Monday 8 January 2024

Anno Domini nostri Jesu Christi 2023-24

A course not corrected

I find it interesting that my blogging process has still not changed 20 years and a month since I started a blog. The last blog I wrote started on a different premise, I was thinking of writing about how the last year ended and the new began.

Then I guess rather than adopt a course correction based on original intent, I usually allow the organic flow to whatever reach and extent that blog veers to as I write. If this were a professional rather than a personal blog, I might need a bit more discipline by keeping my writing within the confines of the topic of my intent, yet the freeform has its uses.

It is like where would the mind take you to where imagination and imagery is given free rein, untrammelled by style, use, or expression? That is where Brian would suggest that some blogs I have written have sprung from just one word said in passing, the seed from which paragraphs and blogs become a harvest to publish.

Christmas and anniversaries

The highlight of Christmas Day was in the Sung Eucharist at Manchester Cathedral, which was televised and broadcast live, my seat inadvertently secured by the chief steward eventually gave me a bit of prominence at the gospel reading and at other times. To that, I can only say that since I have begun volunteering as a church steward, I have been more blessed in serving than I could have imagined. [BBC iPlayer: Christmas Morning Service from Manchester Cathedral]

It was quiet and reflective though made memorable by the insistence of my neighbours who persuaded me to join them for a late evening of festivities. Brian and I marked the 5th anniversary of my relationship in the same week as I began to think of what I needed to do to usher in the New Year.

However, there was another Sunday to face where I was scheduled to give the first reading at church, the Sunday falling on New Year’s Eve. I was given a reading from the Book of Isaiah to review only to find out as I checked the lectern before the service that the reading had been changed to a New Testament reading from Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. The passage was familiar enough, I only had to deal with the dread of hearing my voice amplified. Apparently, the cadence and my voice were good.

An elderly fellowship into 2024

Having received a text message from a charismatic church I attended in the summer; usually an evening service rather than the main one, they were having a New Year’s Eve service to see in the New Year and without priced tickets too.

I must have been the only guest in the congregation as everyone else seemed to know each other. I was welcomed by many and held in conversation with some who took more than a cursory interest. I was also acknowledged as an elder, I guess I have not helped my youthful cause by the use of a walking cane, though my facial features might belie some passage of time.

We had a diverse buffet before the praise, worship, and prayer session ushering in the year 2024. It was a blessing to find such a company of saints to fellowship with. 2024 has begun in earnest and before us is the opportunity to write new stories.

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