What a week! Lockdown 2, the US election and goodness knows what else! There’s been a lot going on. Personally, I’m giving this week 5.5/10.
We had a very chilled Saturday. Like most of the country, we spent a lot of the afternoon waiting for the lockdown press conference to happen. I was less than impressed at how long it took to air and once it was over it took me so long to get to sleep because I couldn’t stop thinking about it all.
Sunday was quite a full day. We did our morning services and then had lunch out. We went over to Up Holland for our friend Jack’s licensing as he was made a missional priest in that area. It was a lovely service, full of hope and optimism. In the evening, I went to St Giles to support Nathan in his All Souls service. The church was candle lit and I let out an audible ‘wow’ as I walked in! It was very beautiful.
Monday’s focus was the new lockdown. From Thursday, we cannot have regular worship in church and on Sunday, we would have had our remembrance service which would also have been my colleague’s last service before her retirement. After a bit of a think we decided to do the service, exactly as we would have done it, on Wednesday afternoon instead of Sunday morning. This involved a fair bit of organising and communicating the change of plans to different people.
On Tuesday, we had training for new vicars. It happens about once a month and this time it was about growing leaders in our congregations. Afterwards, I nipped over to church to help train up four new foodbank volunteers. They seem like a great lot and I’m so grateful to have them on board, what with Sandra retiring at the end of the week! That evening, there was another zoom session, this one being a charity trustee meeting.
Wednesday was one long and tiring day! Foodbank in the morning was great. Our four new volunteers settled in quickly. The people at North Liverpool Foodbank office came to wish Sandra farewell and Gerry from St Giles arrived with their Harvest Festival collection (19 crates of food and toiletries- well done St Giles!)
We then packed away Foodbank and prepared the church for the service. Nathan was a huge help; he did all sorts like getting my robes from the car and bringing a box of cakes from Aintree.
By 1pm we were ready to go and we held our Remembrance service four days early. We finished by celebrating Sandra’s ministry with cake, prayer and several rounds of applause. She gifted the church a new nativity set which was very much admired by all. It was a very special service and I am delighted that we managed to do it before the lockdown on Thursday. A special thanks to Aintree Desserts who got the delicious cupcakes ready so we could have them early!
Yesterday I spent some time in church and verged at a funeral being taken by Helen from Christ Church. We also did a bit of filming for the assemblies to be sent out to local primary school in our area. After two really full days, I got home last night and was completely exhausted. I’m hoping that it’s general fatigue rather than long Covid, but either way, I am so tired and achey and I know that I overdid it this week! I had a slow get up today and all I’ve done so far is edit the video for Sunday (available here from Sunday morning), change the bed and write this blog. I’m going to clear my inbox and then clock off for the weekend.
The Weekly Star this time is Sandra, who has been a member of the Good Shepherd since the 1980s and has been a minister in the church for over 10 years. She has worked so hard, and I’m praying for a peaceful and fruitful retirement for her.
My Ministry Little Win is managing to keep good boundaries and not agree to take a funeral during my annual leave in a couple of weeks time. Part of me was thinking ‘well, we can’t go anywhere so I may as well take the funeral’. But then, I had a word with myself and instead, we’ve negotiated that the funeral will take place on the Monday when I get back.
That’s it from me this week, more next time.