Sunday 26 September 2010: Mid-Conversation
I'd spent the morning out in Livingston Ecumenical Parish, where I'd been asked to preach for the first time. It has been a long time in coming, seeing as these are the closest churches to my house of all those represented in the Methodist Circuit. Thanks to Colin, who made lunch for Helen (his wife, the local Methodist minister) and I back at the Manse.
You can probably tell by the warmth of the early evening glow that I took this picture somewhat later. With the students back in town, Geoffey, Christine, and I sat around coffee in Peter's Yard. It's important for Geoffrey to touch base at the start of the year, with him as student chaplain for the Methodist Church in Edinburgh. I had been invited along to share some of the conversation that he and I have been recently exploring - beginning to work out how faith, community, friendship, and lifestyle can work together to enrich our humanity as we inhabit the City.
We wanted to extend an open invitation for those gathered to become part of what might become. We had little steer to offer on where that may lead. But rather we hoped that form will emerge from the people who stand forward: Each being leaders, each bringing their own passions around which to evolve a common vocabulary, each being bridging people - conduits through which those who may otherwise never meet can hear new stories, experience new sensations, and see into unfamiliar worlds.
As we sat, the sun streamed in the end window, and projected a shaddow onto the cabinet behind. Something about this image makes me look twice. Maybe it is the superposition of the human outline over an otherwise empty seat... Maybe it's the white jugs set above that mirror her face in profile...
I hope that whatever emerges from the conversation that we have began to expand this afternoon will cause people to look twice at what they see. And I hope it will be because there is something deeper in it that can't be understood at a glance- something might be worth gazing at for a while through the window.
(The City looked beautiful this evening)