A busy few days lie ahead, with a lot of travelling around the country involved. This is work travel, but I'll also get to see some old friends.Today, I'm heading to the north-east for an overnight stay.
Tomorrow, I'll drive to South Queensferry to pick up Derek Kamukwamba, the Bishop of Central Zambia. I first met him in 1993 when he was the Archdeacon of Kabwe. This was on my first visit to Africa, and he taught me a lot of the 'dos' and 'don'ts'. Like introducing me to the wonders of 'O God Our Help In Ages Past', done to an African tune that makes the song positively upbeat. How to crush enormous spiders with your bare feet. The joys of visiting cockroach infested toilets in the dark. The African sky at night. Not worrying too much if things don't start on time. What to do when presented with a live chicken at a church service and how to then kill it. Ahh, such happy days!
On Sunday night, we welcome Bishop Derek and Bishop Idris (Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church and Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway) for a service of Baptism and Confirmation. Please do pray for God's blessing on the nine people who will be baptised and confirmed. Several of them are going to share a little of their story of coming to faith in Jesus.
Two bishops in one service! Will you please behave, St Silas'?
Appropriately enough we'll be using a birthing pool for the baptisms. Last time we did this, we had to have an emergency pool sent out at the last minute, as the original didn't turn up. Sadly it hadn't been properly cleaned since the previous users, and they hadn't been baptising in it! Some powerful cleaning ensued and all was well in the end. Hopefully a clean pool will arrive at the church today........