Saturday, January 26, 2008

Well, with one term of Ordination training under my belt and the second one started, I feel less like a new ordinand than I did. Actually, so far I haven't felt much like an ordinand at all (whatever they actually feel like?). I think this may have something to do with the method of training I've taken. Being on a local course and therefore part time means you immerse yourself less in the process. However, you do get to stay within the 'real' world and for the moment anyway, remain involved with your own church which has been great.

The lectures for both modules, 'Biblical Studies'(my degree subject) and 'Theological Thinking' have been very good so far, although I have found the whole Theological Reflection thing difficult to get to grips with. It's not that I'm not used to thinking theologically, I just find it difficult having to do so to a set formula. Some of the stuff we did more recently (see my art reflection as one example )were easier to grasp and more grounded in the Bible which I feel to be essential. For me, thinking theologically cannot be separated from the Bible and nor should it be.

Well, I'm away next weekend at the Diocese's conference centre for another study weekend, which so far have been the best part of the course for me. It's also where I feel most like an Ordinand, because I can fully focus on that and nothing else.
Scary to think that in under two and a half years we'll be ordained...gulp!

God's given me a great group of friends too, who are not afraid to have fun and be as flippant as I am! You know who you are!!! I'll buy you a drink on Friday...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Now that my son's birthday is over and I've caught up from being ill with flu at Christmas, I've finally got time to comment on our FABULOUS trip to Lapland for 4 days in December.

We went with a company called 'Emagine' and they were brilliant from beginning to end. We stayed in the Hotel Jeris which is set in the forest on the shores of a lake within the arctic circle. At this time of year the lake was totally frozen and looked like a giant ice rink. There were toboggan runs right outside the hotel and we stayed in our own log cabin with its own fire and sauna!

The activities were very well run. We had a snowmobile safari which lasted all afternoon during which each family met Father Christmas. We sat in a wooden house on benches covered with reigndeer hides to wait, around a huge fire whilst a lovely lady cooked us pancakes and we drank hot chocolate...excellent. An elf led us to Santas house and we had about 10 minutes talking to him. Tom was entranced and hugged him as we left...bless. We visited a husky farm and drove the huskies ourselves. We strapped on snow shoes and went for an adventure into the forest. As well as all of this we tried ice fishing, ice hockey, kick sledding and cross country skiing as well as riding in a reigndeer sleigh. Phew!

If you haven't been and have children under 10...I would urge you to go! Even if they're older, they would still love it. it was probably one of the best holidays we've had...highly recommended.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Art Reflection

Maurice Denis. Holy Women Near the Tomb/Saintes Femmes au tombeau. 1894

This picture depicts the events of Luke 20 v11-18 on the morning of the resurrection when the women found the tomb empty. In the painting, the figure who spoke to the women about Jesus, is painted in the background. He is also painted in warm colours as if bathed in light. The women are painted in somber blues and greys. I love the contrasts of light quality in this picture, which for me symbolize the difference in mood that the women must have experienced when they were told that Jesus was risen. It is as if the artist has captured a moment in time when extreme sadness turns to hope. The group of women are split into two groups. On the left the two women who are bare headed appear to be waving to the golden figure. Their uncovered heads suggest that they are open to his message and are immediately affected by it. The other women on the right do not yet seem to have noticed him and remain shrouded, perhaps in gloom.
For me the whole painting is an example of how we can respond to the good news of Jesus resurrection and symbolizes the joy and light which his presence in the life of the individual can bring; if we only believe.

“This is the great truth which fills our faith with meaning. Jesus, who died on the cross, has risen. He has triumphed over death; he has overcome sorrow, anguish and the power of darkness ... In him we find everything. Outside of him our life is empty.”
(J. Escriva, Christ is passing by).
In Conversation With God Vol 2: Lent and Eastertide