Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Churches Together and Notts/Derby

I was part of the group that represented the Methodist Church at the Churches Together in England forum from Tuesday to Thursday at Swanwick. There were some inspiring contributions, especially for me those of David Cornick, Mary Tanner and Peter Whittaker; also an excellent Bible Study on I Corinthians 12 from Judith Lieu."What does love require of us?" was the theme, and the underlying question was what things the Churches might need to give up in order to achieve visible unity. It was a useful time of personal reflection concerning how much has been achieved over the last 30 years, but also what still needs to be done. There seemed to be a real tension between wanting to sit lightly to structures in order to join in with God's mission; and the need for any church partnership to have clear and explicit intentions. As so often in these conferences, the conversations outside the hall were fascinating, and I especially enjoyed talking to Deacon Ellie Griffin about her Loughborough and Leeds experiences. On Saturday I was back in the Notts/Derby District for a morning at Toton with a group considering further work in the Church; pm at Stapleford with the Church and Society group; and an evening with a world church theme at Mapperley, with a splendidly arranged Ghanaian and English meal. The photo is of members of the Ghanaian Methodist Fellowship in Nottingham
and behind them are, amongst others, Tim and Hannah from Sherwood. Over the meal they shared some very exciting developments about their Venture FX work, outside the mainstream Church. Sunday morning was sharing in the service at Christchurch, Grantham - followed by a bring and share lunch. We really do this kind of thing very well indeed! It was a very happy and informative District visit.

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