Thursday, 20 September 2012

Deaconing day

Today is the forty third anniversary of my ordination to the diaconate and the beginning of my public ministry as an Anglican cleric. I'm amazed to think of places I have been and things I have done over the years since,which never would have happened had I not been called to ministry. I never think about what might have been if I hadn't said 'yes'. I can only be thankful for the wonderful experiences that have been mine, right down to this day.

The neighbourhood had a power outage for 45 minutes, just at breakfast time, but it came back on in time for a cuppa, before heading out to El Portal drop-in centre on my bike for the last time. A fairly new brick built apartment building in the vicinity of the church is being demolished, causing disruption to traffic and gathering an audience of spectators to watch the demolition machines at work.

Nobody seems to know why the building has to come down or what will replace it. Standing there wondering was for me a case of deja vue. It was like being back in Cardiff city centre in the first weeks after redevelopment work started, and not a single notice had been put up to advise the public of why 'new' (i.e. 30 year old) town centre shops and library were being visited by bulldozers. This time, if I knew why it, would be a bit of a challenge to explain to passers by with my primitive Spanish.
Several Moroccan women came in to look at autumnal clothes, recently extracted from storage in the Vicarage garage. I had an impromptu in situ session with Brenda on the liturgical texts she is preparing to preach on in a few weeks time, sitting with other visitors chatting, drinking tea and catching up. It was nice to see Robert and Kay, back again briefly from Belfast. The last time I saw them was when we waved to each other from our respective Easyjet boarding queues at El Prat airport in mid August. I learned that Ray, whom I visited in Castellon hospital is now back home in Alcossebre. I'll get to see him after church on Sunday. It's all part of the everyday richness of ministerial life I'm glad I can still enjoy in retirement. 

I rode home for lunch, refreshed by light rain. Cloudy autumn skies and cooler winds are now making a regular appearance. Quite sorry not to be staying on and enjoying this kinder weather, not to mention church community life.

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