It is a delight to share this blog space with friends, often people who have been, or are currently, involved in MWiB. Jill Baker has written for us and I know you will enjoy catching up with what she is doing as you read today’s guest blog. If you are new to the movement, Jill was President of Methodist Women in Britain when the charity was first launched in 2011. She writes:
Here in Scotland we have just celebrated St. Andrew’s Day – in our case by having an Irish Methodist Naval Chaplain and his American wife round for a Scottish meal! The blending of cultures adds such richness to life and is something we have enjoyed since moving north of the border sixteen months ago. Recognising difference whilst maintaining unity is one of the ongoing challenges of our life of discipleship. Whilst preparing a sermon for the second Sunday of Advent I felt “harmony” coming through the set bible passages as a key theme and reflected that harmony depends on difference. From my long years of singing with a choir, I know that it is only because the altos, tenors and basses are singing something different from the sopranos that such glorious music results.
Music is one of the chief delights, for me, of this Advent season. I relish a few weeks, before giving way to Christmas carols, to listen to various settings of the “O Antiphons”, those great ancient prayers which call on God to “Come” (and on which the Advent hymn “O come, O come, Immanuel” is based). The sense of expectation, of hope, of longing is so poignant in this season; almost unbearably so, sometimes.
Looking beyond Christmas (unless the return of Christ comes before June!) I have a busy couple of years in store and am very grateful for the cards and good wishes which I have received from individuals and MWiB groups in circuits and districts as I prepare for the role of Vice-President of Conference 2017-18. Your prayers are so vital to me. I hope lots of you might be able to be at the opening in Birmingham on Saturday 24th June. Tickets will be available through the Methodist Conference website from the end of March.
Something I hope to emphasise during that year is the rhythm of our daily, weekly, monthly, yearly devotional life. We wax and wane at times as we feel something of the light and shade of life, but we continue to trust in the God who walks with us throughout it all. I have known some remarkable examples of such hope and trust through my engagement with MWiB and I continue to pray daily for Anne and the executive, the Forum and all local volunteers. Advent blessings to one and all!
PS Link address for conference website: http://www.methodist.org.uk/conference/conference-2017/coming-to-the-conference
If you are interested in what we are up to here in Scotland, do catch up through our occasional blog, North of the border (https://northoftheborderblog.wordpress.com/)