Thursday, 6 March 2014

'Sir, we want to see Jesus'

I was in London on February 22nd and back in Methodist Central Hall Westminster as a guest of Methodist Women in Britain. It was the day of one of the meetings of the forum and representatives gathered from around Britain. I had been invited to lead the opening worship and share something of my experience so far this year. After the worship I was able to stay for the rest of the morning and heard about some of the things MWiB is doing and involved in including the many ways in which they support, and are engaged in mission. It was good to meet with old and new friends and to catch something of the energy and excitement of MWiB.

On Monday February 24th I travelled to Amport House near Andover to meet another group of people, this time it was the Methodist chaplains who serve in the forces. Revd Heather Morris, the President of the Irish Conference was also there and on the final day we shared in leading the communion service which was a great joy. I had been invited to lead two sessions during the conference and was to join the chaplains in the other sessions and during the free time. I am deeply impressed by this group of people who help those in very difficult places to glimpse God's glory. In theiir initial training, the chaplains have to doth same physical training as other recruits, it is tough and often painful and it is truly incarnational.

Penhurst Rereat Centre
From Amport House I travelled to Battle and stayed for 2 nights in a Penhurst retreat Centre. It is a beautiful and peaceful place.  I had space both to work and to rest and was spiritually nourished and refreshed.

View from the dining room

View through my window

Penhurst Parish Church is next to the centre. when the preacher climbs the steps into the the pulpit s/he reads a plaque on the wallwhich says 'Sir, we want to see Jesus'. What an appropriate  reminder!
The congregation want to glimpse God's glory.
From the porch ofthe church
Penhurst Parish Church

'Sir, we want to see Jesus'
Just a few miles from Penhurst is Ashburnham Place where, on Friday I met the staff and students of the South East Institute for Theological Education (SEITE). There are just 3 Methodist students on the course and I was able talk with them. I led a session on the Friday evening and worshipped with SEITE before leaving on Saturday morning. Worship was being led by the Methodist Students who were exploring the theme of covenant in preparation for a Covenant Service on the Sunday.

It was a varied week- full of glimpses of God, as always.

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