Despite having been in ministry for many years, I still find myself doing some things for the first time and I had several in March. It was the first time I led a ‘webinar’ and with the guidance and help of Barry Osborne, all went well. This is part of a package of helpful webinars from Rural Sunrise Ministries.
The subject was ‘Season, Cycles, Rhythms and Patterns,’ with an overall premise that we should seek to create a heartbeat for mission and not hiccoughs!
On territory that is more familiar was a talk to St Bertelins Wives Group about the Church Army and my own ministry. This has led to an invitation to other engagements including a Teddy Bears Picnic with my Caravan and Games, etc.
Another first was a presentation to the The Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators (IagSA) about the work of The Farming Community Network. www.fcn.org.uk
This went very well and I am ready for some more opportunities to talk about this fantastic organization.
So let us keep with more ‘first’s’ and this time leading a Lent Group in Tatenhill using the ‘Pilgrim Material.’ I have known about this Course for some time but this was my first engagement with it and I am impressed by its comprehensive nature and the ongoing journey it offers. http://www.pilgrimcourse.org
My challenge to this Group (and to all Lent Groups) is – ‘why stop meeting?’ Why not continue to gather in small groups and seek to discover and discern more about God and living a life of faith in today’s complex world.
One BIG thing for me in March was my first Half Marathon since moving here in January 2015. This was the Stafford Half Marathon, which I managed to get around in 2.13. (A slightly slower pace than previous Half’s) I was raising funds for a local hospice and part of #TeamKHH. (Katherine House Hospice) The level of support and goodwill was fantastic and stood in stark contrast to the chaos, carnage and death in Brussels two days later.
At my home church, St John’s, Littleworth, we had a Service each evening during Holy Week making the journey with Jesus to Calvary. On Maundy Thursday, I played the part of Jesus in a simple dramatized reading of the Last Supper that included foot washing. Yet another first and an incredible experience.
Our Easter morning celebration was epic, awesome and heaven touching earth to the praise and glory of God Almighty!
Some Diary Dates
Preaching & Leading Intercessions
St Matthew Derrington & St Giles Haughton
Monday 4th – Friday 8th
Jane and I are on a Retreat at the Sheldon Centre with the Mary & Martha Community.
Overnight in Cornwall to catch up with family, especially the grandchildren!
Preaching at St Anne’s Brown Edge in the morning. In the evening preaching at a Healing Service at St Michael & All Angels, Penkridge.
Pre Pentecost Prayers (Archbishops Call to Prayer) – planning meeting for St John’s, Littleworth. In the evening MAP meeting for St Bartholomew, Norton-le-Moor.
‘Chew & Chat’ – lunch time gathering
Planning meeting for the Shropshire County Show
FCN Regional Training Day in Warwickshire
Preaching at St Mary’s, Stretton
Monday 18th – 21st
Lichfield Diocesan Conference, Swanwick. (For all ordained and accredited lay ministers)
Meeting of the Ecumenical Task Group seeking to find ways of developing a new ‘Faith Community’ in Brown Edge.
In the morning meeting with my Spiritual Companion.
Adrian and Esther come together to be married today.
(Adrian is the Priest at St John’s, Littleworth)
Family News…our first bit of news that I am very sad to announce is that after such a splendid wedding last September, Joe and Jen have spilt up. Joe has moved to live in Bristol. Both Joe and Jen have pursued other relationships that have compounded this sorrowful saga. We hold the sacrament of marriage in very high regard and so we are struggling to know how to respond to this other than assure Joe and Jen we love them but not their choices. Tabitha has just returned to her host family in Crawley as she begins her summer flying. Having been with us at home since November it is going to be strange not having her around and we will miss her company. We had her boyfriend Peter with us over Holy Week and Easter, which was a great joy as he is a Christian and joined in all the various activities and celebrations. (Even came out on a cold, wet Holy Saturday to help invite people to church and hand out Hot Cross buns) Daniel, Tracey, Kerryn and Lowenna are all doing okay in their new home and we are enjoying watching the girls grow up when we catch up with them on Skype. Please pray for Daniel. The work of a teacher is extremely demanding on top of trying to be a supportive husband and father. Jane is getting more and more involved with St John’s. At the APCM she was elected to the PCC – and then accepted the role of PCC Secretary!