This month saw the second of the Thrive Community Gatherings. This fantastic CPAS Course helps Multi-Parish Benefices work better together. This time we were exploring ‘leadership.’ A key part of the course is trying to help MPB’s think about the future and how they might envisage what that may look like and what steps they can begin to take towards that vision.
Pentecost Sunday was a fabulous occasion at my home church of St John’s. I set the bubble machine up in the organ loft and we received Communion being cascaded by bubbles as a symbol of the Holy Spirit falling upon us. Added to this, on returning to our seats, we were all channeled back through the Lady Chapel under a Prayer Canopy being held up by some of our children, young people and families who prayed prayers of blessings on us.
I have also celebrated my 65th birthday in style with Jane taking me off to for a 24 hour Spa Break at nearby Moddershall Oak Spa Retreat, a lovely gift from the family. Be great place to have my regular Quiet Day, but somehow I do not see the diocese accepting that as a legitimate expense!
Rounding off the month, I attend the Missioners Summer Gathering at Blackpool. Great to meet up with friends old and new and I was especially impressed by one of our long-standing members Jean Kerr who spoke from the heart on the last morning. She said before you are a Bishop, a Missioner, or an Accredited Lay Worker you are ‘in Christ.’ That is our identity, our authority and our calling. We also need to ensure that we stay ‘in Christ.’ Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3.5
Some future engagements in June
Mission Team Meeting in Walsall.
In the afternoon, I am meeting with Peter Chalk who completes my tax return. As I am now 65 and with retirement very much on the horizon we would really welcome prayers for wisdom on making the right choices and decisions for the future.
‘Chew & Chat’ – monthly lunch time meeting with friends to enjoy lunch and chat.
‘Growing Disciples’ – afternoon and evening with LICC. www.licc.org.uk
Meeting with our new Diocesan Youth Officer who is part of the ‘Reaching New Generations’ team. Then a meeting with Adrian to discuss the 30th Anniversary of Commissioning Service, June 26th.
With Doxey Parish Church for their Afternoon Garden Party to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday. Taking my array of Garden Games and badge making.
Preaching at St Anne’s, Brown Edge. In the afternoon at St Mary’s, Stretton for their Queen’s 90th birthday celebration BBQ. Taking my array of Garden Games and badge making.
Evening meeting with St Bartholomew’s PCC for one of our regular monthly gatherings. We are exploring ‘Messy Church.’
Stafford Deanery Chapter meeting. In the afternoon, time with my Spiritual Companion.
‘Growing Disciples’ – ‘Training for Trainers’ - LICC. www.licc.org.uk
Meeting with George Fisher, Mission Director and line manager.
‘Teddy Bears Picnic’ at St Bertelins, Stafford. Taking my array of Garden Games and badge making.
Preaching at St Bertelins (Follow up from Teddy Bears Picnic). In the afternoon St John’s, Littleworth have their ‘Hot Potato’ gathering.
Personal Quiet Day at The Hermitage
Evangelism and Outreach Team meeting.
Special 30th Anniversary of Commissioning Service at St John’s, Littleworth. Bring and Share Lunch – All Welcome.
Family – Jane continues to keep busy, especially now as St John’s PCC secretary. She continues to be a great support to me in all sorts of ways. Tabitha finally got her ID and is now back to work flying. So, not quite so much time to spend with Peter, although they are making sure they have regular ‘dates.’ Daniel, Tracey and the girls – Kerry and Lowenna are all doing okay and we simply love catching up with the grandchildren over Skype. Joe appears to be enjoying life in Bristol where he finds he can get about easier and cheaper than when living in Cornwall.
Love and Prayers as aye - Gordon