It’s only just begun

Tonight, I had a meeting with the Superintendant and started Unit 1 of Faith & Worship.

Unit 1 has loads of information about study skills and about the course. The main aim seems to be to get the candidate (in this case, me) using their texts and planning their studies.

Enter problem.

To get the recommended texts second hand would cost almost £100. New would be almost double that. If I had £100 spare for books, I wouldn’t be my local library’s best customer.

There is the possibility of applying to the Worship and Preaching Group for a grant towards them but I am nervous about doing so. Should I be worrying about how I will appear if I go into the first meeting, introduce myself and ask for money?  I know the texts would be used for God’s work but rhey would atill be my posseaaions in the physical sense and I am squeamish about asking the district to pay for them.

As usual, I will take this to the Lord in prayer.

Good night and God bless.


Palm Sunday

This week, our small church was tiny. Of our usual 10, only 3 were able to attend. There were questions about whether the service should be cancelled to save us, and the minister, a journey out. When I spoke with another church officer, though, we decided to be guided by scripture: where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them (Matthew 18 v20). While the singing was a little thready, the feeling was as warm as ever and we left refreshed in our own faith.

Earlier this week, I visited a local minister who is shortly to take up a new appointment. Having collected more books than he wants to pack and move to his new church, he sent out an offer for those who wished to come and choose some books. If they wished, they could make a charitable donation to express thanks. I chose quite a few books that I hope will be useful to me when I begin training as a Local Preacher.  This has been particularly useful as I have become very impatient to start my training.

While it might take me a while to come to a decision, I like to get straight on with things once I have.  As a result, I am really struggling with the wait to go On Note. I keep reminding myself that this is an opportunity to learn the value of patience and that I can use this time to improve my general knowledge about the methodist church. The big question, the one I find most difficult to answer is What Is A Methodist?

My findings next week.

God bless you x


Tomorrow will be our little church’s last service led by our current minister. The Rev. Barry Welch is off to pastures new and we will be taken over by a lovely new minister but Barry will maintain a strong presence in my memory.

Barry was the first minister from whom I recieved Holy Communion. Feeling unworthy, I struggle to chew the bread and to swallow the wine. He has made me realise that Communion is a way to draw nearer to Jesus – not a reward for good service.

Barry also conducted my membership service and confirmed my role as worship leader. He also gave my son his first communion.

His sermons reflect his inclusive attitude to religion and we all, usually, go away thinking that the words he has spoken were meant for us personally. That’s a real talent for a public speaker. And daunting for those who also hope to preach!

I have thrown a number of rather difficult questions at Barry over the years including how to interpret the ten commandments and what God’s definition of marriage would be.  We even discussed whether repetitive prayer was “nagging” at God. In every instance, his responses have been both kind and thoughtful.

What I will most remember Barry for are the words he uses in the communion service; after saying that Jesus took the bread, he always says “just ordinary bread”.  We, Jesus’ followers are like that bread: just ordinary. It is what God, through the teachings and sacrifice of Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirirt, does with us that is extraordinary.

God bless you Barry Welch x