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Ministry

Sheila Baker

893192_66453165It is with great sadness that I received the news yesterday of the passing of Sheila Baker. She was a great support to many and especially within the Methodist Churches of the old Bridgwater Circuit.

To me personally, she was one of the most supportive people I have known as a Minister. She cared deeply about what I was doing and bent over backwards on many occasions to support me. Such people are rare and I will miss her. When a job needed doing she just got on and did it.

I am glad that her suffering is now past and suspect she has already signed up for the Pearly Gates Marathon.

God bless you Sheila.

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Church Ministry

Ministries start with a minister

I have said for a long time that any ministry the church gets involved in starts and runs with having someone who is called to lead that ministry. Too often we sit in committees seeing needs (we can all do that) and then insisting we as a church address them. This usually results in new committees and already hard pressed people undertaking something that they are only doing out of duty (or because a persuasive Clergy person insisted they should – and they don’t like letting the Vicar down).

This article by Rick Warren (founder and senior pastor of Saddleback Church – a church now so big I’ve lost track of its size) says what I try to say very well:

http://pastors.com/never-start-a-ministry-without-a-minister/

Let’s let God do the leading for a change.

P.S. It is one of my bugbears about meetings that people turn up and think they are being helpful by making suggestions for all the things others (especially the clergy) should be doing. Sometimes God does prompt us in this way but my experience tells me that He usually doesn’t. We can all come up with a list of things we could do (I am often overwhelmed by the opportunities I see around us) the real work is in listening to and supporting those who feel called to undertake a particular work.

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Ministry

Ten Tors 2015

Sleeping_in_a_tentSpent the weekend on Dartmoor supporting Heathfield School with their 10 Tors teams. Very enjoyable for me and brought back some good memories. I felt a little jealous of the young peopleĀ  walking on the moors all weekend. I did spend the day walking with some young people from Heathfield doing the Jubilee Challenge. We did the long route of 22km and we all managed to finish in a reasonable time. One of the Ten Tors teams ran out of time and I feel very sad for them that after all the effort they put in over the two days they will just feel like they didn’t succeed. In my view they are still winners and should be proud of themselves, it takes a lot of effort even to get to the start line and no one who puts themselves up for such a challenge should have any sense of failure. There is always another challenge to take on. We sometimes learn more from our disappointments than we do from our success.

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Ministry

Andrew

andrew Classic 1012 003We have been saying goodbye this week to Andrew who has been an important part of our church in Bridgwater.

He had a difficult life with much sadness in it. He had a heart of gold and was always willing to help and always looking for opportunities to support others.

Sadly he sometimes withdrew from other people and this last time he withdrew he was found dead in his apartment having suffered a heart attack. I know this pains many of us who wish we had been there when he needed our help.

We are grateful that God put you among us and we pray that God will bless you in heaven.

Farewell good friend.

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Ministry

Haygrove Bronze DofE

Sleeping_in_a_tentA little late in mentioning it but was out for Bronze DofE with Haygrove school a coup-le of weekends ago. The weather was mainly dry and everyone did a good job of completing the walk without too many getting lost. It makes such a difference to have it dry when you are setting up camp. Well done to everyone who completed the walk and the Haygrove Staff for their hard work.

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Ministry

Haygrove Year 9 Camp

Sleeping_in_a_tentJust spent a few days with some of year 9 on their camp. We stayed at Porlock and spent a day on the hills of Exmoor. It was all good fun (except the steep uphill bits) and the sun shone in abundance. I was given the best compliment ever when someone said that being a Vicar was the last thing they would have guessed I was. No offense to vicars in general but I take it as a good thing to be breaking down stereotypes. There are at least 92 young people in Bridgwater who have now met a vicar and survived the experience. I’m not sure yet where all this effort is going but if nothing else I’m having some good times on the hills.

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Ministry

Black Mountains

twmpa or lord herefords knobUp in the Black Mountains over the weekend with silver DofE groups from Haygrove. Great weather for walking and a fun time. Some of the groups got lost from time to time but mostly they did very well. There is certainly some very beautiful scenery up there.

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Church Ministry

Easter thanks

15743423Thanks to everyone who helped to makes Easter a great celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.

I’ve seen someone yet again trying to claim that Jesus just passed out on the cross – a popular idea amongst today’s atheists who can’t seem to cope with the historical evidence.

Let’s face it, people die when they are crucified. There is only two recorded incidents of anyone surviving the cross (they were friends of Jospehus a Jewish historian) and they were taken down shortly after crucifixion and given the best medical treatment of the time but neither of them survived for very long. This, of course, says nothing about the spear in Jesus’ side or the fact that we are supposed to believe that someone who had been crucified could get up three days later and start walking around as if nothing happened. And doesn’t it seem something of a coincidence that that the only person who survived and who seemed to have fantastic powers of recovery is Jesus. Also, surely his friends would know the truth and so why did they concoct a story about him rising from the dead? They did not benefit from being a follower of Jesus. It would be a much better idea to return to families and old jobs (which is actually what it seems they did after the crucifixion). By maintaining a story about Jesus rising from the dead (this includes James – Jesus’ own brother) they subjected themselves to hardship, persecution, rejection and finally death.

The truth is Jesus rose from the dead.

Categories
Ministry

On the hills with Haygrove

7596032Another day up on the hills last Saturday with the young people from Haygrove School doing their Duke of Edinburgh Award. It is always an enjoyable day spending time with young people and finding out about what bothers them and what they enjoy. It is also always fastinating seeing those that are good walkers but lack confidence and those who are not so good but think they are.

I’m not sure the Quantocks is a good place to learn navigation though. It is maybe a little too easy.

This walk in the year always reminds me just how little exercise I managed to get over the winter. I think this year with the weekends of rain we have had has been worse than most for not getting exercise.

It got me wondering if there is any time in life when we get the same experience with our spiritual life. I guess times of crisis can make you think that maybe you haven’t been praying enough. But, far better to be praying all the time and then you are ready when the crisis comes – just as it is better to exercise your body regularly so you are ready when you need to exert yourself.

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Ministry Thoughts

What is a minister?

7621091At my staff meeting today the subject of the busyness of a minister came up. We decided that all of us have different ideas about how much work we can actually do and that this is also defined by the kind of work that is important to our ministry.