Please hold my Father, Charlie in your prayers. He is going into hopital this week for a knee replacement on Friday. He has been informed that because of his age it won’t work as well as his other two replacements, and if it goes wrong they may have to consider amputation.
Please remember him.
I have spent part of this week away at the annual District Superintendent Ministers Consultation. This is an event which is designed to bring all the Superintendents together with the Chairman of District for sharing of information and formation of thinking. It is usually a good time of fellowship; thought provoking and challenging. I value it very highly.
On our second day Wes, our District Chairman (I struggle to use the PC term `chair` !), led us in a thought provoking time considering God as the Cosmic creative snowball !!
His idea being that God is cosmic; well, I don’t think any of us would have any problem with that. You just have to look beyond our four walls into nature to see a God who is bigger than the scope of our imaginations. “O Lord my God when I in awesome wonder…………..” leads us into a sense of awe and wonder about the size and limitless power of our God.
Creative, the next description, is another that I think most people would cope with. Like Wes I cannot go along with the idea that God made the world thousands of years ago, set it running and then sat back to watch what happened. No, I think that God is constantly tweaking, shaping and creating anew that which he already thinks is good. The Incarnation of Jesus, that belief in God coming into the world as a human being, speaks of a God who is constantly at work and constantly caring for his creation. Yes, it raises all sorts of issues, particularly in the area of suffering, but I still hold to a God who loves and cares, even if at times I don’t understand how he shows it.
It’s the third image which is particularly challenging. Like the other ministers I giggled when this was first spoken; however as Wes began explaining the description I saw something of what he was getting at. The idea behind this term is one of a God at the core of everything and gathering more and more as it goes on. Just as a snowball picks up more snow on its journey so God `gathers` his people on his journey. Now if you look at a snowball you can’t see where it began or where it picked up its last piece of snow. It all merges into one. In the same way we become part of God and he becomes part of us. Our journeys become intertwined with each other and with God.
As with all things this idea is fraught with issues, not least the role of the cross, but it is a helpful way of looking at our relationship with the God of the Cosmos, who does care for us and does seek our love in return.
Mmmmmmmmm, quite challenging !!
Thank goodness I was with a group of Methodist Superintendent Ministers who watched the excruciatingly painful England vs Croatia match last night. It was appallingly bad, and that comes from someone who is usually optimistic about all things. At least, for me, I had the good natured banter of friends and colleagues that comes from a mutual love of football. It reminds me, I think, of the true nature of fellowship whether it be in a church, a pub or elsewhere. It’s about shared experience, a common cause, a deep affection and loyalty towards each other.
Last night we were united in our disappointment but not disillusioned in our love of football, nor of the joy of being in each others company. Fellowship 1 England 0 !!!!
Please pray for the Rev. Rob frost and his family. Rob is seriously ill in hospital. Over the years Rob has been an inspiration to many with his vision of Share Jesus and Easter People. Lately he has been encouraging his son Andy in his pioneer work amongst surfers and young people. I spent my first sabattical with Rob and ever since have had the privilege of calling him friend.
Please hold them all in your prayers.
Been away this week !! Methodist Homes for the Aged (MHA) Chaplains Conference in
Leeds. My colleague, Sue, gets to go to Lanzarote but I get
Having said that it was a good few days, meeting old friends, learning more about the organisation, being challenged into thinking about aging and mortality. We spent time looking at issues of “When to suggest to elderly relatives to consider going into a home”, and perhaps more importantly “how”. We looked at the core values of MHA, its determination to put people first with people centred care, and its emphasis on finding the right staff who will not only understand but implement the core values.
Next year is MHA’s 65th birthday and a new hymn is being written for it. We had the privilege of singing the first draft. It sounds good. The whole event was held at the Roman Catholic Dioscese of Leeds headquarters over three days. Hinckley Hall used to be a Methodist Theological College in its early life and so we were reminded of the true ecumenical nature of Christian care.
Wonderful few days.
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