Archive of entries
Jane Robson, previously a member of our church, is currently training for the ministry at Regent's Park College, Oxford, and is working with Kingswood Baptist Church, Watford. Keep up with Jane's news here.
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Sunday 29th January 2012
The pressures of the second year are beginning to tell. This should have been written on Friday to keep up my practice of a weekly blog. But, as they say, better late than never! My excuse has to be, I think, the fact that I have been recovering from the sleep-out I took part in just over a week ago. ‘Sleep’ being the operative word. Although I was ‘snug as a bug’ in my sleeping bag, had taken ear plugs to deaden some of the noise, I had forgotten that overhead bright fluorescent lights would bear down on us all night. (I need the dark to sleep). So, maybe an hour’s actual sleep was gained, but most importantly, a small idea of what it feels like to sleep out on the streets was gained – and over £110 was raised for Watford New Hope Trust...thank you. I wasn’t captured on camera, but the attached photos give an idea of where we were. (My bed space was down by the glass doors – opposite a flight of open concrete steps – and I looked a bit like the person sleeping in the other picture!)
The other big events of last week were the opportunity to preach at one of the local Anglican churches (St. Peters) as part of the pulpit swop to mark the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and my second school assembly. Both went well. I had to sit at the front of St. Peters; in one of the special seats – so I had to be on my best behaviour throughout! Processing in and out with the vicar was an experience too. And after my last visit to Kingsway Junior School, I had reinforcements in the hall this time: the Head stayed in to try and keep ‘order’. But the children still took a lively interest in what I did – and we even sang from my GB days “If you’re black or if you’re white” (with actions and unaccompanied!)
And just to prove that it’s not all work and no play, Brenda and I went to see “The War Horse” yesterday. We didn’t use quite as many tissues as we thought we might, but it was rather harrowing at times, and not a film we would rush to see again. But a film we enjoyed, nonetheless.
Friday 20th January 2012
I allowed myself the luxury of a lie in this morning to compensate for what I suspect will be a night without much sleep (if any) tonight. 60 of us are planning to ‘sleep rough’ for Watford New Hope Trust – so I’m not anticipating it being very quiet! At least we are promised breakfast at the YMCA at the end of it. Here’s hoping for eggs and bacon!
The week has been notable for attempts to make a visit at Watford General. Last Sunday I made the mistake of trying to get there at a time when Saracens were playing at home...Watford’s football ground which is in Vicarage Road which is...next to the hospital. The return journey to my house is 8 miles. After 15 miles of being held up and getting lost in the diversions round the area, I gave up and came home, one hour and 20 minutes later. I found it slightly amusing that in the morning I had been preaching on running the race with perseverance... However, I was taken back in the evening by someone who knew where they were going so that yesterday I was able to make my first ‘official’ hospital visit as a ‘lady of the cloth’ as I was called by one of the hospital staff!
Phew! And on top of that I had a meeting on Wednesday in nearby Radlett (beginning to get my bearings now) about ‘Safe to Grow’ and a pastoral supervisor’s visit yesterday evening when I led the church Bible Study. Time for a rest? I wish! I’m preaching at one of the local Anglican churches on Sunday as part of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and leading a school assembly next Wednesday. Back to work I think!
Friday 13th January 2012
“...let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” from Hebrews 12:1 is the motto for Kingswood Baptist Church this year as we, in Watford, along with many others are anticipating the arrival of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. (I am also one of those persevering with the web-site through which it will, eventually I hope, be possible to sell back some unwanted Paralympic tickets...I’m not holding my breath!) And ‘persevering’ seems to be an appropriate word at the moment, not just for church, but also for college!
I have just completed my fifth ‘0’ week at college. This time we were looking at ‘Conflict Transformation’. It was run by a Baptist minister who has trained on the Mennonite ‘Bridge Builders’ course and she was excellent. It was a very valuable week, full of very helpful and encouraging ways of dealing with conflict; not least of which was to remember that conflict is often a good thing...it’s a sign that people care, if nothing else! I have also helpfully discovered that I have an “affiliating/perfecting” approach to conflict management (to add to my ESTJ Myers-Briggs personality profile!!) Those of us with that style have as our motto, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” (No surprises there then!)
So, Baptist History essay now calls, as does our first assigned reading for our doctrine seminars this term:’Creation and Creaturely Beings’. Finishing on a much lighter note, our social at ‘The King’s Arms’ on Wednesday evening was a skittles night – and by some fluke I won. It was great fun and a good way of getting to know one another better. Remember me next Friday night...I’m sleeping out to raise money for Watford’s homeless – and the forecast says snow!!
Friday 6th January 2012
My first blog of 2012 and I nearly forgot all about it. It’s been a mixed week with holidays and work. Nothing that won’t do me some good I hasten to add! Kingswood benefitted from the fact that our nearest Baptist neighbours are in a pastoral vacancy and didn’t have a service on New Year’s Day. Our congregation of nine was increased by seven visitors from Leavesden Road Baptist Church. It was good to welcome in the new year sharing communion with our sisters and brothers. The other significant event of the week is that I have finally completed my first essay of my second year. Only another eight to go...
I welcomed the new year in on my own this year and enjoyed the fireworks from London (on TV) – but certainly missed not being with those who’ve met at number 74 for goodness-knows-how-many-years-now as the hostess was in New Zealand!
And church life is now back in full swing. We held a coffee morning on the Thursday between Christmas and New Year and were pleased to welcome about 20 folk. Between us we managed to raise £50 for church funds. Our fortnightly Bible Study is currently looking at “Big Themes in Colossians”; we met for the first time last night. Thankfully the stormy weather had subsided before we had to turn out. Toddler Group and the Evening Group will both start again on Tuesday and our Christmas tree is now waiting for me to prepare it for use in our Easter services!!