Well we've settled into the new manse..... some boxes still remain upstairs but we have committed ourselves to an Open House at the manse on Saturday, so this should galvanize us into more action this week, (not to mention getting the baking sorted)
It is beginning to feel more like home because:
- books are up on the shelves in the study (if not yet fully sorted into categories)
- most of our pictures are up and on the walls
- the wonderful array of kitchen cabinets are getting filled
- the dogs are ecstatic about their new garden
However, a lot still needs to be done, with the boxes remaining upstairs, Graham's desk is yet to be sorted and a small corner cabinet is defying attempts to get it placed straight on the wall. The garage is still refusing to yield up the tools we need for certain jobs, and somehow the seed potatoes lovingly cared for by a friend so they wouldn't have to go into store appear to have walked, but these, at the end of the day are minor considerations. We have been made so welcome by church and circuit members.
I was thinking about what makes a house a home, and for me, it was installing our two dogs and finding the right space for their baskets, getting the pictures that give colour and lift my spirits up onto the wall, like Ric Stott's amazing prints
Then there is also starting to cook in the lovely double oven, and once we have managed to cook for others then it will truly feel that we have not just arrived, but are at home.
At a Synod workshop I attended on Saturday, Revd Hannah Bucke challenged us to think about the church as a guest as well as a host, in just the same way that Jesus' ministry had both elements in it.
Over the past few weeks we have been blessed by being guests - a longer stay with our daughter and son-in-law in Scotland than was originally planned the most obvious one during August, but also we have been guests in church member's homes in Stortford too, and the welcome I have received on pastoral visits has been so generous. Now we are getting ready to be hosts for the Open House, but I think that to put guests at ease, we have to remember not simply to be a hospitable host, but also to bear in mind what it is like to receive, as well as give.