Yesterday I was invited to the AGM of the Chiltern Local Area Group in Thames North Synod. This was a bit like a home coming! What seems like a lifetime ago, I was the convenor of the Chiltern Area. Since then, the Synod has been organised into local groups, and the local groups in the Chiltern Area got together for their annual get together.
It was good to meet some old friends and meet some new ones too. The day started with a business session, then a buffet lunch followed by a couple of workshops: one led by Revd Lucy Berry, where she gave examples of interactive and inclusive worship, especially using poetry. I was leading the other workshop, entitled, ‘Meet the Moderator’. Given who was leading the other workshop and that most of the people there already knew me I was surprised anyone turned up to my workshop – but some did and we had a good conversation!
Clearly, I didn’t join Lucy’s workshop but did benefit from some of the output as prayers developed during her session were used during the final worship, led by the minister of Trinity Slough, Revd Leonora Jagessar Visser t’Hooft. Talking with Lucy afterwards it was interesting to hear that one way she encourages inclusiveness is by issuing a list of ‘banned’ words. I rather embarrassedly looked down the list as saw an awful lot of the words I’d used in my short address – such as disciple, follower and church. Sorry, Lucy!