Watching the (live stream) of the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly last week, a face from the past popped up to ask a particular question during a debate.
I hadn’t seen him for many years, but he used to be a Minister in the town where I live, before he moved elsewhere.
He would pop into the local Infirmary (where I worked as the full-time healthcare chaplain) now and again, to visit the hospitalised members of his congregation.
Several times, when I was chatting to certain patients who worshipped at his church, they would remark on what a clever man he was, with a wide ranging knowledge of just about everything.
“You know” someone would tell me, “he’s even abreast of the day time soaps on TV, and has been keeping me up to date with them”
Another patient, “You know that antiques programme on the telly at 3 o’clock? Well, Mr D was able to tell me that someone who had bought a piece of junk in a car boot sale for a couple of quid, had it valued by an expert at £500”
And so on.
Of course, they all missed the point – Mr D wasn’t out working every day, but was sitting in his Manse, watching afternoon TV!
Many years ago, Helen and the boys and I were driving somewhere on a particular Sunday morning – probably setting off on holiday with my in-laws in Suffolk (presumably because I had to be around on the Saturday for a wedding)
En route, I was amazed to see so many of my own Kirk members, including some Elders, walking their dogs, washing their cars, going to the supermarket…..with about 10 minutes before their “home” church service was due to start.
The cliche is true, as so many are, “When the cat’s away….”
Now and again, when ministering in Trinidad, we had a two hour Saturday morning discussion/training session for church Elders.
For one of these – held in the first week in July – I received a lot of apologies for absence. The meeting itself was poorly attended.
Trinidad is four hours behind British time. Last week in July. London – 2.00 pm. And in those days, guess what happened in SW19? Yep, the Wimbledon men’s finals. (shown on TV)
It was only on the Sunday morning, that some of my Elders (post service) asked, “Did you see that Match? Wonderful!” oops!
Lastly, a ministerial friend who was Presbytery Business Convener, sent in his apologies to the Clerk, saying that he was unable to attend the Meeting “for family reasons”
Aye, the “family” was his fellow football team fans! There was a big European game that evening – and not only did he attend, but was caught on (TV) camera. Ouch!