A lovely weekend of many delights - and some sadness and grief too.
Starting with the sadness and grief - George, a pretty special guy at the church I worked at for a few years died on Friday. He's had a good life - 95 years of it, but will be sadly missed and St Thomas' and Puckle St, Moonee Ponds won't be the same without him. He was one of the people that I missed the most when I left St Thomas' a year ago, I had tears in my eyes when he was saying farewell to me and the few occasions I have seen him since have been qutie special. Definately someone with a heart for God and who encouaraged me both in my walk with God and on the path of ordination. There were definately times when his and my difference in age and perspective showed but it was very obvious that we were on about the same thing and that expression was what the difference was. He has lived through times that I only know something of by story and has lived through, and be gracious towards, enormous changes around him. One of my strongest memories of George will be the times when after my preaching he commented on my use of "I reckon ..." or "I think ..." and tell me that I needed to present things more strongly in my sermons - we had a little joke going about that. Goodbye George ... indeed, as we prayed the prayers in the Anglican prayerbook last night at the communion service I am regularly part, I was very thankful for this faithful departed one.
There has been other grief in the lives of friends and people in my community this week - which I can't really talk about ... but let me just say that my heart aches for others pain.
Friends from interstate have been a part of this weekend. Chris O, who I used to live with and Paul, who is also a good friend have been down from Newcastle, and I got to spend Friday with them, lovely relaxed day and great to see them. Also, Dave and Kel were down from Sydney and I got to catch up with them this morning. Lovely to see people from that part of my world.
I have spent time with a range of Melbourne friends an family this weekend too. Friday night, Trish and I organised a dinner party with a 7 Solace people at Camille and my house - very fun. Saturday night was a 21st which I popped up to briefly - for someone who has been coming around to our fortnightly Tuesday dinners where we explore our spiritual journeys a bit more. Sunday was the normal Sunday olace gathering, then jazz in the St Paul's, Fairfield church building where I got hang with good friends and others, then Bible reading with Gail and Tracy, then St Paul's evening service, then out with Dad for dinner! And today, I got to hang out with Mark who I work with and his wife Yvonne and daughters Esther and Jasmine. Loads of people in all of that!
Food has also been a big part of the weekend. On Friday night, Trish, Camille and I cooked a vegetarian curry, and we had cookies and cream ce-cream with Strawberries for dessert. As well as that some great red and white wine was enjoyed, as well as a Red Hill Estate Boytritis (others also finished the night with a Baileys, I refrained!). On Saturday, my housemate decided to try making rice pudding which we both love and we have been eating it ever since - most satisfactory! She made two different recipes and we have decided that we like Stephanie Alexander's more than Jamie Oliver's! Yesterday, we had the cafe next to St Paul's, Alfio's cater for the jazz afternoon and I had a lovely rigatoni, and then last night Dad and I went to Vegetarian Orgasm for dinner and I had a lovely Thai Stir-Fry after having samosas and spring rolls for entree. And today ... I had yummy soup for lunch, with homemade sun-dired tomato and olive bread. So my taste buds and stomach have had a very satisfactory weekend ... although I think I must be getting used to it, as I type my stomach is letting me know it's presence and asking me what I'm going to give it for dinner. Having had my work dinner appointment cancelled, I now need to answer that question myself, rather than telling my stomach that it will get what it is given!
Alongside all of that , I have continued reading both a book on Postmodern Children's Ministry and Join Me - thoroughly enjoying them both and have been thinking/praying about/priocessing many things which I may or may not write about it in some other posts. But for now I will leave you with the prayers based from some of Julian of Norwich that I am praying with my Anglican Prayer Beads that we made at our latest spiritual traditions night, seem quite an appropriate way to end and bring together all that the last few days have been in action, thought and prayer:
God of all goodness, give me yourself
For you are enough for me,
And if I can't ask for anything less that is to your glory,
and if I ask for anything less, I shall still be in want, for only in you have I all.
All is well,
and all shall be well,
and all manner of things shall be well.