A visit to St German's this morning to celebrate the Wednesday 'class Mass', with a bunch of 7-8 year olds, some of whom looked bored or half asleep, others of whom were bright eyed and placed to sing. I spoke a little about generosity towards the poor and needy, referring to the work of Islamic Relief as well as Christian Aid, as many of the children in this, as in all other classes of the school, are Muslim. Half the kids come up for a blessing, and some of these are Muslim. Other kids don't come up. None are forced to.
It's not easy to make a simple liturgy in church fully participatory, especially when it's a Mass, which is by nature, overtly Christian. I have more misgivings about the potentially divisive nature of doing this than I did when I was the incumbent, regularly visiting the school. I was reluctant to go against established expectations then, and make an effort to create an act of God centred meditative worship in which all present might find something to identify with. Kids need to learn how to pray and how to participate in public worship in a non-alienating way. Now, I'm no longer in a position where I have any business experimenting with or changing the status quo, this avenue is no longer open to me. I do get the kids singing simple choruses each time, however. Sometimes they join in enthusiastically, other times it's hard work.
After lunch, I walked along the Taff to the city centre, to search for some clip-on polaroid sunglasses to go over my driving specs, and was delighted to find just the right thing in Boots. Clare had tried to find the same thing for herself in the same store recently and not been successful, perhaps because they were tucked away in an obscure corner of the sunspecs rack. I find my eyes don't work as well in high contrast lighting situations as I get older, they seem to struggle to adjust. Having special specs for driving and computer usage makes some difference, but not enough. I'm hoping a polaroid filter will cut some of the glare and reduce the strain somewhat. It's worth a try anyway.
Today, I seemed to have a bit more energy that recently, more of a spring in my step, so instead of getting the bus home, I walked back across Bute Park to Blackweir, where the resident heron was to be seen at the foot of the weir. I positioned myself about seven metres above on the footpath, and the bird just seemed indifferent to my presence, so I stayed for ten minutes or more, taking some of my best ever close-up heron photos with my Sony HX300. It took most of the evening to sort them out and upload them to a new album. Pleasing stuff indeed. Here's my album of bird shots so far this year.