Sunday, 8 June 2008

A warm Irish welcome

Martyn and I are both in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, for the Conference of the Methodist Church in Ireland. Together with Jenni Sweet and Steve Wild we are the representatives of the British Methodist Conference. I am just grabbing a few minutes break before the ordination service this evening but Martyn will be taking part in the service so he has already set off for the Millennium forum. Martyn is the President of the Conference here and the President of the Irish Church is the Vice President of the Conference. But that may change in 2010.
We arrived on Thursday and Martyn and Steve led a meeting for Headway Ireland which was excellent. On Friday I wasn't allowed in the ministerial session of the Conference so went with Claudette and Nan on a walking tour around the walls of Derry which was really interesting. The murals on bogside are something to behold. But what a history.
On Friday we all went to a mayoral reception at the Guildhall and then to the installation of the new Church President, Aian Ferguson. Yesterday we had a full day of Conference, which included Bible Study with Tom Stuckey, then Jenni and I went to the MWI -Methodist Women in Ireland buffet and Worship celebration. We had a great time. Superb singing and good speaker, Jean from 'Care for the Family'
This morning we had the Conference service with great input from Steve Wild and 'Orace the frog (Clarence being indisposed) and magnificant preaching from Martyn.
The welcome we have received here has been warm and fulsome. Off to the service now. More joys in store I am sure.

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