what I dream of. I feel inferior as an engineer - there are so many younger men (and women) who are so much better. But as a priest, I would totally fail at politics and diplomacy, strategy and vision, and remembering people's names and ailments form one week to the next. ther's more to the ministry than doing a good sermon.

And even then - my trouble in engineering is in not being thorough enough. And this error can easily be transferred to theology, with serious consequences. I already regret some of the positions I have held passionately in the past, well meant but hurtful.

So please pray, that if I am genuinely called, the money may be sorted out soon so that I can send my application in.

two down, four to go

Cleared another debt last night. That's the two smallest gone. Four more to go, but these are the big ones and it's hard to see how they will ever be paid.

Monday, August 1

Cat stories

  1. I spread the marmalade on my toast. Saw a bit of orange jelly spilled on the worktop. What? Marmalade going to waste? Scooped it up and put it in my mouth. AAARRRGGGHHH! Jelly from the cat food!!!!!!! Spit, spit spit! Groan, spit spit spit!

  2. Tried to shut the back door. Wouldn't go. Pushed harder. Felt like something soft blocking it, like a cushion. Looked down. Cat half in and half out, the harder I pushed the less it could get away. Woops. Well it could have miaowed or something! Its still not talking to me.

Church again

We went to that church again this Sunday.

I'll call it St P's.

It was very different to last week.

Mostly different people, nearly all well into their Saga holdiay eligibility, if you now what I mean.

The service was led by the LOM (locally ordained minister - ie a fully ordained minister supporting the Vicar like a curate but permanent), and the sermon was given by a Reader who I receognised. The service was much more liturgical than I am used to. The 'learning difficulties' group was absent. The hymns were not so modern. The minister and reader were both robed - the reader in an Alb. It was a communion service, said not sung, but was more high church tha I am used to, with water being mingled with the wine and the priest finishing the leftovers, but just supermarket sliced-white rather than wafers. The altar rail is arranged as a hexagon around the wooden table altar.

The Readers sermon was deadly dull, though it contained some good material and soundly explained the way of salvation in a way most satisfactory to an evangelical like me, though I was not expecting him to be that way inclined.

Basically, had this been our first visit, we would probably not have stayed.

But it was good. We had already been convinced that this was our calling.

Our toddler was still allowed to roam at the back, and her voice was just one among the general sussurus of children. except hers was the one that stood out when she announced 'I want a biscuit".

Afterwards the minister took a log time to talk to me, and will probably pop round to the hosue for a visit fairly soon. (panic - better get the hoover and the paintbrush out)

I also spoke to the Reader, who vaguely recognised me, and seemed warm to the idea of me joining the Readers team in due course.

During the peace, with it being a fairly small congregation, everybody spoke to everybody, and they amde ad eliberate attempt to speak to us as well. So we felt very welcomed, much more so than in the church in the next town.

So its looking good!