Monday, 3 March 2008
A weekend in Bristol and an afternoon out - what more could a girl ask?
As Martyn said we spent the weekend in Bristol. At Wesley College I spoke about my journey towards and through the Vice Presidency including bits about being a Christian at work and how my thoughts on inclusivity are based on theological reflection about God - God is inclusive so we should be and also that Paul's list in Galatians 3 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" is unlikely to be an exhaustive list and that we need to continue to watch out for excluding people from the offer of the Good News of God.
I stayed with the Borgas family - Rachel and Martin and Christopher and received wonderful hospitality. (Christopher also took the photograph - thanks CB). I was also able to meet up with a few old friends on Saturday evening and that was good. Paul and Angela, David and Liz and I had all been in the same Circuit some years ago so we had a bit of time to catch up.
On Sunday morning I preached at Keynsham sharing the leading of the service with Rachel (the minister there) and Ward Jones (the District Chair). I am a bit worried about having so many District Chairs listening to me preach - maybe word has got out that I should be monitored - it feels a bit like I am undergoing an Ofsted inspection! We had a great time.
Sunday evening at the Cathedral was also great with the Methodist gathering filling the Cathedral in good voice and a hearty welcome from the Dean and his team to what Martyn referred to as their "little chapel".
Back on the train then and in to work this morning to catch up on the e mails before going across the road to Westminster Central Hall this afternoonfor the annual Daffodil Day service with a cast of thousands! Well a congregation of a couple of thousand anyway. It was good to share the platform with a range of people including Pam Turner, Network President and Steve Wild, Director of Evangelism from Cliff College as well as Steve Murray whose mime reduced me to tears. Kate Semmens sang some wonderful solos and was ably backed up by the Daffodil Day Ladies Choir - who only came together earlier in the day! The young boys of Trinity Boys Choir were great and sang a good range of songs and we heard from children and staffof St Vincent's Family Project. The Circuit staff all contributed in different ways but I certainly mustn't forget to mention Clarence the Frog!! It was good to sit next to the Lord Mayor whose grandfather had been responsible for setting up the garden of rest around Charles Wesley's grave 60 years ago when he was Mayor of Marylebone - but I was a little jealous as her bling was particularly flash! A great day - put the 2nd March in your diary for 2009.
PS if you are interested there is a very flattering article about someone who looks like me on the UMC website http://www.umc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content3.aspx?c=lwL4KnN1LtH&b=2072519&ct=5066575