Sharing stories

In the life of the Church we owe a lot to retired ministers and their spouses for their past and continuing service, but we’re not very good at acknowledging this or expressing our thanks to them.  I spend Tuesday July 20th in Basingstoke with a group of retired ministers, ministers’ widows and widowers living in Wessex Synod, having been invited to talk about Church History. I share some thoughts on four of our forebears – Richard Baxter the 17th century minister and theologian, Constance Coltman the first woman minister in our tradition who was ordained in 1917, Jamaican-born GP and Congregational lay preacher Harold Moody who campaigned for racial justice in Britain during the first half of the last century and Rosalind Goodfellow, the first woman Moderator of URC General Assembly. Making Church History interesting and accessible is something I enjoy. I’m rewarded by a warm welcome and good hospitality, as well as two people who share personal recollections of Harold Moody and Rosalind Goodfellow. Isn’t it remarkable how when we share stories with others it often triggers people to respond with their own stories. I’m encouraged and heartened. Sharing our faith stories will be an important part of the Vision4Life evangelism year which starts in November.

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