Monday, 1 June 2009

People of Prayer and Questions!

My visit to the Lincoln & Grimsby District was a special time as I was able to stay with Gillian and David Belford. Gillian had been a probationer in the North Lancs district and it was a real joy to share their home and family life as well as glimpse something of the ministry they offer. One of the qualities of their ministry is the centrality of prayer and the first things she did on arriving as super in Barton & Brigg was to set up a weekly circuit prayer meeting. This was the first prayer meeting I have attended during the year and there were over 40 people gathered (and they didn't even know I was coming!).

People spoke so passionately about how this weekly time of prayer has united the circuit, as they go from church to church, helped people get to know one another and put God in the centre of all they are seeking to do.

The following day I spent the morning with some of the members of the District Leadership team. They asked some searching questions about 'how do we know what is essential' in the changing shape of the church. they challenged me about the loss of credibiity of the connexional team through the Team Focus process and urged that we look at a longer term Presidency - a constant theme throughout the year. We discussed the ecumenical scene in their area and what was needed to make the Covenant work focusing more on what we 'do' together rather than what we 'are' together. There was much discussion on mapping a way forward and they shared some of the hopes of their District as they are prepared to take risks and put the resources where churches are growing.

Lunch was with some of the head teachers from the Methodist Schols in the District and some Anglican colleagues- then off to Boston where we met with church and circuit members which led into an evening of worship followed by questions to the President.....there was so much to encourage not only in the people I met but also in the depth of questioning and a real desire for our church to grow.

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