Thank You for Your goodness, Ever Giving God,
for the goodness of this place and work,
for the goodness of one another,
for the goodness of all creation,
and even for our own goodness,
all of which is merely a part of Yours.
You volunteer Your Love to us, freely and without limit,
You volunteer to come among us as a human being in Jesus.
You volunteer to be wherever the pain is,
wherever people are poor, rejected, ignorant, and alone.
You volunteer to be on both sides of everything.
And You have taught us how resurrection happens.
We do not serve here because we think the Centre is perfect,
but because we know You are perfect.
We do not work here for any material gain,
but for the coming of the Reign of God in all hearts.
We volunteer our lives because You did it first:
You are the Great Outpouring God,
You are the Eternal Yes of Jesus,
You are the Abiding Presence of Spirit in all things.
We offer this prayer in thanksgiving
because You are first praying
in us, through us, and with us.
A prayer for volunteers Richard Rhor – seemed right to pray this at the end of a busy day at the project and I am sure we will use it often…
Friday, 27 November 2009
Sunday, 22 November 2009
Spending time with the very young is priceless and this one 3-year old was just more than special. Its that questioning time, when everything is why and just as you think all is well; there's another question. The question that really caught me off my guard was something that came while he was doing something else and quite out of the blue “where is grandma” the house went silent for a moment, then “she’s in heaven with Jesus”. The little boy replied “but I want her back” and that was all we heard from him. This lingered long with me, as adults we deal with loss and know what to say and when best to say nothing at all. There really is nothing wrong with saying “I want her back”.
Much later in the day, a stream of questions – “where is heaven, does grandma have a house there, who is Jesus” and “has he always lived there”. My answers were futile, try as I might they lead only to more questions; this young boy was searching me and my knowledge of the above – “do children go to heaven”; help! I felt inadequate and lacking in simple answers, I don’t usually have this difficulty when talking to teens and older folk; I guess they already have some preconceived ideas that I can work with, but this is a child – pure and simple. Jesus words regarding the teaching of children were firm and Matt 18
2He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Note to morning office: may I think before I teach and speak to the child inside.
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Quoits is a game I never got round to playing seriously, we used to lark about as kids and made our own pitch now and then; to others this was a very serious game and competition between village teams and individuals was keen. Older cousins and uncles would head out on an evening to a quoits match, this would usually involve a glass of beer or two and therefore attract us as spectators. The photo above is John White playing off against his son Andrew, Andrew turned out to be as good a player as his dad and beating him to the pin on a number of occasions. I am grateful to Ian McDonald of Grosmont and his pictures on Amber Online; these were taken in 1979.
There used to be a very special occasion, generally around this time of year. This was the Quoits handicap (Fr Pat Bluett trophy) a chance for any new comer to steal a prize. I remember my first time at the “Ugthorpe Quoits night”, apart from the players prizes there were the winners of the raffle, domino drive; why do I mention all that? Well first up to sing is the winner of the trophy (while the trophy itself is being filled up behind the bar); then come the other prize winners each with a song of their choosing. The trophy begins its trip round the room, each person drinking the health of the winner. Now I have to say I was only a mere 17-years (or was it 16) and I was on strict instructions from my dad to only wet my lips on the cup. Once all the prize winners had sung it fell on the last one to nominate the next singer; there was no escape. Dad would sing his favourite Irish song Mush, Mush, Mush tural-i-addy and as years went by and many more Quoits nights it became impossible for me to leave without singing “thee Dad’s song”. There was so much more than the strange metal ring thrown from one end of the pitch to the other, much more than the strange terms – Gater – Frenchman – Hill-up – Trig-man. This is a farming community, handing down skills in the field, in sport and socialising; looking back now, we learned a lot considering we didn’t play.
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
It was a long trek last week to Kent, another funeral and another mix of feelings.
My travelling companion was a indeed a Kentish maid, born in Bromley and now living in North Yorkshire. The long haul was lightened with my iPod. A while ago I discovered the shuffle mode (Wow)! having Gregorian Chant music followed by Classical then Pink Floyd and The Moody Blues. This did not seem to phase my companion as she sang along with the 60’s – 70’s Pop. I do wonder if we could be fitted with a Pause/ Fast forward/ Rewind button – now the Shuffle would be an interesting option; I can relate to that. Life is more shuffle than anything else but I think I like it that way… ?
Heading south on the A1 just past Grantham, we decided to find a service station for coffee and a rest. I knew I had just passed one and decided a smaller services would be just fine; particularly as I needed to stop soon! In the distance I could see a petrol station on the northbound side and then spotted a tall advertising tower on the opposite side; great, looks like this will do us. I began to slow down and not wanting to miss the slip road I began to indicate and pull off. Here we are I said, this will do…. What a surprise, I had turned off into what I could now see as “The Sexy Store” Perhaps not! I could not get back onto the A1 quick enough; but we did laugh (a lot).
The return journey was without event, lots of music (À la shuffle) such as Blue Guitar by Hayward/ Lodge. A tiring week but not without its smiles.