Chewing over the Trinity
I think this photo represents some of what I really appreciate about my church life at the moment. I've clearly sneaked out of the discussion to take the photo, but I'd been sitting in the sun on the Rectory patio for the past hour already, with the birds singing and none of the dreaded midges that will be assailing us the moment the sun goes and the rain returns.
My pal and I are Lay Preachers in our Episcopal congregation. We have a commission from the Bishop, and it's renewed every few years. Presumably we're doing ok, or that wouldn't happen. And every time - or more or less every time - one of us is preparing a sermon, we have what we call a PreachMeet (If you're a teacher you may have experienced the TeachMeet model from which I took the name). We meet with our Rector and thrash out the ideas that have floated to the surface, ideas that may or may not find their way into our sermons - or his.
And it's just the best thing. There are no holds barred, and we don't share what we discuss beyond the moment. We learn from each other. We test our ideas and our responses - and having the professional on hand to fill in the theological gaps is the big luxury, quite apart from the need to steer clear of heresy. And whether we're huddled indoors over a coffee on a winter morning or - as here - enjoying the sunshine and the peace of the church grounds, we come away stimulated and refreshed.
And then there's just the small matter of actually writing the sermon* ...
*Not mine, not this time!