This year’s clergy retreat was shorter than usual and for once I could have done with some more time. Anne Dyer was excellent and used lots and lots of art for her talks. Visuals definitely work for me. I did a lot of reflecting on Prayer and Hope and Love. No doubt, these themes shall occur in sermons to come.
The one who has hope lives differently.
Pope Benedict’s quote has given me something to think about.
What difference would it make to your today if you knew all your tomorrows would be well?
That quote, which may have been Anne’s, has stayed with me too. As I wear a bracelet which quotes Julian of Norwich, you’ll know it is one of my tenets of faith.
Things that made me giggle:
- a fellow priest who wore slippers with Mr Strong on them and often admired them while in the chapel. (He admired them, not me.)
- readings which included ‘Esau was an hairy man…’ should never be read on retreat
- bats should never fly indoors
I did some knitting of a prayer shawl and some reading. The first book was A Song for Jenny by Julie Nicholson. Julie is the CofE vicar whose daughter Jenny was killed in the 7/7 bombings. She subsequently found it too hard to forgive the terrorists and stopped being a priest. This is her story and was recommended by a friend. It was indeed a fascinating story of loss but there was really no mention of her struggle with forgiveness – perhaps that is another book she will write.
I also read Hide in Plain Sight by Marta Perry which was one of my free Kindle books and was billed as being about the Amish community. In fact it was a cheesy sort of love story with a bit of whodunnit thrown in set in a family who lived next door to some Amish people. So the religious bits were pretty tenuous and felt kind of ‘added in’. But it was free…!
We did have a good chunk of free time one afternoon so Mother K and I scampered off to Melrose to have a look round the abbey because it was such a beautiful day. They were Cistercians and kept silence so we kind of kept the theme going. (Ok, let me confess that too much silence is just not bearable.) The stone there is so pink it really is quite beautiful in sunlight.