Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Parliamentary Covenant Service

This evening I was the Preacher at the Parliamentary Methodist Fellowship Annual Covenant Service and Communion in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster. The service was led by Martin Turner and other staff from Westminster Central Hall and organised by David Wilshire MP who acts as Secretary to the parliamentary Methodist Fellowship. I have to say that I was very nervous as this was a place where I have to go back every day - which contrasts greatly with the "hit and run" approach which I am finding is the way of the Presidency. As well as a number of MPs and Lords there were two past Presidents of the Conference (who are both also Lords) and two past Vice Presidents of the Conference, the General Secretary of the Methodist Church, a Co-ordinating Secretary, one of the co-Chairs of the London District and a number of other clergy - no pressure then! It was a good service and at least the sermon was short! We sang lots of Wesley hymns too.

The Covenant service is one that I find very special. It was very exciting to find a leader in the Guardian yesterday entitled "In praise of the Covenant service" which spoke of the Methodist Church as "this small but hugely influential Church" and went on, in a short piece, to praise the covenant service as being not only about believing but about doing. It would be interesting to know who wrote it. Anyone any idea? Anyone else feel the Covenant service is special?

I am no longer my own but yours. Your will, not mine, be done in all things, wherever you may place me, in all that I do and in all that I may endure;
when there is work for me and when there is none; when I am troubled and when I am at peace. Your will be done when I am valued and when I am disregarded; when I find fulfilment and when it is lacking; when I have all things, and when I have nothing. I willingly offer all I have and am to serve you, as and where you choose.

Glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are mine and I am yours. May it be so for ever. Let this covenant now made on earth be fulfilled in heaven. Amen


Richard Hall said...

Thanks for that, Ruby. Many of the Methodist bloggers have posted about their experience of the Covenant Service and it is good to know that our Parliamentarians can share this fellowship together.

I don't know who wrote the Guardian leader the other day, but it might have been Madeleine Bunting. Perhaps you could get Toby to find out. It was encouraging to read something about the Covenant in a national newspaper.

Methodist Preacher said...

It would have been so good to have been linked up with a Parliamentary Methodist fellowship when I was in the EP. Delighted to hear that we now have one up and running.
Long may it continue.