A Year in Gothenburg – October

4 Harvest Festival

Later in the year than usual, because of Synod the first weekend in September.  Karin Burstrand, Dean of the Cathedral, preached and stayed to chat to people afterwards.  The Harvest produce was auctioned in aid of Räddningsmissionen for their work with refugees.  Taizé Mass at Haga in the evening – the one per term we do in English.

5-7 Diocesan Vocations Conference

After a break of a few years I was again invited as Education Interviewer.  Six very impressive candidates, none of them British.  There was a separate round of interviews for ministers from other denominations wanting to transfer, in which I was not involved, so I had time to visit Runnymede and obtain a poster of the Magna Carta on my way to Woking.

10 Pilgrim walk to Kållered

Walked on the second Saturday of the month this time, to allow it to be publicized at the Taizé Mass in the hope of attracting students.  Therese had invited us to visit her house for refreshments, and joined us in the walk from Mölndal.  There were 8 of us, including two students new to the group.  A lovely autumn day, and delicious soup.

16 Trial of King John

A most enjoyable evening at the Anglo-Swedish Society.

18 Ecumenical Service

Joined the other non-Swedish German, Nordic and Baltic congregations for our annual service – usually on the Sunday nearest United Nations Day but brought forward to avoid clashing with the school half-term weekend.  I preached about the story of Ruth, herself an immigrant, and the collection went to UNHCR.

21-23 Bishop’s Council

My last official meeting in the diocese, with many fond farewells.  I have been the clergy rep for Nordic and Baltic this triennium.  I expect the Area Dean for Germany will take over.  However, Nordic and Baltic did brilliantly in the elections: Tuomas (Helsinki) was elected to General Synod so is ex officio a member of Diocesan Synod where Jana (Riga) is our elected clergy member.  For the three Lay vacancies in our Archdeaconry, we had three candidates and the Germans none, so all of ours are on.

25 Church Committee

The gospel for the day was about Bartimaeus, and instead of writing a sermon I read from John Hull’s book In the Beginning was Darkness – reading the bible from the perspective of a blind man.  Much of the CC meeting was about plans for my retirement, but we also managed to catch up on the usual business.

28 Not Midweek Mass

Jacob had invited a group of musicians to present some songs and texts.  In fact, it was a full-blown performance, around the story of the Prodigal Son, and when I realized this, I decided it was not appropriate to celebrate Holy Communion in the middle of it; I just finished up with a slightly shortened version of the prayer “Father of all …” and a blessing.  A good crowd, maybe 60-70.