Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Painting in silence

For two days  I have been painting my Aunts new bedsit in Eastbourne. It was a 
great way for me to be still and spend some quality time with God
 -My Mum has had the children, so I had no worries on that score, I had no radio, ipod or other noise distraction with me and nothing else to do except paint. It was a good time, I talked a lot of things over, just me and God - the uncertainty of my future, what needed to be done next, the beginings of the answers to the candidating questions. I don't think that for any of these things I am any nearer knowing the answers but I am definately happier, being real with God is good for the soul. taking time out from the everyday stuff we fill our lives with is a very refreshing process, so although I am tired from the painting I am somehow full of energy for what is to come.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Questions of training

A member of the connexional team came to talk at our weekend away about what training may look like next year for those who survive candidating.
Many of my questions were answered and many more were raised.
If I get through, I have to believe that the training panel will have my families best interests at heart and that God's hand will be over the whole process. 
Today during our quiet day I was blessed with a real sense of peace by a quote from a talk that Jesus gave about the flowers and the birds, which said simply this;
" Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself, each day has enough trouble of it's own."
It was not directly this which led to my great peace though, but the follow up reading in Margaret Silf's book "Wayfaring" which said
"Don't be afraid to throw all your human arguments at God, and to tell him how unrealistic you think asking you not to worry about tomorrow is"
My ultimate peace today came from being real with God, being honest about my struggles with the whole process of candidating, my fears of leaping into the unknown and uncertain and what difficulty I find in doing all that with faith but without worrying.
It's ok to be cross with God sometimes, he's big enough to take it.


On Thursday I went to The Sanctuary which describes itself as, a collective of young adults from around Central London, based in Westminster, who are exploring what a life given to following Jesus Christ means for today. We want to be known as people who live our lives centred upon Jesus Christ and his dream for creation. People who love life and live it to the full, always finding ways to contribute something good to our community and our world. This is where I am doing my next Pioneer placement, so till January this will be my new home for study, worship and in December for leading worship. I am very excited and know that I am really much better occupied with the hands on approach, than with a classroom and books.

Friday, 10 October 2008


Today(Friday) is seven years since my Dad died. I always think that the anniversary won't be that bad, that as the years pass it will hurt less, then every year I am amazed at how much pain this day causes. I have so much I want to share with him, especially at the moment when things are tough going, he was never judgemental and he had a way of accepting me for who I was that I have never found from anyone else.
Thank you for all the love and prayers I have received on this grotty day it is very much appreciated.
As another day dawns(for it is now very early Saturday), it occurs to me how right the song is "what a difference a day makes" today I am off to listen to one of my favourite speakers Rev David Dunn-Wilson at a training day for Methodist local preachers in the Sussex area, and it is also my eldest nephew's 2nd birthday so a much happier day all round.
As an offshoot to all that it seems that when we are having a bad time, if we are given lots love and support from friends and family and lots of prayers eventually the big black clouds will part and we will be able see the sunshine again. So to all my friends who are under a cloud right now hang in there, one day it WILL be sunny again. x 

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Assessed service number one

Today was the first of my assessed services which have to form part of my worship portfolio for candidating. As an accredited preacher already it was really strange having people assess my service again - last time was Aug last year. It was an All age Worship service at the Broadway United Church in Eastbourne, so I was able to be less formal than usual(which actually isn't very!!). I was surprised at how nervous I was being back on trial but the feedback was good and the congregation seemed happy. My housegroup decided on Friday that they would all pray for me at 5 to 10 this morning just before my service started and the power of corporate prayer really does work because I felt a real sense of peace even through all the nerves. Another box ticked, another hoop jumped through. Only fourteen weeks and four days till the paperwork is due in.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Connexional Pioneering Ministries Scheme

Today I re-read the ideas that were passed at conference about the Pioneers scheme within the Methodist Connexion. I am so glad I did,  because I realised just what a commitment to pioneer ministry the church are making and just how much I feel called to be part of what they are offering. The plan as I understand it is that over the next four years, five pioneer ministers a year will be recruited and formed into district clusters. Locations will be picked out that the church believes a fresh expression has a good chance of surviving in, pioneer ministers will be given a team of volunteers to help, support and work with them. Each pioneer will then be looking to set up some form of "church community" for young unchurched adults at their given location, as well as mentoring on some smaller local emerging church projects. The Methodist connexion plans to fund each of these 20 projects completely for their first 5 years and partly for the 5 years after that. Hoping that those projects which suceed will become self sufficient after the first 10 years and that the first wave of pioneer ministers and these new projects will provide good training rescources and placement opportunities for future generations.
There is a great emphasis on training and support - something other pioneers I know have sometimes felt to be lacking, as they have struggled with new things, especially when others around just wanted them to "get a proper church".
If this turns out to be anywhere near as exciting as it sounds - I want to be part of it - so fully inspired I'm off to concentrate on the paperwork.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Declaration of Candidature

Today I had a meeting with my Superintendant to start the paperwork that needs to be in from the circuit. 
There seems to be endless paperwork, but today I feel like a start has been made. I have officially registered my intent to candidate. 
There is a long way to go, this is really the very beginning of a long path ahead, but every journey starts with a single step and today I took that step!!