Monday, 1 March 2010

Waiting with pain

I am not good in the mornings - it takes me a while to come round even with the help of a strong coffee. But yesterday, I was woken up with a start by the voice on the radio announcing the morning service. Now usually at this point, I groan, switch off the radio and stagger through to the office to start writing the prayers for our own morning service. Not so yesterday as the voice to my amazement and delight clearly stated that the morning service was coming from Calgary Baptist Church in Cardiff and led by the Revd. Dr. Craig Gardiner himself!

What a refreshing change to listen to words that so clearly reflect the reality of our lives here in Openshaw. What a breath of fresh air to hear a Biblical reflection, woven throughout the service and spun in the thought-provoking sermon by Dr. Karen Smith, on the story of a woman as central, dynamic and deeply courageous. And what an affirmation to hear my own ministry, which I have often described as "walking with people in pain" validated and honoured in this way. For many years, as a church we have waited with, and walked with a community in pain, sharing its hopes and its disappointments.

We have often described our ministry as looking on as a community is crucified and over the last few weeks we have watched the interior of our old church building ripped open and exposed to the elements before finally being demolished. And now, we too are waiting, waiting with pain, waiting in pain. Like Mary Magdalene we are not sure how the story will end. But like Mary Magdalene, we wait by the tomb of our hopes and dreams and wait for the dawn of the resurrection.

Thank you Craig, Karen and the community of Calgary Baptist Church in Cardiff.


  1. Personally, I loved the use of Dr Seuss for the first reading! If ever there was a clue that someone was in touch with the reality of daily life, that was it. It did remind me of my "Dr Seuss eucharist which in a blatant advert, you can find at:

  2. We used Dr Seuss as an excuse to say 'Pants' on radio 4! No seriously thanks for the feedback, glad it was helpful ... alot is down to the hard work of Karen Smith ... although much as we love Canada its acutally Calvary and not Calgary the church is named after!

  3. That's me not being fully awake and having Canada on the brain - mind you I'm sure we could start a new sect claiming the Biblical narratives were in fact set in a new location or else we could just say it is a Dr Seuss-esque play on words!