Always something new in the SEC. ‘Have you seen the doll?’ they asked yesterday in Alloa. And there it was – a fully computerised racially-non-specific doll. This is the programme which gives teenage girls electronic babies to look after in an effort to curb teenage pregnancies. This really was something new – if you know the SEC, you will understand that our fertility profile tends to be a bit Abraham and Sarah-ish. ‘So how has your baby been?’ I asked. ‘Oh just up twice during the night’ was the reply.
We’re doing a lot of thinking about vocational discernment at present. Is this not a useful principle which we could apply? We could give the person who is exploring vocation an electronic congregation to live with for a while. It would telephone at all sorts of odd times to complain about this and that – about the graveyard and the church being cold. It would be overwhelmingly friendly for a while and then go all funny. It would sing hymns too slowly. It would have a sort of soap opera life of tensions and misunderstandings. In short it would be delightfully and overwhelmingly human. I do miss parish ministry – a bit. . sometimes.