Last night I indulged in a nostalgic trip through my digital photo album, searching for a suitable photo for today’s blog. How do I choose a photo to sum up three years of people and places since being welcomed as Vice President into the MWiB fold at Conference in Birmingham in 2014? I could not choose one photo over another, because so many are special!
Eventually I decided to play with a collage of MWiB Presidents, all of whom have been given the silver MWiB cross for the two years of their presidency.
I am sure most of you will recognise Jill Baker (top left). Jill was the first President of the movement, from its inception in 2011. She headed up a team of women who worked tirelessly on the detail of the constitution as Methodist Women in Britain became a registered charity. Jill continues to facilitate and extend our work on Pilgrimage.
Bottom left is Linda Crossley, who followed Jill in 2013. She furthered the Dalit support work and introduced the partnership with MHA which culminated in the Dementia Friendly Church pack. Linda continues specifically to represent MWiB in our work with Epworth Old Rectory.
I became President in 2015 and much of my focus has been on the situation of refugees, especially in Europe. I have been delighted to make links with the United Methodist Church in Germany and hope to continue and foster those links in various ways.
This evening Sandra will become the fourth President since the birth of the MWiB baby. She will travel the Connexion with stories of her visit to Bolivia and this evening we will commission her into this role with our love, our prayers and our support.
I have deliberately chosen a photo of Jill with Loraine Mellor. Loraine has not been a President of MWiB, but this weekend she will be inducted as President and Jill as Vice-President of the Methodist Conference. We wish them God’s blessing on their year of office and assure them of our prayers for the joys and the demands of their roles.
It is going to be a good weekend in Birmingham! I commend to you these prayers for the Conference, taken from this year’s handbook and written by the Revd Dr Jennie Hurd, Chair of Synod Cymru.
Arglwydd ein Duw,
rydym yn ymddiried yn dy amynedd
a’th ddoethineb a’th gariad di.
Llanw bob trafodaeth a phenderfyniad o’n heiddo ni â’th amynedd a’th ddoethineb a’th gariad di dy hun, fel y bydd i ni ymddiried yn ein gilydd ac ymddiried bob amser ynot ti wrth inni ddilyn ffordd Iesu Grist fel y daw dy deyrnas yn ei chy awnder.
Yn ei enw ef ac yn nerth yr Ysbryd Glân, clyw ein gweddi.
God of all,
in whose patience, wisdom and love
we put our trust:
fill our discussions and decisions
with that same patience, wisdom and love, so that, trusting one another and above all, trusting you, we may follow the way of Jesus towards
the fullness of your kingdom.
In his name and in the power of his Spirit, we pray.