Planet maemo: category "feed:b31073d48a28625c25e0704e6226c79a"

Kathy Smith

There's yet another report today about emergency care, out of hours care, GP care... I've been sitting on my fingers resisting writing so long that my fingers are numb. So here goes.

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Kathy Smith

Papacy: No country for old men

2013-02-12 08:17 UTC  by  Kathy Smith
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First off, if you came here looking for a eulogy for Pope Benedict, you found the wrong page. I didn't know much about the man, was wary of his life-story, and what little of his theology I encountered I disagreed with.

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Kathy Smith

None of my business but...

2012-11-20 20:53 UTC  by  Kathy Smith
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Somehow it hurts.

I remember back in 2002 when we were debating the proposed Anglican-Methodist Covenant, I was the awkward bugger who stood up in our local District Synod and voiced the question "If this were about entering into Covenant with a denomination in which black men were forbidden to become Bishops, would we be having the debate at all?"

After a suitable pause for the very audible gasp, and time for one or two to recover from the vapours, I stepped down: point made. Two things followed in the debate. One was that in entering this covenant it was recognised that we were asking our Methodist women to make some sacrifice. The other was a loud reassurance that our brothers and sisters in the Church of England were on a journey, and we should walk with them rather than stand aloof. On that basis, our synod duly voted in the Covenant.

Today we have seen that enough of those brothers and sisters have no intention of travelling anywhere to cause the journey for all of them to come to a standstill.

A small (Methodist) part of me wants to say "Ok, can we cancel the Covenant now until they get their act together?".

But the greater, more caring part of me weeps for the pain this decision has caused and will continue to cause those wonderful women - and men - who have been called by God and who faithfully serve Him in the church every day. Those no-voters probably don't even realise that in refusing certain areas of service to women they are denigrating the service of all those faithful women, ordained and lay, by indicating that in the Official Opinion of the church they are somehow 'lesser'.

There will be a lot of pain and a fair few tears in the Church of England tonight. But tomorrow those hurt priests and their congregations will be back doing what they do best, trying to serve God in the communities in which they're set. It is all those faithful brothers and sisters that we're in Covenant with. And those brothers and sisters we sit with tonight as they come to terms with a vote that brings a long process to an end, at least for now. Maybe the subject can be raised again in a few years, but tonight we, your Covenant partners will sit down beside you, hold your hands, share your pain and wait. And we will pray with you and for you.
Kathy Smith

A very quiet 'Yay!'

2012-06-15 08:06 UTC  by  Kathy Smith
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Not often I actually write a blog post about me, but I suppose this is the place it happens when it happens. So this post is about me. And is a rather subdued celebration.
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Kathy Smith

R.I.P. Mo – so what next

2011-12-26 09:41 UTC  by  Kathy Smith
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I've been thinking about a new phone for a few weeks, having realised that my n900 was having charging issues. They came to a head on Friday night when he was unable to charge. I removed the cable, and the usb socket came away with it. So that's that for Mo. I cried a little: I know he was only a piece of technology, but Mo introduced me to so many wonderful people and took me to places I would never have been without him. Besides, I need to find a way to get the data off him with a dead battery!
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Kathy Smith

The Invisible Dog-collar

2011-09-23 07:37 UTC  by  Kathy Smith
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You know, I'd almost forgotten I wear it. I so seldom wear a real clerical collar, and working in the NHS, far fewer people see me through the lens of “clergyperson” so I'd got used to being seen as 'Me'.

This week, I was brought down to the pulpit with a bump.

It started with an email. From a gentleman. From a very nice gentleman. It said:

“There is due to be a charity ball on 1st October at the Eden Project. I shall be attending. Would there be any chance you could come as well?”

I wasn't sure what to make of that, so I showed it to a few trusted friends. Two said “That's asking you for a date”. The third said “Ooo err!” because she was the only person to whom I showed the name of the sender, and she, like me, knows that he has a long term partner. So no, I knew it wasn't a date.

But I was left very, very unsure what I WAS being asked. My best guess was that I was wanted as escort: the gentleman's partner had a very nasty accident earlier this year, and is recovering, so it was possible he needed someone to take to the event.

Rather than risk putting my foot in it, I emailed back discretely asking what I was being invited to.

And it turns out that the Trust Chair is organising a party to attend this Ball, and deputed the gentleman to find people to make up a table. And I got the impression from his reply that he was rather alarmed at the realisation that I might have misunderstood his email.

I momentarily toyed with the idea that I had been deliberately made to look foolish. But The gent is actually too nice for that. (I think!)

Which leaves me facing the sad reality that it never occurred to him to look carefully at how he worded his invitation. It didn't occur to him that as a woman I might just misread his intentions. He wasn't sending it to a woman. Because, after all, I'm not a woman. I'm the chaplain. A member of that mysterious asexual group known as clergy. Many years ago, I found a cartoon (sadly not online) showing the doors for three public loos: left, the door with the symbol for the gents, right, the door for the ladies, and in between, a door with a little stylised figure in cassock and clerical collar. Neither male nor female...

And I just didn't need that reminder right now.
Kathy Smith

Because they can

2011-08-10 08:26 UTC  by  Kathy Smith
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Many people have commented and speculated on the recent events in the UK, which are being referred to as riots, criminal action, feral youth rampaging.. call it what you will.
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Kathy Smith

Flying Tonight

2011-07-03 16:50 UTC  by  Kathy Smith
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For the last two or three weeks, I've been battling the Black Dog. Those who know me well know that I suffer from chronic depression with acute patches. Those who meet me fleetingly find this hard to credit, since I do a damned good job of hiding it and acting like a happy bear.
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Kathy Smith

The N9 is Announced

2011-06-22 07:56 UTC  by  Kathy Smith
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So Nokia have finally announced the shiny new N9, the next in their Open Source line of devices, and maybe the last. Allowing for a fairly normal lead time, it should hit markets about two years after its predecessor, the N900. (Though Nokia is not famous for getting devices out for due dates, something their new Powers That Be claim to have fixed.)
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Categories: #maemo
Kathy Smith
There's some talk online about whether those of us poking gentle fun at the whole “Rapture” business today are being unkind and unChristian. Jesus, they say, wouldn't mock the Rapture. Well, actually, I think that, had he a twitter account, Jesus would. And here's seven reasons why.
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Kathy Smith

The Nokia Revolution.

2011-01-29 09:22 UTC  by  Kathy Smith
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Watching events unfold on the world stage, I find myself wondering exactly how much responsibility lies in the hands of the Finns.
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Kathy Smith

When your world falls in.

2011-01-02 19:15 UTC  by  Kathy Smith
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Over my many years in ministry I've worked with all sorts of people dealing with all sorts of losses – many of them utter tragedies. The pain of loss is different for each person, and never to be minimised. One of the worst things that people say is that you will get over it, or that time is a great healer. It's not. So I developed my bereavement theology of the mineshaft. It should probably be noted that I live in Cornwall, where the experience described is perhaps less unlikely than in other parts of the world!A

Imagine you have a garden, a beautiful garden, that you have tended, worked in and enjoyed for a long time. And one morning you wake up to find that an old mineshaft has opened up in the middle of your garden – a great yawning hole, into which many of the things you cherished have fallen irretrievably. And now you have to start finding your way around the garden with this bloody great hole.

In the earliest days, you find that you can barely set foot in the garden. Whichever way you try to go, you find the mineshaft is in your way, and you fall in, causing yourself bruising, pain, broken bones. And you rely on others to lift you out.

Then you start to find ways of getting yourself out of the hole, pausing while you're there to look around at the bits of your garden you have lost.

As time goes on, you start to make new paths around your garden: you find a way to get down to the raspberry canes at the bottom without actually falling in the hole. You realise that you still have the camellias if not the roses, and that you can still enjoy what is left of your garden. You build some new paths, lay fresh paving and even plant new rosebushes.

But just occasionally you forget the hole is there, walk the wrong way, and fall in. And when you do it hurts every bit as much as it did on the first day. Never believe people who try to tell you it should hurt less: that hole stays as deep and painful as ever. You just get on with living and fall in less often.

So you get on with living with the hole. Your life goes on around it.

And if you are really, really lucky, it will fill with water, acquire rushes at the edges, and you can float water lilies on it in memory of the one you have lost. And that's the point when you realise that your garden is more beautiful for having loved, even if you have lost the one you love.
Categories: thunks