On 1st October, I have my induction as a student in the Theology Department at Durham University. I am enrolled on the Graduate Diploma course in Theology and Religion. It is a two year, part-time course and the members of MCC Newcastle very generously voted to contribute towards my fees – thank you for that, and for your confidence in me.
On 3rd October, it is the official opening of the “Inspirational Women of the North East” exhibition at the Hatton Gallery in Newcastle. I am one of 25 women, past and present who have their photograph in the exhibition, which runs until 21st December. You can find out more at www.iwne.org
Both these developments will provide me with opportunities to meet new people, to learn and to grow. They both also present challenges and risks. It is nerve-wracking walking into a group of people that you don’t know, having to come out all over again – as a lesbian, as a Christian, as a widow, as anything…… Most of my day to day life goes on in a “rainbow coloured bubble”. I work with, work for and mix overwhelmingly with LGBT people. I will be entering a world which most of you inhabit all the time and it will take me way out of my comfort zone.
When Jesus walked on water (Matthew 14:22 – 31), he called Peter out of the boat. Peter got out and he too started to walk on the surface, until he focussed on himself, instead of his trust in Jesus. Then he started to sink.
From past experience, I know that I am prepared to get out of the boat, to risk leaving my comfort zone, then blessing, connection, learning and friendship follow. Your continued prayers will encourage when I, like Peter, feel that I am starting to sink.