A Grace of Moderators
At the end of October, I attended the SW Synod and then went onto Taunton URC for the Sunday service.
It was good to meet the South Westerners at the Synod. I shared some of most exciting times from my 18 months as GA Moderator. Note: exciting could be either positively or negatively stimulating!
Like many of my predecessors I’ve been very conscious of the backdrop, in our denomination, of continued shrinkage; evident in most of the congregations I’ve visited. I have no doubt this will change, but in God’s time not ours. Until that happens we need to work with the decline. Part of my message to the SW Synod was that this will require a recurring focus on balancing the use of our resources.
On a much more positive note, I have been impressed by the work done by our congregations, even the small ones. One of my conclusions from visiting the small churches is that their effectiveness often comes from ‘magnifying’ their efforts by working in partnership, usually ecumenically. This may sound rather obvious, but for churches that were once large (with enough resources to do what they wanted without resorting to outside agencies) and are now small it can be a difficult lesson to get to grips with.
When I went to Taunton URC it was lovely to meet Janet Sowerbuts, the ex-Thames North Moderator, who retired to Taunton. Janet may be a little less mobile but still has the spark which made her such a pleasure to work for. So, with the presence of Ruth Whitehead we had three Moderators: a clutch of Moderators? No, a grace!