Conference Sunday is always a red-letter day within Methodism for it is the day that our Ordinands are received into Full Connexion and then Ordained. Reception into full connexion always takes place within the full Conference itself and for me is always inspiring. To see the Ordinands lining up to receive the Conference vote which allows them to move forward into Ordination always brings a lump to my throat; more so for this year I was supporting Rev Sue Preston, a close and dear friend. Sue hasn`t had an easy ride to get here and I`ve done all I can to support her and her family, Chloe and Natasha. So to see her standing on the stage was a real source of joy and delight.
Afterwards we travelled to Cramborne, over the border in Cornwall, to see Sue Ordained as a Methodist Presbyter (usually referred to as a Minister). The Methodist tradition is that the congregation are asked if the candidates are fit and proper to serve as Presbyters. The congregation reply by proclaiming loudly, with exuberance, “THEY ARE WORTHY ! “ A truly spine tingling moment. It all brings back memories of my own Ordination day at Derby assembly rooms and later at Burton upon Trent.
Please remember us all tomorrow in prayer as we get down to the decision-making process. Provisionally we are discussing the Methodist Council Report, the Connexional team Report, the annual accounts, the budget, Methodist Ministers pension scheme, the housing society report, a presentation on the statistics for mission and a report from the Faith and Order committee.
The major report is the result of the Presidents inquiry on Safeguarding. This will be a very sensitive report and I pray it is well presented.
So as you can see it is a busy day tomorrow, starting with prayers in the hotel lobby at 8.30 a.m. opening of Conference at 9.00 a.m. and then closing at 7.00 p.m. Depending on how I feel I might then go onto the MET meeting (Methodist Evangelicals) at 7.30 p.m.