Monday, 28 September 2009

Back to Church Sunday

Yesterday the C of E had "Back to Church Sunday" in many churches.

It's rather fitting that I spent it celebrating the ordination and first Eucharist of someone who has had a profound influence on my own return to church and indeed to Christianity. When I met this woman for the first time, I was still hurting too much from my own experiences to see what Christianity can be, but her actions as long as I've known her have painted a very challenging and compelling picture of what is possible.

I still don't know whether I'd call myself Christian, but I've been told a number of times now that my beliefs are more Christian than not. Would that my actions could also match this description, or at least the best spirit of it!

The services were beautiful, not in a "that's really pretty" sort of way (though there was plenty of aesthetic beauty about) but spiritually moving. It was wonderful to attend the ordination in the morning as a member of the congregation, and an honour and a joy to sing in the choir for the Eucharist in the evening.

So, yes. Deacon Friend is now also a priest. Since I've started associating with so many clergy online, Priest Friend really won't narrow things down, so I shall from now on refer to her here as Ambassador for Compassion.


Ernest said...


Great to know that the service went so well. I was not able to make it to Southwark, as I was on my learning curve in my Parish.

Compassion is such a huge Gift to have but it can be very draining for those who really possess it and give it freely.

I know to my cost, how hard it can hit you, if you give to much.

From what I read and sense your ambassador for Compassion has been key in supporting your journey, so I think that she deserves my prayers for her whole new journey.

Song in my Heart said...

Thank you, Ernest; I'm sure that Ambassador for Compassion would welcome your prayers. I would say that she is very deserving of prayer; her journey thus far has not been an easy one (even beyond the usual rigors of training). And she has indeed been a huge support to me, both in my spiritual searching and in recovery from mental illness and learning to live with various other health problems. But I would pray for her and for the other ordinands whether I felt they deserved it or not: regardless of my own personal feelings about anyone's conduct, all humans are both deserving of prayer and very much in need of God's grace. I pray specifically for those who come to my attention or I feel drawn to care for because I have limited time and that seems as good a way as choosing as any.

Balance between our own needs and those of others is very difficult for some and caring about others can be hugely costly even when one chooses not to act. It can be difficult to know what to do in the context of teaching that says we are called to follow Christ even unto death! I don't believe I would serve God by working myself into the ground to the point that I am unable to function. Remembering we are all interconnected is, I think, an important part of caring for ourselves as well as caring for the world. What affects one affects all, which means that if I harm another I harm myself but also that if I harm myself I harm the whole world, the whole of God's creation. Working out the details of that is non-trivial, of course...

it's margaret said...

What a beautiful name! How wonderful!

Bless you Song. She is lucky to know you.

Song in my Heart said...


I'm not always sure about that! I've been the cause of no small amount of hard work on her part. There is absolutely nothing I can do that will ever repay her kindness.

But I can acknowledge that I am profoundly blessed to know her and others like her, and I can aspire to the same lovingkindness in how I treat others.