It has been a long day today mostly spent down in Arbroath where Angus Presbytery were holding their annual "Big Day Out" - a conference for church folks with a multitude of different seminars on a wide variety of topics. The day started with worship led by Rev Peter Gardner from Glasgow's Renfield St Stephen's Church and then a key note talk given by Very Rev Lorna Hood, both of them talking on the theme of pilgrimage and journeying with God, finding God in the every day places, sometimes the most unexpected places. The image above shows Lorna talking to us in St Andrew's Parish Church, Arbroath.
I was there to lead two seminars on Spill the Beans, introducing this resource and how the Spill the Beans team produce it. This seminar was held a short distance away, cutting through the old Abbey at Arbroath Old and Abbey Church. As always with this kind of thing, it is great to meet folks and catch up with old friends and meet some new folks, hearing their stories.
When I arrived at Old and Abbey Church I was greeted by Rev Dolly Purnell, the minister there, who said she knew me from somewhere. Quickly we connected that it was through a picture in The Easter Code books! I was delighted when Dolly showed me one of the crosses the children at the local primary school had created as a part of that programme. We did not manage to run The Easter Code this year, but definitely next year we will introduce it to Ferryhill Primary and Broomhill Primary 7s. This all just confirmed to me what a small world it is in church circles!
After I had completed the second seminar I dashed away to head down to Dobbies Garden World at Monifieth to meet a family for a funeral taking place next week. This is not the usual place for funeral visits, it has to be said, but after retreating to a nearby Brewer's Fayre restaurant where the family's younger ones could entertain themselves in the play area we had a lovely chat about the life of the deceased. It was a happy turn of events that allowed us to meet up prior to the funeral which, if it had not been for speaking at the conference, I would not have been able to do. Providential, one might say.
Now to turn thoughts back to tomorrow which is looking to be another very busy day... morning worship, stewardship event, mentoring meeting and then the Cosy House.