This morning I met up with Jana in what has become my favourite coffee shop here, and I learned a lot about how she found COTA. It was again a privilege to be able to hear someones story. I also learned loads about how COTA is funded as she is the treasurer too. There is a desire for the community to become self sufficient, mainly from within COTA itself, but with lots of students or those just starting work most people here do not have a lot of income. I was surprised, though, to hear that between a third and half of all funding comes as regular monthly giving from the COTA community. I think that is pretty impressive and gives a solid foundation to move from.
This afternoon I sat in on the staff meeting and gained more insight into what goes on. I was able to reflect on the services that I have experienced and could share that, from my perspective as a newcomer, they were excellent. I felt very much at ease, knew what to do and was able to use the experiences to engage meaningfully with God. the ambience of the services, in particular, has been something that I think has been very helpful in allowing people to rest and worship in the grace of God. Nothing has been forced or hurried, but instead we have gently moved through the liturgy and music together, meeting with God on the way.
I’m just off to officiate at Vespers in the abbey. I like the opportunity to do this as it is a service that I really love to be part of.
So today I have experienced more of how COTA ‘ticks’. Tomorrow I have 2 or 3 more interviews and then I will start to re-listen to them and look for common insights and connections – buit before that I will need to spend some time praying and thinking on the lectionary passages for this weekend so that I can write a homily to give on Sunday night.