President’s Blog: Monday 4th July
It has been a busy three weeks! It was a delight to visit the Sheffield District for their Summer Event which was held at Emmanuel Methodist Church Barnsley. Barnsley was home to me during my college days when I attended Bretton Hall College of Education (better known now as the Yorkshire Sculpture Park) and the Hall of Residence, Highbury, was just round the corner from the church. The visit evoked all kinds of forgotten memories. After an update on my AGLIT+ project, we were able to spend time looking at all the projects MWiB had supported over the last ten years, portrayed on the Anniversary Bunting and to admire the glassware commissioned to mark the 10th Anniversary and created by Rev Michaela Youngson. During the afternoon service we shared Communion together. Thank you, Sheffield, for your hospitality.
On the Sunday, Michael, my husband, and myself, led the Green Communion Service at our local church, that we had used at Swanwick. It was good to use and share this material in a different setting and to highlight and pray about the issues around climate change.
The beginning of the week brought a great disappointment as we learned that due to the Rail Strikes, Dr Paula Gooder, was unable to travel to Telford for our inaugural Mary Bosanquet Lecture. A number of people travelling to Conference were also affected and had to make alternative arrangements. We do hope to reschedule this lecture and will notify you when this has been arranged.
Having a place on Conference, meant that I was able to attend the opening when the new President, Rev Graham Thompson, and Vice President Anthony Boateng were inducted. Their theme for the year is ‘The Greatest Commandment’ – to love God and to love our Neighbour. After the Sunday morning service, we travelled to Shifnal for the Ordination of Rev Pam Roberts, who was chaplain at our Swanwick Conference this year. It was such a joyful and moving occasion and we wish God’s blessing on her future ministry. Conference was a landmark occasion for MWiB too, as we launched the new ‘Creating Dementia-inclusive Churches’ pack together with MHA (Methodist Homes for the Aged). We hope that it will be widely used to make our churches friendly and welcoming places of worship.
I hope and pray that the summer months will be a time of relaxation and refreshment so that we will be ready for the work ahead.
You never know what God has in store for us!