Posts Tagged ‘Jobs’

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Exhaustion

November 30, 2010

12.5 hours without leaving the church building + M.E. = one crashed-out Lizzie.

Sigh.

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Birthdays

October 23, 2010

Despite being pretty ill, my Birthday was a distinct improvement on last year, for which I thank God.

My parents, very generously bought me a new Digital SLR camera as a joint 25th Birthday and Christmas present.

As I was sick, I’d travelled home from London the day before my birthday, 18 hours earlier than planned, which meant I awoke on my birthday to one of the most beautifully crisp, Autumnal days I remember. Ever since I worked at Southwell Minster, Mum has always wanted to go up the tower. She was envious of Dad when I had the opportunity to take him round. I had wanted to try and visit the Minster while I was home, briefly, anyway, so adding all these things together, Mum changed her plans, and I took her up the Minster tower and was able to take some pretty exciting photos, too.

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I was also able to catch up with Andrew, my old boss, which was, as ever, lovely. Andrew asked me to put my new photos on Flickr, as he’s not on Facebook. I have just about found time to oblige, so you can now view more of my pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/elizabethalbery/

As it happened, it was my old school’s Founders Day service that evening, and there were some rehearsals for the occasion going on while we were there. I also bumped into Mr Vickers, my RE teacher, who was well known for his lessons on Derby FC and ending the lesson with ‘I digress…’ It was genuinely wonderful to see him, although we both couldn’t believe how long it was since I left. Scary thing, time.

Mum and I got home and Victoria, for whom I was bridesmaid in June, came over for lunch, was was wonderful to catch up with her and see her Wedding photos! Malcolm, Mum’s Viola playing friend also came for lunch, too, which was fun! Later in the day Mum and I headed into Nottingham for the Girl Guiding Centenary Finale celebrations, which I will tell you about in my next post!

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Picture Postcards

October 18, 2010

There’s recently been a postcard made of my place of work. I think they’re pretty cool, anyway.

All Souls Red Telephone Box

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Protected: Trapped

October 14, 2010

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Church of Coffee?

October 7, 2010

Since starting my role as a Church Assistant, I have made SO much coffee. What is it about the church that requires so much time and money to be spent making small cups of a brown addictive drink? I don’t understand.

I don’t drink coffee. I don’t like coffee. I have never liked coffee. Or the smell of coffee. And since beginning Nutritional Therapy, I rarely drink caffeinated Tea. It’s bad for me. And YOU.

The first Sunday we new, shiny Church Assistants were left to fend for ourselves, we ran out of coffee at church. My colleague wound up running to another church building to bring back enough coffee to get us through the whole day. I obviously didn’t appreciate the grandeur of the disaster we were facing at the time! I asked uninformed questions like; ‘Shall we make instant instead?’ or, to the Rector, ‘can you make an announcement during the notices about the lack of coffee..?’ My colleague, by running and leaving us to deal with ‘real church’ while he ran on his coffee hunt, was heavily praised for his good deed of the day.

I am thankful that considering the amount we consume, as a church, that we are a Fair Trade Church. That does a least make it ethical.

Still, I often wonder what would happen to the institution we know and love, called the church, if coffee was banned? People would go into withdrawal. There would be much lethargy. Worship would be bland. Meetings would turn into siestas. And, seemingly, the church would cease to function.

This came to a head for me when, on Tuesday, for a conference held at church, I spent the entirety of my shift MAKING COFFEE!

I texted my good friend, explaining that I spent my whole day making coffee, and asking;

Did Jesus drink this much coffee?!

He replied with that well known miracle in the first chapter of the Book of Coffee;

And the master of the banquet tasted the water, and it had become coffee, because that’s what the Christian’s wanted. And everyone thought Jesus was awesome.

I mean, how could I forget?

If only we were as addicted to Jesus as we are to coffee. No?

N.B. I would like to make it clear that I do not condemn the social, fellowship, which often occurs over a hot beverage. In fact, I endorse it. I am just making light of the amount of coffee which is consumed in our culture.

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Women and Ministry…

October 4, 2010

So, I’ve taken an interest in exploring the issue of women in ministry, the ordained type. To be entirely honest, I don’t know exactly what I think, which is why I am trying to spend time reading up various perspectives, to figure it out for myself, so please excuse my rambled thoughts and confusions.

My cousin, a vicar currently working with CPAS, recommended the book Growing Women Leaders, by Rosie Ward, which I have just begun reading this weekend.

Coincidentally, a very good friend of mine, posted this on his blog today;

I’m glad I don’t go to his church!

Seriously?! Maybe I should get back to my knitting, cleaning, ironing, cooking etc. Because obviously as a female, I’m only allowed to say ‘Amen’ in church at appropriate times, with the whole congregation.

I find it weird, I don’t consider myself a feminist. I have always understood that men and women differ in numerous ways, and we have traditionally had different roles which reflect that. The creation narrative demonstrates the complementarity of gender differences.

But the views of the conservative evangelical church is somewhat frustrating to me. I had the opportunity today in conversation with a  minister at church, to ask his thoughts on the subject, after he had asked a male colleague whether or not he had considered ordination himself; he had not, yet. It didn’t surprise me that he complies pretty much wholeheartedly with the views of the church we work in. He affirmed the role of women within the church; endorsing the female minister on the senior leadership team, and the varying roles women play within the work and ministry of the church, leading services, prayers, small groups, teaching children and youth, women’s groups. But he doesn’t endorse women preaching on a Sunday, or a female incumbent.

Although the idea of me, personally, up front, leading a church and preaching scares the what-sits out of me, I’m left feeling; frustrated, confused, discriminated, lost…

Why am I reacting this way? Am I just being rebellious; bucking the system I am in? I need to get my head around this.

A wise lecturer of mine pointed out to me that I am “in a church where women are considered to be great for teaching other women, but men (poor dears) will be led astray the instant they hear a woman teach. 😉 … [a church which is] not typical of the C of E.”

I appreciate the viewpoint of the minister I spoke with today, that most churches ‘fudge’ somewhere along the spectrum; from raving liberals to those who hold very conservative views. There is no ‘clear cut’ decision within the Church of England, never mind the Church as a whole. That, wherever the line may be drawn, there will be some who don’t agree on both sides.

And yet, when I come to Scripture, I see why 1 Corinthians 34-35 and 1 Timothy 2:12 can be read with the view that women should not teach or preached to mixed gatherings, i.e. the main church worship. Others don’t believe women should have overall headship of a church.

I knew back home, at Southwell Minster, there was a member of the congregation who wouldn’t attend the Eucharist if it was the female Precentor leading the service. Ironic that this person was female, too. But she didn’t have a problem with her preaching?

I don’t want to be accused as someone with poor hermeneutics, but I (and others) read the above passages within the context in which they were written, to a specific group of churches, in a specific culture in a specific time; cultural. And I get that the problem appears when we don’t view the remainder of Paul’s writings as only cultural; we take most of Paul’s teaching and apply it today, so why not these also?

Speaking to a colleague this evening, he said that there are women at his ‘home church who still cover their heads, and don’t listen if a woman is praying from the front.’ To which I replied; ‘Wow.’

1 Corinthians 14:34-35

… women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to enquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

I understand that in the Corinthian culture, women were not allowed to question men in public. Some of the new Christians were misusing their new found freedom and confidence, to confront men during corporate worship. Obviously, this wasn’t healthy for the church as a whole. Especially as they were asking questions publicly which could have been discussed within the marital home, privately. Thus preventing division and unease within the gathering of the church.

1 Timothy 2:12

I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man; she must remain silent

I’ve just learned that the Greek word Paul used, here translated as ‘silent’ more expresses an attitude of quiet composure, and another word was used to convey ‘complete silence.’ Aside from this, women in the Ephesian churches were again misusing their new freedom; they did not have the knowledge, experience or Christian maturity to teach those who already had extensive scriptural education. Cultural.

Paul did not forbid women from ever teaching. His co-worker, Priscilla, taught Apollos (Acts 18:24-26). And Paul frequently refers to other women who had positions of responsibility within the church. 1 Corinthians 11:5 – Women publicly prayed and prophesied…

As I said, I have in no way finished with exploring this debate within the church. I have yet to read chapter two of Growing Women Leaders, I’m sure other books will follow suit, and quiz other colleagues about their stance. I’m still trying to get my head around it myself.

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Protected: Fear.

October 3, 2010

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