Sunday, 6 November 2016

Celebrating the great cloud of witnesses

I was up again at dawn doing Chi Gung exercises on the terrace before breakfast. The clouds were hues of orange and yellow, as if a poor weather day might follow, but a wind then sprang up and dispersed them, leaving us with a beautiful clear mild sunny day. This made the sea look an eyecatching vivid deep blue I noticed, driving to church later.

The Mojacar congregation was down to forty this morning. Some regulars are away on holiday, other seasonal residents have gone and will return after New Year, others will come in the next few weeks to avoid the winter. We kept All Saints and All Souls together this Sunday, and are keeping Remembrance Sunday next week. Incense was scheduled for use this morning, an occasional rather than regular feature of worship here. The small thurible had short chains, something I'm not used to after using the St German's full size one regularly for the past few years. I could have done with a practise beforehand.

There was a long list of names of the departed to read out, taken from the chaplaincy's Book of Remembrance, containing over eighty names of people associated with its life from the beginning over fifteen years ago. As there can be as many as sixty funerals a year of non-church members conducted by chaplaincy ministers, I was most relieved that the Book didn't also contain their names as well or we'd have been in church a lot longer.

Late afternoon, I walked again to the top of the hill above the Club Marina golf course, with my Sony HX300 camera, hoping to get even better Hoopoe photos now I know where to find them. I was a little later than on Friday, and only caught sight of a pair flying out of a bunker and away to another feeding ground out of sight. Even the couple of hares I spotted were 250 metres away on the other side of the course - at least I think they are hares. They look too big to be rabbits, but I've only seen them standing to attention so far, moving very little, certainly not running.

I spent the evening working on preaching material for the coming week in which I have two services with a Remembrance day theme to preach at. The trouble is I have too many ideas to weave together in a concise way, and can't yet work out what to use for which occasion.

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