Monday, August 08, 2011

Making new friends and experiencing new family

It's been a busy 3 months, Robert got promoted, I have been busy at work. We had to go to America for a family funeral, and just this weekend we were down on the coast with friends to help out and see them get married, on the way back we stopped in London (not Tottenham, but whilst we we waiting I caught up on the rioting. More on that later) to meet up with some American pastors.

Our trip to America was on sad terms but we had a good time meeting up with family, some of whom I'l never see again (mostly because Robert hasn't seen them for 10-15 years). We also caught up with friends and met their families too. My net for friends is expanding, I feel more and more welcomed in America every time I go.

This weekend we hung out with two other families to celebrate Pete and Katherine getting married. Mr and Mrs Higgins were very welcoming of us, and it was good to spend time in their home. The new Mr and Mrs Higgins are now in Vancouver for their honeymoon. It was an absolute privilege to be part of their plans and preparation for the big day and to help out in some little way.

Then on our way back we spent the afternoon with some Pastors and leaders from America, Robert knows one of them, he is the minister at the First Baptist in Piedmont and his son was in the Blue Knights when Robert was teaching there.

We had some interesting discussions around the church, why it's the way it is and what's the insight from someone who is as in the thick of it as I am. I wouldn't say indoctrinated is the right word, but I would struggle to find another word suitable for the way I feel about the Church of England. It's what I know, where I grew up, what I find most familiar and comfortable. Any one got a suitable word?

I did most of the talking, I now conveniently can fit a description of how CofE works into 5 minutes and think I articulated the vision for my family quite well. Robert sat and imparted his knowledge for the bits I couldn't articulate. It is good to see how we as England can inform the church in America, and this is the churches that we might have recognised 20/30 years ago. Interesting discussions.

The riots have shocked me to be honest, but I don't want to complain about them, as that feels as though I'm jumping on a band wangon. This weekend we met the leaders of the Eden project, though the rioting has not reached them yet, it must be devastating for those working as community development officers to see their area of town up in flames, being looted and destroyed by a mob who aren't happy with something/one. so my thoughts and prayers are with those left homeless, those who have to pick up the pieces and my new friends in Bow who might not be safe. Also for the church and other religious leaders who will be asked to deal with the mental and spiritual fall out from this.

And selfishly for my town. We've had our fair share of violence and protests already this year. Lutonians do not need this. We will not stand for this. And yes, I say this from the comfort of my own home, however I think there plenty of other issues to be dealt with first than clearing up after some mindless rioting.