March Musings

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Dear Friends,
When Angela and I got married well over 20 years ago, my father in law was delighted to lay on an old Model T Ford Car to take us from Paignton Baptist Church to the reception at a hotel right on the sea front. It was a wonderful surprise and a glorious day for an open top ride.
I was reading this week that Henry Ford, the maker of such cars was very proud of his creation and delighted to bask in its initial popularity. After some 4 years, however, his production manager felt that the time was right to update the model and bring about changes. Despite being incredibly gifted and creative Henry was dead against any such alterations, after all he loved his car just as it was. Eventually, because the competition had not stood still, Henry, with a heavy heart, went on to produce the Model A Ford Car.
No doubt we are all aware that making changes of any kind takes a good deal of thought and consideration. We recognise that it involves an element of risk, anxiety, as well as providing a sense of opportunity. In times of transition, we as Christians are encouraged to listen carefully to one another, respect those who may think differently from us and in all things to endeavour to demonstrate good grace in a spirit of Christian love.
I am very grateful for the thoughtful and gracious responses made at Alton with regard to a proposed service time change. We have suggested moving from two morning services to one united service at 10am. If this change goes ahead it is felt that one benefit is that we will be stronger together as a church family. It will also relieve some of the pressure on our 'people resources' whereby on many occasions some very dedicated people have stayed to facilitate both services (Thank you — you are amazing!).
Another change in the wider Methodist Circuit is that Rev Conrad Hicks (Minister of Farnham and Aldershot) has been appointed to serve as Director of Global Relationships and is to lead the World Church Relationship Team of the British Methodist Church (Wow, Congratulations Conrad!). Our Methodist Circuit is in the process of deciding what will happen in Conrad's absence and at this stage it is unlikely that he will be replaced, certainly in the immediate future. On a practical note this will mean that there are an extra 20+ preaching appointments to cover in every quarter of the year. Discussions are also being had about ministerial responsibility for Conrad's section which will be aired at the forthcoming Circuit Meeting.

Whatever changes are being made we are grateful for the warm fellowship we share, the willingness to work together, the graciousness of Christian people and the knowledge that God will continue to lead and guide us.

Every blessing
Philip

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