Yesterday was the most beautiful morning – bright and crystal clear. I was doing a bit of personal housekeeping. First a visit to my Pastoral Supervisor. That’s another case of ‘We didn’t need one of those before’. Then a haircut. That of course works on the basis that the time involved is inverse proportion to the amount of hair. And there’s the chat – which takes a while.
By the time I got to the end, their respective contributions to my well-being had begun to blend into one. Stuart, my coiffeur. reminded me that the early part of the seventh decade of life is a time when one can decide not to worry about many things which troubled one earlier on. The message was really ‘hang loose’
Meanwhile back with the ‘we didn’t need one of those before’ Pastoral Supervisor, things were a little more bracing.
It seems to me that this relationship is about trying to work out what is happening in the interface between personal feelings and the practice of ministry. I want to explore why certain things affect me deeply – and I need to be reminded that I should not believe my own propaganda.
And facing outwards from that exploration, it seems to me that, however passionately committed I am personally, I should be constantly thinking as ‘we’ and not as ‘I’
As in the Cascade evening in Stirling on Thursday, I see an important part of my role as being to open up a space and to keep it open – a space in which the church can reflect deeply and theologically on complex issues; a space in which quiet and compassionate voices can be heard; a space in which we can explore the integrity of what ‘visible unity in Christ’ means for us.
In the end, my morning was about making myself accountable – about allowing others to get close enough to say to me some things which had ‘challenge with compassion’ inside them.