It's the day after the Parish Retreat in Millport, and my head is still spinning. It was a strange retreat really, a retreat that could only be crafted, executed and celebrated by St Augustine's. A retreat with a party in the middle of it, as Revd Anne Tomlinson gently guided us through the topic of "Graced Encounters", with the emphasis on food, feeding, and encountering God in our daily bread, linked into our Eucharistic community where the Bread of Life is at the core of our congregational being. Food..... Preparing, Pondering, Provocative Practice, Partying, Participating.... and a picture of our parish life emerged which was pleasing to the eye, and a comfort to my soul. Hey. We are doing something right here. There's deep Kingdom stuff going on.
There was so much laughter, so much gratitude, not least because two of our number have beaten serious cancer scares in the past months, and at the start of Passion-tide, we presented as a Parish with great Passion. We prayed together, we were silent together, we shared much good food with each other on so many different levels, and shared a joy of living and being alive.
Friday evening's talk was so pertinent to us, as Anne read an extract from one of her books to us: