I'm actually looking forward to a week where there are no funerals to be conducted. As much as I enjoy them immensely and regard them as one of the best bits of the ministerial role, this last month has effectively seen a funeral for every working day; many of those I did the service for being people I knew.
Today though has been a day where bread and wine were to the fore and I managed to fit in an early Communion service at St Francis' before heading off out to enjoy visiting friends. It's odd, but after all these years it still doesn't feel like work when I'm out visiting - and I hope it never does get to feel like that. The evening saw me engaged with cadets, always a joy.
It's been a day when the benefits system of our land has been to the fore as well as I have been exposed to the challenges faced by others as they find benefits stopped, suspended and changed. The problem is that the mechanisms in place are inadequate and unable to manage to stop one benefit and start the other so that the outcome is something consistent and contiguous: And that means pain and fear and frustration for the claimant as they deal with the situation before them.
Some struggle so much that they become frozen in time, like a rabbit in the headlights, and this is not helped by the often low quality provision before them!
Lord, help us to stand with the marginalised and the poor, the disposed and the damaged people before us. You call us to act in their behalf and to make things work for them in terms of equity and justice. Mobilise your church we pray.
I thank You for the work of foodbanks and the charities with offer friendship, counsel and support - strengthen the arms of those who work with them and the consciences of those who might give aid to support them.