I`ve had a different few days. I spent part of Tuesday at an extra Ministerial Synod when Rev Gareth Powell came to speak to the District Ministers. Gareth is the Assistant Secretary to Conference and he spoke about the challenges to the Connexional team, the issue of allowances, the role of Methodist Council, disciplinary procedures he`s had to deal with this year in the light of high-profile cases. Gareth gave an insight into the difficult work of `them up there` and showed how the Connexional team genuinely try to further the work of Christ through the Methodist Church. He was gracious enough to admit they sometimes get it wrong but also disappointed that they don`t always get the credit or support they deserve when things go right.
On The evening I went with two of our Circuit Stewards to the District stationing meeting to see what is happening on the stationing of Ministers in 2015. As always it is a process completely enveloped in prayer.
On Thursday I attended the Queens Foundation where on the morning I met with Angela Pothecary our incoming student Presbyter to put some of the final touches to her training programme ready for June 1st. On the afternoon I met with Lew Greaves, our incoming probationer Presbyter on a training day looking at the nature of the relationship that Lew and I will need to have in order to draw the best from him and give him and Carly the best from the Circuit. It’s exciting and fearsome realising the responsibility for `birthing` a new Ministry
It all means that I’ve seen a wide spectrum of Methodism and it`s been a good reminder of the Connexionalism that we all share. So often we forget that we are a part of a world-wide Communion of Methodists. Often we think that we are in decline but when you meet at all the different levels of Methodism you begin to realise that there is still so much to give thanks for.
In about four weeks’ time Methodist Conference will gather to debate some major issues in the life of our Church, but primarily will meet to offer praise and worship to the one whose name we carry, Jesus Christ, Lord and saviour. Please pray for those attending Conference.