Well, we launched the new Borders Mission Circuit in fine style tonight, with lots of fun, laughter, good music (traditional and modern), keyboards, band, candle lighting, commissioning and a powerful sermon.
The evening was held at the Post Mill Centre in South Normanton; an excellent venue. We had over 230 people came along and just about every circuit church was represented. The two Superintendents (Jim and I) were commissioned, the staff and stewards were then commissioned and the whole Circuit was launched with a very moving candlelit ceremony where two people from each of the previous four circuits brought a candle and then lit a single candle together to symbolise the four becoming one. As each added their light to the new candle they extinguished the old candle to symbolise the closure of their previous circuit. Powerful stuff.
The band from Pilsley Church played well and Lenna played the more traditional hymns on the keyboards with gusto. Good strong singing and I even managed to hold the signing together with relatively few mistakes (I think).
Our new Chair of District, Rev Loraine Mellor, preached a powerful sermon about putting new wine into old wineskins, and challenged us all to be new wine in new wineskins; to be missional people and to grow as a Circuit by winning new people for Christ. I was particularly impressed by her knowledge of our mission statement and the way in which she affirmed it. Loraine seems to have prepared well for this and it wasn’t `just another service` to her. I feel honoured that she preached so personally for us. Very challenging and I pray that we can ALL rise to the challenge and seriously advance the Kingdom of Christ in this area.
Over refreshments afterwards there was a tremendous buzz as people shared with old and new friends; a real sense of excitement about the evening but also about the future. People seem to have come together with a sense of purpose.
I’m still on a high over it all. Praise God.
As you can see from the two photos of Jim and I there was plenty of fun throughout the evening. Jim and I are shaping up to have a tremendous relationship, based on trust, friendship and a real sense of brotherliness between us. We hope and pray that the new Circuit will grasp hold of the closeness between us and model itself to have a similar closeness.
Pray for us all as we journey together that God may be glorified in all that we do in His name.