Tuesday, 22 January 2008

From Westminster Abbey to Uganda!

Last Friday I went down to London to represent the Methodist Church at the service taking place at Westminster Abbey, celebrating 100years of the week of prayer for Christian Unity.

It was what I call a 'grand affair' and there is always something 'right' about Christians from different traditions worshipping together. In this case the worship, which was rather like an enhanced evensong, was doled out to representatives of different denominations and traditions. Armenians led prayers; the sermon (direct and helpful) was preached by Major Betty Matear of the Salvation Army; intercessions by the 'Religious' of Catholic orders, etc.

'Owned' by CTE, the service included the nice touch of a prayer for incoming General Secretary, David Cornick.

Methodist input was intriguing. Stephen Cooper, advisor to the Methodist Youth Conference and employee in (CofE) Church House, sang beautifully, contributing to the lovely chorale which met us as we entered the Cathedral. A Catholic leader of intercessions quoted extensively from the prayer in the Methodist Covenant Service, as something all Christians should seek and aspire to. And of course we sang a Charles Wesley hymn: O for a thousand tongues to sing, though sadly to the worst tune I have ever heard! Indeed, for me, the weakness of a lovely occasion was the simply dire congregational singing, not helped at all by a curious collection of bland and clearly largely unknown tunes. Never mind, there was the London Community Gospel Choir to cheer us all up!

Ruby has blogged about our visit to Lincoln and Grimsby, so I won't.

Tomorrow I go to Uganda with Amanda Norman of MRDF (Methodist Relief and Development Fund) and long time friend Sharon Fell. (The previous plans to visit Kenya were altered several days ago, in light of the continuing troubles there - we must continue to hold that land in our prayers.) Apparently we are staying in a place in Uganda where the internet is possible, and we hope to keep regular contact through this blogsite. So watch this space, and please continue to pray for us.

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