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lördag 28 maj 2016

Anniversary within reach - refreshed version?

One of many beautiful windows of the Gustaf Adolf church. 
I have been travelling again!! I will just add a few words about this little trip. The pictures you see in this post are from a town called Borås. Borås is known for its textile industries, so is the entire county. You will find it east of Gothenburg and Borås is part of Skara dioces. In this dioces one can find traces of the first kingdoms and also of the first crusaders. We saw two churches only this time, the Gustaf Adolf that most interiors are from, built 1902 and Caroli, represented here only with the metal ornament on the wall. That church was built in the 1660s, but before that there was a 13thcentury church in the same spot.
This beautiful wall was painted by the swedish master Pär Siegårdh.
The churchorgan harbours some 3400 pipes
So, why this trip? Well, this year is my 20th as a minister and some of my anniversaryfriends wanted a meeting with as many as possible from our studygroup. Six of us couldn't make it but most of us where there to share life and experience, memories, laughter and sentiments of all kind. We also spoke of our different dioces, 6 represented. We spoke of concern, identity and issues of importance for the future of the church of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Some of you know I never publish pictures with people, but this was published on Facebook so...these are the blessed people, 6 absent, who where ordained 1996, at least 5 different dioces represented.
I took the train although that can be a bit of a risk nowadays. First stop was the vicarage of my best friend. In the large house there is right now room for two refugees as well and since I stayed overnight, we had a great time with these two young men, newly christened and very happy about that. They were both from Iran...The evening ended with prayers and hymns. They are learning swedish hymns and pick them as they appear in the prayerbook so this night we sang christmashymns!!
Two days in Borås went by quickly and the journey home was not a laughing matter at first but after three confuced trainchanges and delayed buses, I was at last safe on my way home, having spent an unexpected extremly nice hour with two strangers, strangers to eachother we all were. Those meetings are my favourites, and we solved most of the problems of today and enjoyed different views and references. Tired but pleased with the trip, I returned to homebase!!
Ironornament on the outer wall of Caroli
Borås is a town loaded with streetart. Mostly sculptures but this year there were wellknown painters decorating huge walls, here is Kobra with his image of Alfred Nobel.
In the center of town, close to the river Viskan, you'll find the Gustaf Adolf church, built 1902.
In my next post I'll try and guide you through those precious days 20 years ago, but also the years before that finally brought me to the dome to be ordained.

söndag 22 maj 2016

Billy Elliot on stage!!!


And so we finally went to celebrate my husbands 50th birthday( 2 years ago..) and our 24th engagementanniversary...
Not very fancy, but we used one of his great presents for the theatre before those tickets expired and then actually stayed over night even if we don't live more than an hour and a half away!!
Sometimes you just have to be extravagant.
Billy Elliot has been one of our favouritfilms in later years, now sir Elton John was asked to make new music for a musical , written by Lee Hall.  The story is an enchanting one, with its base in 1984 and Maggie Thatchers conflicts with the coalmineunion. In this dark and despairing environment lives a small family, the mother dead, father and older brother works in the mine, grandmother living in her own world. Billy is raised to be a real man, taking boxinglessons , 50 cents per lesson, and with his future in the mine. Only, the balletclass attracts him more, to his own surprise, and all of a sudden he spends the 50 pence on ballet, father knowing nothing at first. The rest, well, I won't tell...there was a rerun on BBC this weekend, hope you managed to see it!!  We had a great time, great great performance, great music, great food, nice to be back in ones hometown, although feeling foreign and akward. Nice to have a hotelnight with BREAKFASTBUFFÉ!!!
I don't think you will find another post like this for quite some time, but now I felt like doing it.

Kings Cross?? St Pancras?? Oh no, my hometowns Grand Central Station!!!
Keep the track of time with this ancient clock!!!
Our hometown is known for its many parks, some with the canal floating right through, some with ponds and lakes, a bit like London.
Too much monkey business in the pub last night laddie??
Our hotel was finished in 1902 but on the site there have been hotels since middle of 13th century.
Our seats where ready,full house tonight- again!!!
We are one hour from the "bell" calling us in !!!
These would probably look rather silly in our livingroom, not to mention the many bumbs they would bring to the husband and oldest daughters heads!
Food was not bad at all
Every guest is a guest of honour according to our hostess Thalia!!
Tonights performance at 18.00 hours - Billy Elliot!!!
The theatre was built 1952, this fountain goes with it.
This is the church where I found my way to belief. I sang in the churchchoir for many years,
oh so many glorious Missa Brevis, so many christmases and easters.

Here  you can see and hear for  yourselves the quality of this performance, at least part of it.

I know, this is indeed foreign to many of you, but the first clip is from auditions and drills, the second is from the news reports. Many boys wanted a part, we have many talented youngsters here, boys AND girls. Such a joy watching the energy and spirit when you use Gods gifts!!
Childactors are taken good care of in Sweden, workinghours, sparetime, tutors, comfort and support. Not to mention the need of a good, friendly feeling within the group. 

torsdag 19 maj 2016

In the beginning, God created heaven and earth

I thought I'd just add a short post from the afternoon walk I had this tuesday together with one of the younger refugees. He is fascinated by the way we take care of and enjoy nature and I tried to combine  a vivid conversation around Pentecost and the background for Acts with swedish-lessons and a trifle of biology to go with it, birds, trees, flowers. I just took some pictures, inspired by you, my fellowblogers and present them now, with this mornings nightinggale still in fresh memory.
This is what you can find along the forestpaths uphill where we live. And no, my dear Highlanders and Canadians, the altitude is a laugh in comparison!!

A nice cottage for mice?
In this part of the forrest nothing that falls is taken away, it's saved for the sake of birds and insects.
Always had a fancy for rocks and stones, in here you may find snakes.
Birchtrees are so frail and lovely
It won't turn green ever again but makes good housing.
Wild appletrees and a multitude of berries, mostly blackberries is a treasure later on.
Just set your shoes and wander off!!!
If I will be half as beautiful when I'm old I won't mind the greyhairexperience!
A couple of years ago this was rather solid, now you can actually blow pieces of it away, bugs have been working hard!
If you look close you can see that people of the old days tried to split up this rock and use it for building, but it wouldn't yield so there it lies!
The canopy opens up and allow us to see the clearing skye!
Just four weeks ago, this was all there was
Messengers of spring

Thats all for now. I'll be back on sunday to tell you about our weekend with Billy Elliot, fancy dinner and fancy hotel, first time on our own for five years, our 24th engagementanniversary, we celebrate them too!!

lördag 14 maj 2016

A pentecostal eurovision


So we have Pentecost and what a glory this is!! Pentecost in Sweden is quite unknown these days, but today we actually had a wedding in our church, for many years weddings was the utmost symbolic action to go with Pentecost.  This evening we were gathered in the churchyard, to begin our celebration and summoning of the holy Spirit. Not all that many, about 25, with the larks swirling above in the skye and the gleeming green and pink as our roof. We read the words of John, about the love and the helper. The spirit of truth. And how great is not our need for the truth in this world today!!! This world is lying us straight in the face, about what is real, what is important, who are winners and who are not. Who has value and who has none! We need to know if suffering will end, we need to know if love survives anything, we need to know if mercy will last us through any trial. We need to hang on to the hope we have in Jesus Christ! The truth is that we are never alone , never abandoned. Every inch of the way . Pentecost is the revelation of Gods eternal presence in our hearts, in our lives, in the world. The holy Spirit will reveal the truth to us about Gods grace and Christs victory. No more crying. No more fear. Hope is alive and true.

We are not waiting anymore, it's here!!!
This evenings service was celebrated here, at the Memorial Grove.
The simple old ragged cross
For rent or already taken???

I think the swedish television has done a great job with the acts to go with the partyfeeling in the Globe!!! But still, where is the holy Spirit when we need it? Spirit there is, but not so holy...
The final is now about to begin, my goodness it's quite like the Olympic Games .....!!!
So, this competition actually started as a token of peace. After worldwar two we needed so much to bind us together. The steel and carbonunion was the beginnig, then came Eurovision. If people cooperate and compete in a friendly way, the won't fight. Kind of the same follows the teachings in school today and kindergarten - if the children massage each others backs they won't hit.
Tonight 26 countries will enter the glittering stage, 14 are not with us anylonger, sorry Ireland , but on the other hand we have included both Israel and now...Australia---uh, well, Europe has no bounderies I guess. We both fear and hope that our boy Frans will be the winner, better that we win than one of the poorer countries, Eurovision craves a VERY large budget.
So I will leave this post with this:
May this competition be more of a very large birthdayparty where everyone is invited and young people can shine and be happy about themselves even if they don't win or even get close.
And what do you know, Ukraine actually wins!! The only song that brought tears to my eyes, outstanding performance Jamala!!!

Tomorrow we'll continue celebrating Pentecost with hopefully 60 choirsingers and the church filled with worshippers of all age!!!

måndag 9 maj 2016

And the Oscar goes to.....The non-compliant midwife!!!


This brilliant and sunny morning in may, where the flu seem to inhabit one after another in the house with frightful temperatures to go with it, I just wanted to add a post of a kind normally belonging in my daughters blog.
In these days there seem to be no hindrance whatsoever to people going public. And worse still,
forcing others to ,unvolonteeringly, go public as well.
In Sweden it has been a constant topic since the mobiles turned into complete entertainmentdevices.
But I will at first turn to the newsworld. For years we've seen unhappy people with cameras up their noses, being spread like softcheese all over the "latestnewsflash"sandwiches we're being served constantly. Especially crying, screeming and desperate faces of fellow humanbeeings.

I can understand the newsvalue rising if you actually see the unfortunate people being spoken of.
I can understand also, that seeing is believing. And sometimes we have to see to take actions needed. But Visual evidence can also be tampered with, we see it often. Lies can be flashed around in an instant.

 A couple of years ago we actually had a large case against some schoolgirls spreading lies about a friend of theirs on Instagram. This marched its way into highcourt. Today, the same things happend on a daily bases and people get better in hiding their tracks. Children get harrassed not only in school but around the clock. Messages, pictures, distorted truths on internet.
This has gone as far as is possible, now most schoolchildren refuse to use showers in school and public bathingfacilities due to the increasing use of other childrens mobilecameras. Nobody wants to be hung out on Snapchat or Instagram, bare naked.
We also have the issue of boyfriends filming the"act" and publishing it, the girlfriend unaware mostly.

Altered is the attitude towards this of making your entire life public. The latest was broadcasted this morning: midwifes find it hard to do their work in a proper way due to the constant filming of every second of birthgiving, you know, the labours, the screeming, the blood, the pain, the rushing of nurses, the agony, the happiness... when denied filming the event by "sulky" nurses, the parents hide the cameras and film anyway. Now the hospitals need some kind of lawinforcement to help them balance this. One should think it would be enough with common sense, but clearly not.
I agree, these are magical moments in the young parents lives, but it's familymoments, not for the eyes of the world. Or?
We can only hope there will be plenty of people to celebrate the event with them, even without the filming. Nobody wants to diminish the happiness!!
But you really should think twice before you publish your life like this, not to mention other peoples lives!

You can't stop progress, they keep telling me when I bring these matters up, no maybe not, but I don't have to like it.
In some cases, being a celebrity obviously carries an expectancy from others that you will agree to have your life in focus most of the time, that lies in the nature of it. Great events of the world must as well be monitored. But surely, the average child or grownup anywhere in this world, must have a chance to at least decide for themselves if they want their ordinary,dailybaseslives shared by everyone.

I'll give the Oscar to the "non-compliant" midwife for standing up and putting her foot down on account of integrity, privacy and the right to do her important and competent work in peace. At least be able to say no if she doesn't want to be filmed.
Every living soul is miracle, don't we give sufficient attention and love to people around us, is that why we feel the urge to go public with our own or others lives, true or false??
If I'm totally offline here, please tell me what you think, I am prepared to reconsidder.

fredag 6 maj 2016

Now is the month of maying


This month holds so many different activities that I lost count before I even got halfway. If we turn just an inch outside our own sphere even more things take place.  The boats are starting to turn up along the italian coast again, due to the new treaty for refugees. This means that people are seeking other means to reach their goal; a hidingplace and a safehaven. A few days ago some hundred drowned again, before reaching the italian coast, so we are back to where we started. 
The most peculiar news we heard today was the symphonyorchestra that was seated in the amphitheatre of Palmyra, recently retrieved from the IS and saved for the afterworld. Only the orchestra was playing on the  same stage where several killings had taken place not so long ago. And only some hundred miles away from that orchestra ,bombs continued to fall over new hospitalwings and refugeecamps. This is indeed strange days we are facing.

Holding these troublesome events in mind and heart, along with the worries about Donald Trump and the partycongress taking place in North Korea, I will return to the brighter part of spring.
This wednesday was International Star Wars Day ( did you actually know we had one) and I got messages saying: May the force be with you.   Being a Mel Brooksfan, I sent instead to my daughter:
May the schwartz be with you ( Space Balls)

The pictures in my post today speak of the glorious and bright Valborg we celebrated. In Sweden we have this old tradition of celebrating Valborg, when sun is setting people gather round great fires and sing springsongs from older days. Our churchchoir sings on two different beaches, you can see the efforts being made to produce a good fire, without hedgehogs, old tires or spraycans exploding.
In one village the fire is lit on the beach, in the other its set out in the harbour, just a small one as you can see. This strange tradition seeks to bannish darkness and summon the light, we really were heathens up here . 
I added a short clip from Lund University where the famous studentsingers ( various ages, mind you) are welcomming spring, in a traditional fashion. We love choirs in Sweden!

This night the rest of the family is away for the Danceshow, this year its just the oldest dancing, otherwise both dance. Tomorrow it will be my turn if I can only get rid of this awful cough!!
The Danceshow is based on Alice in Wonderland this term, in december we had a wonderful show with the Gringe. Almost two hours with a coffeebreak. The danceleaders always have a good story and plenty of costumes to go with it. 
Here I sadly have to add: That menace of a cough actually grew worse and I missed the first danceshow in eight years!!!! OOH agony!!!

Yesterday we celebrated Christs Ascension. In our church we start early with chorals from the churchtower and then the service continues in the church.
Next weekend will be Pentecoast and we gather two choirs, more than 50 singers, and celebrate together with our neighbouring parish. On the eve before we have a peaceful and serene service in the churchyard, close to a place we refer to as Memory Grove, where there are no graves or markings on those who are buried there, just a well, a lawn, flowers and a large wooden cross. 
Oh yes, and we have the Eurovision song contest, far more holy to the average swede than ever so many pentecoastalgatherings.

The weekend after that we are setting sails for a weekendonourown!!!! Husbands 50th birthday present was never used and was about to expire so we booked a hotelroom, tickets for Billy Elliot and a lobbydinner to go with that.  I know some of you have seen the show and loved it and we've seen the film and loved it so......This will be the first time in years we do something like this!
And just a week later, I'll meet some of the people that was ordained for ministry as priest in our church, twenty years ago !! That event will have a post of its own.
Oh, month of maying, where merry lads are playing,,,,

The villagers are working hard to get the fire burning
while the ocean is rolling peacefully
and finally, at sunset, the fire is sparkling
In our village they set the fire at safe distance.....
The clear springskye gives a nice background to the giants reaching the heavens