Monday, 15 October 2007

A covenant visit

Good to have Martyn back - we've missed you. Do read his accounts of the Political Conferences in the Methodist Recorder (sorry, not online). We are both off to the Methodist Council for the next two days so it is all go.
Yesterday I went to St Mary's Oatlands, Weybridge where I preached at the 8am and 10 am services. Good to remind ourselves of the Anglican Methodist covenant and wonder how that works out in practice. What are our links and our differences? Managed to get through without making too many gaffes in the standing up and sitting down activities with the odd turning to face various directions and nodding - a bit like being at work. I am not convinced about early morning worship for myself. I prefer to be awake when I worship. I have rarely had Communion twice within three hours either. But it was interesting to see the different people who come to the services. I was especially encouraged to meet young couples who had been on their marriage preparation courses, which are taken very seriously.
St Mary's are taking time to look at their mission and values and this service broke up a series of sermons on those. Something we can all learn from, I think. All the hymns were by Charles Wesley - an effort to make me feel at home perhaps. It was a good time and important for me to experience different types of worship. Certainly more traditional than Martyn was experiencing in Germany. But the question arises as to how we ensure that different people are given opportunities to worship in ways which allow them to come closer to God, becoming more of the people God wants then to be and making a difference in the world. The picture shows me with the Curate, Lynne Bowden and the Vicar, Andrew Parsons. Thanks to them and the congregation for their welcome.

Some people in the UK may have seen the first of the two Songs of Praise programmes to celebrate the tercentenary of the birth of Charles Wesley last night. The next one is next week - an oportunity to learn a little more. I thought they did a good job last night of piecing together the hymn singing with the background information. Always interesting to see how the media approach subjects related to Christians.

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