Well, the new President Rev Mark Wakelin and the Vice-President, Michael King are installed. The Methodist Church may not be as grand in the way it does things as other Churches are. There is no real pomp and circumstance, but plenty of love and warmth, and it comes from the Methodist people. A genuinely moving service, a passionate address from Mark in which he spoke about the need for confidence within the Church (in next weeks Methodist Recorder). He spoke of the need to be 1) needed 2) loved and 3) trusted. When we get these three we grow in confidence.
Onto the second half of the afternoon and we held the annual general meeting of the Methodist Missionary Society which is always held as part of Conference. Three overseas visitors spoke. One from China spoke of the 50 million Christians in his country, the second spoke of being the first lady Bishop in Gambia and the third spoke of conversion of a gang leader in Sierra Leone. Powerful and inspiring stuff.
Tonight I had an evening off and went to see a Junior production of Godspell, excellently performed and in itself quite an inspiration. Godspell in the seventies was a major influence in my Christian journey for it taught me that Christianity doesnt have to be stuffy, and that Christ was a marvellous fool who could be my friend. The youngsters caught the spirit of it brilliantly tonight.
A day of contrasts, from the reverential way in which past Presidents and Vice-Presidents were received back into Conference to the warmth of welcome to all our overseas visitors. From the contentiousness of the debate about “Our future mission and the future of the Methodist Missionary Society to the laughter and fun of meeting and greeting old friends and making new ones.
Through-out it all from Presidential greetings to the close of Godspell Jesus Christ has been at the centre of everything.
Tomorrow onto the Ordination of Presbyters and deacons; a special day in their lives. I`ll be travelling onto Camborne to support my friend in her Ordination and will be meeting up with Alison and other friends who are travelling down for this. May God bless the day.