Today has felt like a rare treat – a quiet day in one of our tiny rural chapel buildings at Petton, near the Devon Somerset border. Twelve people spent the day creatively reflecting on the presence, the glory and the power of God. We came together from time to time to focus our thoughts around the hymn ‘Be still, for the presence of the Lord, the holy one is here’, and then spent time on our own, finding places within and around the chapel where we could listen and think and pray and be.
I picked up a book by Paula Gooder, ‘Everyday God’, published by Canterbury Press, which I know I must now read. By her own admission she would have found today a challenge, and this sort of quiet day is not for everyone, but I personally found it immensely helpful after the busy-ness of recent weeks. For me it was inspiring, too, to see this chapel building, which now has a very small Sunday congregation, being used in a new way. I am sure there are many other stories of ways in which our church buildings are being used to meet needs, whether physical, emotional or spiritual. I look forward to hearing those stories as I travel around the Connexion in the coming months.
May I share with you a little section from Paula Gooder’s introduction to her book? She writes: ‘We do not need to be celebrity Christians, with fantastic, dramatic stories of faith. Our everyday God cherishes everyday Christians. What we need to do, however, is to become better at telling our stories of everyday faith.’