Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Sunday at Conference

We started early on Sunday morning with radio interviews. Fortunately my interview with Radio Leeds was at 8.10 so I only had to leave the hotel at 7.45. David drew the short straw with an interview an hour earlier. I had a good and supportive interview, talking about whether health professionals should pray with their patients, something that had been debated at the BMA’s Annual Representative Meeting a few days previously, as well as what we would be doing at Conference and in the year ahead.

The Conference Sunday morning service was a wonderful experience. My sons Jonathan (13) and Matthew (11) lead David and me in to the hall and they then lit the Conference candle. The candle was a late replacement because we’d already broken one in rehearsal and its replacement was so large it kept falling over. The third candle of the day seemed a lot safer for all concerned. The service brought together a wonderful mix of skills and talents from around the Districts. In particular the contribution from the Coventry Zimbabwean Fellowship who sang in real African style as the offertory was taken was wonderful. Jonathan read the gospel reading and Matthew led part of the intercessory prayer. They both read very well and had heaps of praise placed upon them afterwards.

David preached and spoke to the ordinands who were to be welcomed in to Full Connexion. It was an uplifting act of worship and wonderful to be part of it.

I then left to take part in an ordination service at Coventry Central Hall. I was taking part in the service alongside Inderjit Bhogal who acted as President and Susan Howdle who preached. Gareth Powell was the Secretary, Margaret Jones the Connexional team representative and Pastora Nelly Ritchie from Argentina the world church representative. It was also the ordination service for John McNeil, a probationer minister from Roundhay Methodist Church in the Leeds North East circuit. A number of members from Roundhay came by coach from Leeds to support him. As always the service was uplifting and inspiring, particularly the final signing of “I the Lord of sea and sky (Hear I am Lord)” after the communion was concluded, when I felt the whole congregation commit themselves to respond to GOd's call to them.

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