Thanks to a combination of BT, the Christmas break, and lots of work, it is disgracefully 2 months since I last blogged. Huge apologies, and so here is a whistlestop update.
Over Christmas, I got most of my remaining supporting pieces done. One was for Mission & Ministry, on the issue of boundaries in ministry, and the other three were for Christian Worship - a book review of Paul Bradshaw's work on the Eucharist in the early church, an essay about how WWI affected funeral practice in the Church of England, and an essay on how modern theories of symbolism and ritual can affect our understanding of the sacraments. The latter was by far the hardest one to write, so it is perhaps reflective of the proportionate amount of work that I had to spend on it that I got the highest mark for it!
With the supporting work all but done (there are 3 small pieces still to do), this term is time to focus on my 4 Long Essays (7000 words each!) The aim is to get one done per month; the first is a piece on the thematic coherence of Psalms 42-49, and, with the reading nearly finished, I should be able to start writing it later this week. Ideally, I will be starting essay number 2 next week!
Still loving my time at Exeter College. Will be preaching at a Eucharist tomorrow night (for the Conversion of Saint Paul), and that has been quite a challenge, considering that the congregation will be mainly highly intelligent academics! I have tried to get a balance between having some interesting theological snippets for them to think about and having an appropriate gospel message. I asked a colleague (who knows what it is like in an Oxford College) to have a quick look this afternoon, and he was very affirming, so that was encouraging! We shall see how tomorrow evening goes!
Later this term I will be leading a Choral Evensong there...in front of a very good choir!
Amidst the work, there was time to enjoy a bit of a rest over the holidays, with a week spent at both sets of grandparents. Clare & I even had a chance to go out, just the two of us, for a change! We also went to a Christingle at our old church in Biggin Hill, so lots of people got to meet Nathan there!
Speaking of Nathan, he was baptised in the village church, by the college principal yesterday. It was an extremely moving ceremony, with a number of family and friends, and over half the college there! Will post more about this in a separate blog entry in a day or two.
2 days ago