Saturday, 6 November 2010

Border Country

Eunice is right about the hospitality of the Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury District - and a lot more besides! Dave and I stayed with John and Mary Howard and the welcome was warm and full of laughter. After the conversation with the presbyters, we went to visit MHA, where there is caring and supportive independant accomodation for those who need a range of help - but also a wonderful and stimulating home for those who live with varieties of dementia.

I found it particularly moving as we joined in the singing which enlivened so many of the residents. I was sitting with a gentleman who had been a choir member and had sung in local pubs and clubs to the great joy of many. And I remembered my mother, who was part of a famous choir before she married and left (as you had to in those far off days) to"sing for her children." My mother 'left' us some years before she died and I wept as I sang with that community.

The dinner with Superintendents was fun and informative, as was the morning Bible study the next day. It was good to explore the chosen theme of Christ the King and I trust it was of use to those who will be preaching on that Sunday! Eunice has mentioned the reflections on the Israel/Palestine report and debate. I am grateful to Anthony Hick for all that he shared with us and to the rest of the gathering for their contributions.

Sunday was the real border country day for us. Morning service at Wem, where we were able to feel completely at home and worshipped God with great joy. Thank you! And then, after a delicious lunch of local and home grown food (thank you, Sue) we wandered through England and Wales visiting local chapels before we reached our evening destination.

Chirk - and the window behind me contains the words
"I have kept the faith". That phrase informed my preaching and has stayed in my heart. It is my prayer for the people of that new border circuit as they explore serving God in new ways.

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