My involvement with the Stafford RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association) continues to go well and I have now been duly trained, approved and vetted! I recently spent a couple of hours in Stafford Sainsbury - RDA is their Charity of the Year.
Let me tell you a story - let me tell you my story!
I really believe that one of the key elements in sharing our faith and witnessing is our story. I had the great privilege of telling my story at the Mothers’ Union AGM. My story began by playing ‘Fame – I wanna live for ever,’ which picked up my desire to become famous and saw me travel to Newmarket at the age of fifteen in the hope of becoming a famous jockey. I didn’t find fame but found Jesus. I discovered the only place you need to ensure your name is written is in the Lambs Book of Life. Jane brought my story to end an end by singing ‘Through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus.’ My challenge to them was, ‘that’s my story, and so what’s your own faith story?’ To help frame a 'faith story' I have found Ben and Ann very helpful. Ben stands for Before Encounter Now and is mostly conversion Christians. Ann stands for Always known God Needed to have an owned/personal faith Now, mostly cradle Christians.Both are important in their own way, albeit not many people are finding faith as cradle Christians - Ben and Ann's need to talk to each other!
'Summerfest' It was great to get the Caravan out plus all my garden games, badge making and bubble machine. Jane and I spent the weekend at Ilam Caravan Park and took part in a Mothers’ Union Family Fun Day based at Dovedale House, a Christian Residential Centre.
On the Sunday I preached nearby at St Peter’s, Alstonfield. Interesting to reflect that we could have been accommodated at Dovedale House. However I think we made the better choice staying in the Caravan Park. Sometimes it is important to step outside the Christian bubble!
Whilst in the Chichester Diocese I got involved in Spiritual Direction. Therefore it was a delight to meet up with Christine who is the Lichfield Diocesan Spiritual Companions Advisor. She has the most amazing Reflective Garden that includes a small Hermitage where guests can stay or small groups can have Quiet Days. www.reflectiongardens.org.uk I am also pleased that I now have my own Spiritual Companion. It is so important that we tend and nurture our own souls.
Part of my role is to support Benefices and Parishes during Vacancies which includes taking Services. As such I led a Praise & Worship Service for St Peter’s, Forsbrook. St Peter’s is one of those places where you can invite and wait upon the Spirit. So often, particularly at the beginning of our worship, we simply set off along a familiar path not really thinking about what we are doing. One man said it was one of the most memorable and profound Acts of Worship he had been to in that Church going back over 40 years! Thanks be to God! Invite the Spirit and see what happens! Structure, order and the Spirit all help bring us before God in praise, worship and adoration.
July ended with a trip down to Cornwall taking the Caravan. We had the Baptism of Daniel and Tracey’s second child, Lowenna. We had thoughts of a nice weekend in a good campsite because the Church Army caravan is really basic; just one step up from camping! The journey down on Friday was a nightmare in the pouring rain all the way there and a journey of five hours took over eight! Saturday was a nice day so we took the opportunity of visiting Lanhydrock, near Bodmin. We settled down on Saturday night having enjoyed a BBQ and a bottle of wine only to be woken up at 5am with a howling gale and a gazebo that decided it was going to be a kite! So we both went out in our PJs to try and sort things out and got wet, very wet. The joys of camping and caravanning in Britain! Thankfully the Baptism went well, albeit we were somewhat bleary eyed. Michael Marshall, the Priest at Holy Trinity St Austell, led the All Age Worship that in many ways focussed around the Baptism as they had as their theme, ‘Philip and the story of Ethiopian Eunuch.’
Prayer Diary for August 2015
Not a huge amount of appointments in August. Therefore I am taking the opportunity of catching up on admin and reports etc. Also some planning for things like the Parish Weekend for St Michael and All Angels, Lancing, in September. We are also hoping to get ourselves a little better sorted. Things got rather dumped when we arrived and there are still boxes and files and other stuff to sort, sift and possibly get rid of! (We lost one gazebo in Cornwall!) We also plan to take some more time out, spending time together and perhaps visiting a few places to help us get to know the area a little better.
Preaching at my home church for the first time! (St John’s Littleworth)
Meeting of a small group to explore ‘resourcing rural mission.’
Preaching at St Anne’s, Brown Edge
Meeting with Ministry Team at Swynerton
Diocesan Group who are engaged in the promotion of LICC. www.licc.org.uk
Small group meeting to explore a Church presence at the Shropshire County Show.
Meeting with my Spiritual Companion
The Family – you will have picked up on the lovely baptism we had for Lowenna. Pray for Daniel and Tracey and the girls, especially as Daniel takes a break from school. Tabitha continues to flit between here and Crawley, pray for her safe travelling. (Tabitha also has a developing relationship with a nice young man!) Joe and Jen - yes the Wedding of the Century looms ever closer. However more immediate prayers for Joe who took a tumble off his motorbike – broken wrist, broken shoulder and a damaged knee. Jane continues to keep busy with music making and visits to the gym (and looking after me and the house!) plus making all sorts of creative items for the Wedding. These include paper button holes made out of a book of poems by Edgar Alan Poe!
Holiday for Jane and I will come after the wedding, so latter part of September early October. Pray for strength to keep on going!