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 April 2012
This week I attended a session of ‘Safeguarding Children’ training on Saturday at a church in the middle of Watford. About 30 from across the Central Baptist Association spent the morning together learning and re-learning good practice. I also learnt that Watford ring road on a football match day is a car-park! It took me an hour to get home...I know I could have walked the distance in 3/4 hour! (I would have cycled but the deacon who came with me wouldn’t have fitted in my panier!) So, Wednesday was my day off this last week. And lunch with two friends definitely brightened the day which until then had consisted of spending lots of money at the hygienist and at the opticians. My optician very kindly explained that I needed a new prescription as I was now 18 months “more experienced”...huh!
This morning I was the welcome ‘team’ at church...and standing in the porch sheltering from the wind and rain, I didn’t hold out much hope for a sizeable congregation. But, I shouldn’t have been so pessimistic. There were 12 of us gathered for worship...I was very encouraged! And then I rushed over to my cousins near Cambridge for lunch with them and with mum and dad. Roger’s chicken in honey and almonds (and in a whole load of other things) was delicious. Now Greek beckons for college tomorrow...and I’m looking forward to attending the Baptist Assembly next weekend.
Sunday 22nd April 2012
What a good three days we had at college last week. We were led in some very helpful sessions looking at “Youth and Children’s Work”. In particular the introduction to ‘Messy Church’ and ‘Godly Play’ were very stimulating. They certainly gave me lots of ideas for possible ways of working at church and in schools.
The high-light of the week though has to be the completion of the doctrine essay. On Wednesday morning I made my last alterations and tomorrow I hand it in! Hurrah! However, I now need to turn my attention to “For Barth, God is the subject, verb and object of revelation”...easy-peasy...I wish. There could be more ‘tears before bed-time’, I fear!
I took the bold step of going to my local Christian Book-shop on Saturday and ordered a complete Bible Commentary series. For the last 18 months I have been managing with a ‘hotch-potch’ of commentaries which I shall continue to refer to, but there are many gaps in the collection and some of the books are a bit out of date now. So, armed with sufficient funds in the necessary account I have ordered a CD-ROM of the ‘Interpretation’ series, although I shall miss not being able to sit back and admire a shelf-full (or two) of impressive books!
It could be an expensive week next week as well. The hygienist and optician await me on the same day; could be painful in all senses of the word! And tomorrow will have to be a day of fasting as I’ve forgotten to book in for meals at college. Bother.
Sunday 15th April 2012
A much quieter week this week – mainly because I have been away on my annual trip to Minehead for a week at Spring Harvest. Five of us stayed in the Baptist Holiday Flats on the sea-front making our way to Butlins each day with a ten-minute walk along the prom, usually in the sun-shine this year ‘m pleased to say! The theme was “Church Actually” and we enjoyed the all-age Big Start at 9:00; the Bible readings from John’s Gospel at 10:00 and then did our own thing until the evening celebration at 18:45. A great mixture of worship, relaxation, walking in the beautiful Somerset country-side and sharing good food and lots of cups of coffee! The photo shows a view across the bay from North Hill, behind Minehead itself. We also took the open top bus along the coast to Lynton one afternoon...and back again. It was a gloriously sunny day and we saw, amongst many things, lots of new-born lambs. The bus driver was very skilled at getting through some very narrow village roads as you can see. The journey up and down Porlock Hill was memorable too! (A 1 in 4 gradient in places!!)
It was also good to meet up with a couple of other folk from RBC who had been working hard all week on the stand for the charity “Compassion” and some other friends from Paddox Methodist. One of my colleagues from college was also there with his family and we managed to meet up for a drink one afternoon as well. So, all in all, a good week away.
And now I’m gearing up to go back to college tomorrow for three days looking at “Youth and Children in the Church”. (The Big Start provided lots of creative ideas for all-age worship once again, so that might prove helpful.) It will definitely mean an early start though as I need to be in chapel for 09:15. And then it’s back to Watford and “normality”!!
Sunday 8th April 2012
Goodness. What a week that’s been! It got off to a good start...with over 2500 words finally written, on Monday I was able to send off that doctrine essay that had become a bit of a mill stone around my neck. And then the rest of the week was filled with lots of preparation for some great Holy Week experiences. Leavesden Road Baptist church (about 10 minutes’ drive away) are currently without a minister. (They have, though, just called one of Regent’s Park’s third year students, so I am looking forward to Kevin Price moving to the area in September.) I had approached LRBC about us joining together for a Maundy Thursday event and we held an agape supper and communion. It was good to lead it with my pastoral supervisor from college, Ruth Bottoms (who’s also moderating for LRBC) and seven Kingswood folk joined with another 30 or so from LRBC.
Sadly, the march of witness in our area of Watford had to be cancelled but that gave me more time to take communion to one of our members who is in a nursing home. We had a good long chat as well as sharing bread and wine together. Seven folk joined me for our Tenebrae service on the evening of Good Friday – I must remember to buy a candle snuffer for next year – some of us found it a bit of a challenge to blow out a candle (and they weren’t the re-lighting ones either, honest!)
And so to Easter morning! I’m sorry about the quality of the attached photo but I really wanted you to have an idea of how the front of church had been decorated for Easter morning. Next year I’m hoping I can get the whole cross covered in daffodils – this was my first attempt. We were blessed with a congregation of 16 adults and 4 children and a real sense of Easter praise and celebration. Sadly, though, the treasure hunt in the afternoon for the community didn’t have the same kind of response. But, never mind, those who came enjoyed it and just about kept dry!
Sunday 1st April 2012
I am so disappointed! Both of the photographs I took of (a) ‘Jesus’ sitting facing the back of a chair draped in a brown sheet with a donkey mask and (b) a number of ‘disciples’ waving their palm branches made from newspaper in the service this morning...have not come out. Both pictures are blurred, so I shall have to leave it all to your imagination. We used paper palm branches a lot this morning; some of them green leaves on which we wrote prayers of thanksgiving and prayers for others, waving them and holding them before God; and the other newspaper versions were used when we cheered and welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem. It was certainly a morning filled with congregation participation! (And as far as I could see, they were willing participants.)
I have also had a full week including one day’s focus on the doctrine essay. At the Hertfordshire Baptist Ministers’ meeting on Tuesday morning we reflected together on the government’s proposed bill to introduce civil marriage for same sex couples – about 20 of us shared in some helpful discussion. And then something completely different in the evening when I attended a meeting about the Watford foodbank which is due to start in May. I’ve tentatively volunteered to work in the warehouse – I knew my M&S experience would come in useful one day!
There’s not space to tell you about breaking an egg over the head of one of the boys at Kingsway Junior School on Wednesday at their Easter assembly...but the empty tomb of Easter morning will perhaps give you a clue as to why he didn’t need to have a wash afterwards. And our last session of the Lent study finished with our friends from Leavesden Road being able to share with us the very exciting news that they have called a new minister: one of the third year students at Regent’s Park College! I know him well. Good news indeed.