Tuesday, January 09, 2007


The vicar who tried to train me had an amazing habit of listening to a crack or joke made at his expense and then coming back the next day with, 'I have been reflecting on what you said and it seems to me...' I soon realised that nothing, however off hand, off the cuff or off the wall, that I said was ever going to be treated lightly. 'This is a serious business this ministry and deserves our full and serious attention' was never said but I heard it. Now he did have a sense of humour and once took off his cassock at an advent family service to reveal his pyjamas, following it by preaching on 'being ready.'

Are there,' I asked in the staff meeting today, '...any cans here which, regardless of the label, do not actually contain worms?'

'That's ministry,' was the reply and I sort of grinned and laughed it off. Then I reflected upon it. Curse you Ian you taught me that too.

Is the skill, the knack, the trick of achieving things in minstry being able to open the right cans, as it were? Are there things I can do here which don't involve worms? Perhaps mainly new things. Anything old is potentially worm-infested. I know there is a story behind everything but I am finding the back story more tedious than the work that is to come.

This metaphor is struggling under the load I am requiring it to hold right now so end of, but it has got me thinking.


Anonymous said...

It seems to me that there are two approaches to this :

1) Do a Moses. Lead where you need you all need to go. Use the history to inform and cope ("there we had cucumbers"), but not to direct.

2) Learn to herd worms.

R as M

Anonymous said...

Without the worms, you can't make the compost to nurture new growth.

Anonymous said...

Today's equivalent that I often hear in conversation is 'don't even go there!' (or similar). Why do we get so hung up on past events - does not our Lord want us to move forward - Isaiah 43.18-19

Caroline said...

very sorry, st, but your idea about only opening new cans ('cos the old ones will be likely to hold worms) is flawed...

I'm afraid that by doing only new things the worms will come out of the old cans and say "huh, so you don't like us enough to do what we value etc etc"

I'm afraid that you can't win on this one...

caroline too