I have always felt OK about "my little flock" and where we were heading, but I can now look back in a different way and see what I was working towards and how it actually works successfully. Don't worry St Auggie's! Nothing much is going to change and we're doin' OK!
But , like all of these things, the real stuff is worked out in the meeting with peers and with exchanges. Connecting and reconnecting. Feeling valued. Giving and receiving support, pulling legs and laughing uproariously at stuff other folk wouldn't understand. It's been good to be here!
And tomorrow we pray, again, (Jings, I'm all prayed oot, and God is sick of me!), and having sussed out our parishes and how they work, and how we operate within them, we turn to this "connectedness". How do we as parishes, and as priests, connect to the diocese and all her works? How do we support and affirm each other? And if Galloway dare to tell me after this week that they are unsupported or that rural ministry is not affirmed, I'll be tempted to kick asses all the way back to the rural haunts they inhabit! They deserve to live and die with their coos! Tools have been provided folks! Use them!
For the first time in a 32 year ministry, I find myself considering my Bishop and Dean as my brothers, and that's the way it should have been from the beginning. These guys share my ministry, and for that I'm grateful.
It is midnight and my stomach is heavy. The food has been copious, too much, and I'm glad we're not talking too much about our Third World Projects or the poverty within the sub-classes in our parishes. (However, I did eschew the carved turkey and ham, and things with French names, at lunchtime, to go for the sausage roll, beans, and chips!)
Tomorrow, I'm back to the