as far as the duties of Moderator of the General Assembly is concerned. I have enjoyed Christmas with my family, leading worship in local churches in South Yorkshire and reconnecting with the congregation in my church inDoncaster
My programme over the last six months was very busy and it is important not to take on too much and make the job too big and too expensive for successors and for the denomination. My one ‘official’ task this month was to visit a Missionand Care Group (the name Yorkshire gives to groups of churches formed for mutual support and sharing following the demise of District Councils) in Sheffield. I had been asked to speak about my experiences of the last 18 months. It was good to spend some time in thinking about the significant things and the stories which were valuable to share. I called my talk ‘Of Popes and Presidents, of Seeds and Saplings’ because that felt as though it summed up the range of experiences each as important as the other and each a part of God’s wonderful world to which we must react.
Following my talk there was a time for those present from a number of churches to share their news and once again it was so good to hear positive stories, from a church where they had had a reunion of adults who had once been toddlers in the toddler group and who still felt an affinity with the church, to growing and sustained work with young people and a new ecumenical initiative in the city centre looking at ways in which the churches can engage with the economic and commercial issues of the day. Once again the church and God’s word is alive and well and witnessing we are just not good at celebrating that fact!