What did we do at synod

synod_whitbyWe are having a series of sermons for Lent based on the talks we had at synod. We’ve done Power, and now this week we have Money and then we’ll have Sex finishing with Time. (Fridays 9.30am and Sundays 7.30pm at Jebel Ali, Saturdays 9.30am at Academic City).

When I took my notes during the talks I wrote down what I heard (plus a few extra thoughts of my own because I knew I might be bringing it to folks in a sermon later). Charlie did the same. When the four of us preaching the sermon series sat down together to talk about it Charlie looked at me and thought, I don’t remember him saying that?! I looked at her notes and saw things I hadn’t heard. The other two looked at us both and I don’t know what they thought. We think different ways, we have different backgrounds, we have different things we key into and latch information onto, so we hear the same talk but make different notes. That said,  there was a lot of overlap, which was comforting :).

The same thing is there when you read the Scene@Synod report. To me, the word play on ‘Scene’ or ‘Seen’ continues inside with reflections on synod which come from different hearings of things – no different from any communication really. I do think it’s a good summary of events though so if you want to see what Charlie, Huw and I got up to at synod then that will show you one half of it.

When I saw the word play on Scene eye wast emptied toot rye these aim thing threw an Ent ire are tickle onwards. Luck hilly four ewe, eyed id knot have the thyme.

 

Chaplaincy presentation to Synod 2013

Enjoy this presentation about our Chaplaincy, that was given to Synod in Larnaca in Cyprus earlier this month.

Unity in Diversity – Chaplaincy of Dubai and Sharjah with the Northern Emirates from Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf on Vimeo.

Thanks to Trini Jacobs of Holy Trinity.

I really liked the videos that each chaplaincy showed to give a summary of what it’s church is about in each place. To see the vidoes that each chaplaincy presented, visit http://cypgulf.org/about-synod/synod-2013/

Pilgrimages

I am happy to say that the Chaplaincy Council has agreed to support my Church Committee in it’s proposal to send me away. There was some puzzlement in the discussion as to why the church should want to do this. I am, I hope, a holy man – I do my best to be so – but I have to work with the character that God gave me and I find that having an occasional blast at the task helps me. My church committee understood this and are sending me away on a pilgrimage to Georgia – you can find out more on the diocesan website. Daily prayers and whatnot are all very well, and I encourage you in them, but spending a few days out specifically to walk with God in a more 24/7 sort of way, or in this case a 24/10 sort of way can take you to a place in spirit which daily prayers just do not tend to do, not to someone of my character anyway.

I don’t know much about Georgia, though I read some references to it in a book we had in our small room for a few months – nice big picture book on the history of the Byzantine Empire, now back in the church library – which indicated that the influence of Christianity in Georgia was significant and goes back a long way. I don’t know our bishop as well as I might and I am looking forward to catching his enthusiasm for a place and topic he loves. I don’t know so much about the Orthodox Church either, though I know much more than I did through living in the Gulf, and I’m looking forward to spending Holy Week with them. This year, their Holy Week is several weeks later than ours which is part of what makes it possible for me to go on the trip. There’s a lot I don’t know really, and I believe that doing something like this will help me draw close to God and improve my knowledge in ways that will be of benefit in my job. Although I think it’s good value for money, with current commitments at home I doubt that I would afford this trip and so am grateful to my own Church Committee for recognising the value in it, and to the Chaplaincy Council for supporting them. If you’d like to join the expedition too then sign up, and send the deposit. I’d say ‘I’ll see you there’ but I hope to see you before too on your weekly pilgrimage first (Fridays 9.30am, Sundays 7.30pm) or at least your annual Pigrimage (9 Lessons and Carols, Family Nativity Play and Carols, or Christmas) or for those who wish to commemorate those who have died I hope to see you this coming Thursday, November 1st, at 7.30pm at our All Saint’s Day Communion Service.

 

Videos from around the Diocese

Videos from around the Diocese of Cyprus and the GulfWe are very pleased to make a number of videos and presentations made by churches around our Diocese available to you.

Videos from the Diocese on Vimeo

Click on the link which will take you to Vimeo and the videos that have been uploaded there.  We hope that you can take a few minutes to watch these videos which will give you a unique insight into churches throughout our Diocese.

 

On my way to Synod again

It can’t be a whole year since last synod can it? Here I am  again on my regular routine visit to the Irish Village in Dubai Airport with my traditional Irish Breakfast LOL. Only I’m not as it was a bit too crowded so I thought I’d try something new. I’m at Segafredo’s caff with a tea and Panini (not with computer game and chocolate frog). The single member of staff is trying to keep up well enough I suppose. I can see why the Irish Village is crowded. It’s the whole ambiance really – sitting here on the edge of a busy thoroughfare with ‘modern’ furniture and so on, well it’s doesn’t have the atmosphere to enable you to chill and reflect (though I am doing that now I guess), but is more of a ‘grab a drink in transit’ kind of place.

Another change this year – I enjoyed my ‘keep the phone switched off but check in for texts’ regime so much over my summer holiday that I decided to leave the phone behind all together this week, redirected to those who will answer for me. I’m already regretting it – it has predictive text and I can make notes and reminders where our UK mobile which I have taken instead, (bought in 2003 and still going strong, sort of), is just not the same.

This year’s New Year’s resolution – to not let emails determine my agenda – has been difficult, but very rewarding this last month and a bit. It helps me to keep pausing – every time I shut the email window – to consider, what do I want to focus on? I’m not such a driven sort of bloke and it’s kept me from drifting the way of demand and pushed me back to what I was ordained for. But sitting here, in a pause as it were, waiting for the demand to get on the aircraft or face embarrassment at missing the plane, I turn my focus to what synod holds for me.

I’ll make up for the lack of today’s Irish breakfast there to be sure, that I will. I’ll make up for lack of predictive text etc with pen and paper – I think I can remember still how to do that. I’ll hear what the bishop has to say in his Presidential Address and bring that back with me to tell the folks at CCJA all about it, and the other stuff – the half day silent (well quiet) retreat at the monastery, the good things happening in other parts of the diocese and so on. But most of all I think I will enjoy the stillness of being alone, out of my normal circumstance of life for a week, meeting friends old and new, doing morning, evening and night prayers with a load of people, and taking time out to receive.

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