I generally like the month of September. Usually, the weather is good, and we can look back at an enjoyable summer before engaging again in new things. Schools, colleges and similar educational organisations begin new terms in September, and so, whilst we are heading for winter, I always feel quite positive at that time of the year.
Part of taking stock has been looking back and evaluating General Assembly. I’m sure you will appreciate that for me, as General Assembly Moderator, it was a very busy and important time. As well as being a new experience, with many challenges, it is one which I enjoyed and can look back on in a positive way. However, as always, there are things one might wish to have done differently. We are always learning, so it is good to have feedback from those who were there. If you were at General Assembly, you will remember the weather was very hot, and that might be a major part of your memory of Assembly. Overall, it seems, we can count Assembly as being an occasion that went well. I hope that if you were there, you agree with that assessment. Continue reading
Bemused by the forthcoming and fundamental change in the UK’s relationship to the European Union, I found there was something profoundly helpful in the latest theological consultation between the Evangelical Church of the Palatinate (EKP) and the United Reformed Church. I was grateful to join the small group of URC people who travelled to Neustadt, near Mannheim, for a meeting with EKP counterparts. Our discussion was inspired by the bi-centenary of the 1818 re-uniting of Reformed and Lutheran Christians in southern Germany. Celebrating that historic reconciliation and enjoying a flourishing contemporary Anglo-German relationship was suggestive of so much to which we can cling while we wonder what it will all be like come March 2019.
(L-R) Manfred Sutter – EKP, Philip Brooks – URC, Martin Henninger – EKP, Thomas Borchers – EKP
August has been a busy month with quite a few things going on. From the 6 to the 10 August I was involved in a children’s holiday club at Westbury Gardens URC in Blackburn, my own church. Mal Breeze, the CRCW there, runs this Bible Based activity, supported by church members this time focusing on ‘waste’ and taking care of the environment. The children made things to take home, played games, watched a film and story about creation, sang songs and enjoyed food. There was a good mix of children from the local area around the church, which is a diverse community, all getting on well together and engaging happily with the Christian theme. On average between 25/30 children took part each day supported by adults from the three local URC’s that Mal works with. Parents were encouraged to come on the last day of the Holiday Club to see and hear about what their children had been doing. Continue reading