Update: What has been, and what's coming.
Catch up with Samuel and find out what's next for this email list.
This email is a tad ‘meta’, as I’d like to let you all know what’s been going on and what you can expect in the future. I’m mindful that I’ve barely written since Lent 2019 so let’s start with a TL;DR summary and then those that are interested can continue reading.
What’s been happening?
I was ordained Priest in June 2019 at Norwich Cathedral
My focus was then on learning and practicing all things Sacramental: Baptisms, Eucharists, and Weddings - primarily. (Daunting, exciting, complex, joyful.)
Had a long suspected medical diagnosis concerning my eyes confirmed, which took time to process. (Will write about this more in future).
First Advent and Christmas as a Priest
Prep for Lent and Easter
Covid/Lockdown - Easter and Beyond as the primary tech savvy member of the ministry team.
All of which meant that while I’ve been active on Twitter, most of my writing has been work and sermon related rather than as emails or blog posts. The difficulties - particularly relating to my eyes - also meant that motivation to write was minimal.
This resulted in this email list being dormant and your inboxes, as full as they may be with other writers and internet sales offers, were bereft of any reflections from myself.
The bulk of my emails here were sent out as an almost daily reflection during Lent where we worked our way through an overview of the whole Bible to gain perspective on the events of Good Friday and Easter. For that, I used Mailchimp.
However, in resurrecting this email list I’ve made a shift over to Substack instead of Mailchimp. There’s a handful of reasons why but in short I think it will be a better experience for me writing and hopefully a better experience for you reading.
This move has helped clarify how I wish to use the list.
On Substack this list/newsletter/magazine has been titled: Notes from the Pilgrim Path.
In short, this space will be an eclectic semi-regular assortment of reflections on faith, culture, literature, life, and poetry as I share my journey through life, ‘from this World to That Which is to Come’. There may be occasional series of a similar nature to the Lent Reflection - but there will more often be a variety of topics and styles.
So it’s at this point that I wish to be respectful of your time and attention - if you’ve forgotten me, this list, and none of what I’ve written so far appeals to you then please feel free to Unsubscribe on amicable terms by clicking the button below or the link at the bottom.
If, however, you do remember me, you have been interested by what I’ve written so far and - most importantly - you have not clicked the button just above then I am glad to be able to share something of my Pilgrim Journey with you.
Thank you, and Welcome Aboard.
As I’ve mentioned above, my intention is to use this space to get writing again. A space to reflect on the topics which I find engaging in a way which isn’t really possible on Twitter - with its character limitations - and to do so in a more informal manner than a ‘proper’ blog post.
I have a few areas which I’d like to explore:
Moments and events from my own journey through life - both spiritual encounters with God, and also significant moments personally. This would include, for instance, my ordination, my first Easter as a Priest, and my medical situation.
Ideas of faith and philosophy - a life without pondering and exploring the caccophany of the conceptual landscape is not one which I would find satisfying. The notion that ideas matter drove me to pursue first philosophy and then theology, and will, I suspect, remain with me for the rest of my life.
Culture - this is the one which I have the most ideas for and will likely also write the least notes on. This is because as a Priest I find myself compelled by conscience to take certain ideas and analyses of culture very seriously as they seem intimately connected with my understanding of the Gospel. However, I am only one Priest amongst a Church of Priests and many of them may take differing perspectives on the same issues. There’s two things which I take very seriously at this point. The first is that as a Teacher of the Faith, I shall be held to a higher standard on Judgement day as to how well I have - or have not - led and supported people in the faith. The second is that theological power combined with political instruction mixed with a possibility of confirmation bias and cognitative dissonance is something to be handled carefully so as not to risk inadvertently being abusive; either spiritually, or by leading people into unhealthy choices or ethical ultimatums. As such while I certainly have my own perspective, I’m not going to say “Christians should vote for Person A” or they’re not really Christian etc. I also don’t believe that the Gospel is only for one political party - everyone is a sinner, everyone needs Jesus, anyone can recieve forgiveness and eternal life in his Name.
Literature and Poetry - before I am a writer, I am a reader. Having read, I may want to share reflections and insights from novels and poems which I’ve enjoyed, or disliked! However, I will also be sharing some Notes on my own poetry. Speaking of which, you may have seen my recent email which was an announcement of the publication of my new book: Glimpses. It’s a collection of poetry I’ve written over the years. You can find out more here and read a couple of poems for free before deciding if you’d like to buy it.
I’m sure that there will be some Notes which won’t easily fit into one of these categories but the vast majority shall.
Before I sign off, I’d like to take a moment to link to some of my recent sermons and a new poem which I published on my website earlier today.
If you have any questions or would like me to reflect on a particular topic, or even would just like to say hello, please feel free to drop me a line.
If you’re not unsubscribing, thank you for joining me for Notes from the Pilgrim Path.
With every blessing,
Samuel S. Thorp
Husband | Priest | Wanderer