We all wear masks from time to time, hiding our true selves, along with our inadequacies/ hurts and pains from one another... we wear them for various reasons, and sometimes we become so used to hiding that we forget who we really are...
This became a part of our exploration of "Time to Talk of God"at Feltwell Bible Study this morning. Time to Talk of God is an excellent resource published by the Methodist Church. Its gentle approach to helping congregations explore voicing their spiritual journey/ life is helpful and encouraging. People voiced their needs and frustrations, and examined honestly the barriers to talking about faith. Janet Morely the convener of the project says:
It is about how we talk - and listen - to each other about the things that matter most. How shall we be confident in sharing our faith more widely if we never have these conversations among church members? And what sort of church will genuine seekers encounter if we are embarrassed to discuss the spiritual questions that motivate them?”
It was a good time for all of us! We finished late as usual and in prayer.
Staff meeting this afternoon with more of the same, we had a good an open discussion about the way forward, possible I guess because we have been given a 3 year extension to carry on the work from 2007, none of us needs to be job hunting so we can throw ourselves into the work, and there is a genuine desire to do this as a team.
After the meeting I drove into Peterborough....
The drive in was again marked by amazing fenland skies- shafts of light streaming through low lying cloud, accompanied by Bach, St Matthews passion, it was a truly spiritual experience! Driving seems to give me space to breathe and worship at the moment- and yet I wrestle with the need to cover so many miles.
...once there I met with Helen my staff mentor with ERMC, we went out for a curry which was excellent, and had a very open and honest discussion covering a number of issues- also excellent, and much needed.
I am grateful to Helen for her ability to listen and to understand some difficult stuff without judgement! We went on to talk about theology- backgrounds and hopes, and about the Peterborough Project- I have my first meeting with this group tomorrow!
I drove home more confident in knowing Gods call than I have for a long time, and I am thankful to the people who have prayed for and supported me through a very difficult time. As I drove I listened to Radio 4 The Choice, todays guest was Mark Dowd he talked about his decision to withdraw from the Dominican Order, it was a tough but releasing decision. He spoke of the sudden revelation of a God who wanted him to be happy, and of the pains and regrets his decision caused and still cause him. Helen and I had talked about choices too, and how in some way faithfulness to Gods paths bring their own reward no matter how hard the decisions we make at the time might seem.
YOU RESCUED ME, and picked me up,
A living hope of grace revealed,
A life transformed in righteousness,
O Lord You have rescued me.
Forgiving me, You healed my heart,
And set me free from sin and death.
You brought me life, You made me whole,
O Lord, You have rescued me.
And You loved me before I knew You,
And You knew me for all time.
I’ve been created in Your image,
And You bought me, and You sought me,
Your blood poured out for me;
A new creation in Your image,
You rescued me, You rescued me. - Geoff Bullock 1992