Saturday, 2 January 2016

Another year has begun ...

I'm getting back to work after a few days of rest and the transition is slow ... very slow!  So the blog is acting as a bridge this morning.  It provides an opportunity to look back over the past few days and to begin to move forward.
Where to start?  The last blog was September!
So, October first ...
We have a lot of rain ... and that can result in some very interesting pictures.
Harvest celebrations in Saint Nicholas' were at the beginning of the month ... guest preacher was Margaret McVeigh whom I've known since I was a child.
Concerts are a regular feature of life in Saint Nicholas' ...
Then, as often as possible the dog gets a walk ... and on Thursdays (usually) the outing is longer and frequently to the seaside.  We had a quick overnight stop in Piltown (near Waterford) where there's a lot of space for running around.
There is a park just round the corner from where we live and morning walks are often taken there.  Sometimes the sun comes out and creates a beautiful spotlight on the path ... not that Dougal would notice such things!  Still ... it provides a photo opportunity for me.
Meanwhile, at the Parish Halls, work was nearing completion on the Committee Room.  This was a complete transformation from brown carpet and curtains to a polished wood floor and contemporary blinds.
 Around church one of highlights of any month is a baptism ... one of the teenagers used my camera and managed to capture the moment of the pouring of water!  A most joyful occasion which was followed by a birthday party for a one year old who had been baptised last year!
And finally, at the end of October, I did a marathon ironing of clerical shirts!  That made the weeks following a delight.  The two Christmas shirts were used at some stage during Advent so it was time well spent.  Now, I'm at the stage where that ironing exercise must be tackled again!  Maybe if there's something to watch on television it can be accomplished without too much pain!
That was October ... just two more months to do and then I'm up to date with the "old year"!
Taking photographs almost every day means that there's a kind of diary that helps with reflection.
How would I sum up the month ... beauty, opportunity, and joy.  Though there were also times of sadness and grief that are not photographed but form part of every cleric's life.
In it all ... God is good and it is my privilege to be part of God's work in the world.

The Collect of the Second Sunday of Christmas

Almighty God, 

in the birth of your Son 
you have poured on us the new light of your incarnate Word, 
and shown us the fullness of your love: 
Help us to walk in this light and dwell in his love 
that we may know the fullness of his joy; 
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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