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Showing posts from 2012

service reflection

Today I preached at Dene holm Methodist church, set in a community centre it serves the immediate Northfleet community.  The church suffers with a very small congregation at present though all are committed to the cause.  we were made very welcome and the service celebrated the first Sunday in Advent.  The congregation was mostly elderly people.  At their all age services they have attendance by the brownie and guide groups along with parents of the children but these people do not attend regularly which is a definite challenge to the church.

The songs were delivered by computer based music and unusual for a Methodist church, the singing was not strong.  I am not  sure what I can do differently as regards this.  The songs were traditional which fitted the congregation.

I received positive feedback from the congregation with several commenting that they would like me to come back again.  one of the congregation significantly commented that my message was "different" in a po…
Service Reflection 11.11.12

Today I led my first remembrance service at lower stoke Methodist church to a congregation of approx 11 people.  The service went very well and incorporated members of the congregation in its delivery.  we observed the two minutes of silence following a video presentation of scenes depicting conflict ranging from WW1 to the present day conflict in Afghanistan.  The message was focussed on the need to follow and embrace the way of Jesus, that of rejecting warfare and violence whatever the cost.

the service was well accepted by the congregation with a number of positive comments from the congregation in the immediate aftermath.

i felt that the service flowed well, with appropriate solemnity balanced with reflection and thought.  My mentor John Stunnell was present and he commented that Remembrance services were very difficult to manage, however he felt that I had performed and planned it very well and that he was very pleased.

service reflection

Yesterday 7 October, I led the service at GMC my home church.  the service had a congregation of about 70 people with a mixed age range.  Before the service I was quite nervous, but aware of the blessing of the Holy Spirit.  The theme of the service was radical love and extreme trust.  Initial feedback has been positive which is encouraging.  My parents came, and enjoyed the service along with a family friend.  The sermon seems to strike a chord with several people in the congregation. The worship team were on top form and gave a wonderful rendition of "Looking in the sky".    I look forward to preaching at GMC again.  Several members of the church had a role in the service even though I was involved from start to finish.  My wife Carol and youngest daughter also gave wonderful approach readings at the beginning of the service, giving the service a family feel to it.  Praise God!

Walking with God

I originally wrote this piece 2 summers ago, but think it is still relevant.  My Knee still hurts from time to time but what is important is the trust in God and the growing of relationship with him.  Today I read a blog by Anita Mathias of hanging out with God.  Such a true perspective on life and what matters.  I therefore thought I would share this again.  I hope you enjoy.


Just before I was due to go for elective surgery in late August, I had a dream in which I heard what I believe to be God saying to me "Walk with me".  it was one of his normally short discussions when I get the hint these days that something interesting and hard is going to happen.  This happened once before and I hadn't listened properly, to my subsequent pain.
On 28th August I duly went in for my surgery a simple arthroscopic menisectomy.  I wasn't expecting a problem but I was aware that god had forewarned me of something on the horizon.  I left the day ward, the only person unable to walk …
Trial Service 1.7.12

today I gave my trial service at Strood Methodist church.  I am currently awaiting for the outcome of the formal assessment by my two assessors but informally I have so far received sufficient positive feedback to feel that I will indeed be progressing to on-trial status in this journey.  There were inevitable learning points in the service, parts that could have gone better, little things that I thought had been planned around that cropped up on the day, though overall I am pleased that I coped with most of them and led the service in a calm and unruffled manner.  Choice of songs is an issue, though here there is no easy answer as local preachers are asked to preach at churches they no little about.  Overall though I am reasonably happy and aware that I can do even better next time.  The sermon was especially welcomed which I was very pleased with.

service 3/6/12

I conducted my first solo service on Sunday.  The setting was at lower Stoke which is a friendly informal small group church on the grain peninsular.  I would describe the congregatioin as real christians.  No airs and graces are to be found here.  I think the service went very well.  I felt comfortable giving the leadership and the service flowed well from beginning to end.  There was a clear sense of development through the service with I feel the hymns revealing clear linkage with the theme of the sermon which was a celebration of real jubilee, relationship with God, through the will of the Father, the grace of Jesus and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
As a Church we have entered a spell of 40 days of prayer and fasting.  The aim is that the church shall listen to what God is saying to us, so it is primarily a listening exercise.  one of the images that came to me today at a prayer session was "to be a source of life giving water in a barren land"

I'm not too sure what that means yet, but hope to understand soon

I have a service at Lower Stoke on Sunday.  It is the home church of my mentor - no pressure then..  I am looking forward to it and pray that God will bless the service and everyone present.

I Am or am I!

My first rambling - and rambling it is!

I've generally looked upon myself as a jack of all trades but master of none and this makes it fairly easy to be negative and/or re-act to a comment from the negative aspect rather than taking anything positive from it.

Yesterday I was reading of how the opposite is true of Jesus, there was no am I statements but focuses on I Am - the true light; the Vine; the Way, the Truth; the Resurrection; and...........

So a lesson to be learnt when I, or anyone for that matter, feel negative about a comment / action / ability etc., focus on the positive, and bring to mind Matthew 19 v26  (you'll have to look it up! :0) )
Perhaps it is a phenomenon that we will always deliver a message in the manner suited to who we are.  Certainly very interesting that two diverse people would perceive the same message from different pieces of scripture.  Perhaps there is a message for the wider circuit here? 

We all have to review how we portray our version of the message, though I for one wouldn't have said that you were exhibitionsist John.  Who knows, perhaps out of this blog we may create a forum where different styles can be shared, so that we can learn traits off each other??

Moving in mysterious ways

On Sunday 13th I heard Will Grady preach almost the same message at Stoke that I had been given for Tonbridge Rd the week before. On the need to be ready to change but at the same time to have a clear sense of what we should hold onto.  He based his sermon on different scriptures but found the same message in it. It is encouraging, especially when we sometimes question the divinity of our inspiration, to find that He has given the same to others.  Interesting, too, to hear how effectively the same ideas can be put accross in a quite different personal style. It made me wonder if I should consider toning down my sometimes extravagant style. Does it sometimes go beyond engagement and into exhibitionism?
I recognise that I may not enjoy the answer to that question, but I undertake to listen.
Hi Tony

Thank you for joining my blog  Its reflective in nature, and open to all to share insights and thoughts that will help us all.  if you could send me Sara and Dereks email address then I will invite them as well.

Preaching at Sittingbourne Methodist Church

This morning I lead the service at Sittingbourne Methodist Church and my preaching was on John 15: 1 to 8 Abiding in the True Vine
Tonbridge Road 6/5/12
I led the worship and gave a childrens address today - my first of the latter.  i think the servicde went well, certainly a better feel than the Swanscombe seervice.  Not without challenges though.  At the last minute the organist told me she could not possibly do two of the songs, we came up with two replacements only for her to say she could not do one of those.  We negotiated and she learnt the new song and it went well. 
Learning points from today.

volume OK
attitude in pulpit OK
probably a good idea to have a plan B for songs just in case..    I think I dealt with it OK, didn't get stressed and John came up with a saving song for which I am very grateful.

I really enjoyed the childrens address.  Immediate feedback was encouraging, especially from another local preacher on trial who was in the congregation. - that means a lot.

My next service i intend to use as a mock trial service, I am hoping to have a trial service on 1/7 and if that is satisfactory I…

SERVICE AT SWANSCOMBE 22/4/12

Following a positive Local Preacher support meeting on Wednesday when it was proposed for me to progress to being on trial subject to a satisfactory trial service, I led the service this morning at a church at Swanscombe.  it was an old building and a small congregation mostly elderly folk with one young couple and one young mother (the only non white person in the congregation) who attended with her two young children

Though the service flowed OK, I forgot to include the Lords Prayer.  This was because I have always linked the Lords Prayer with the intercessory prayers slot and I had delegated this to someone else.  Learning Point - I need to maintain my awareness of the service as it happens so that I can insert/adapt as required.  It remains my sole responsibility.  I felt that the start of the service was a bit stuttery on my part.  I wonder why that was as I felt I had prepared very well.  I think that having not been to the church before it was quite a shock when I arrived and i…
Today, I leld worship at Sutton at hone church a small methodist chapel near Dartford.  The service went well.  The small congregation whislt mostly older, were not afraid to take on new challenges and there was a clear sense of reverence and dedication.  it is such a shame that the congregation is so small, and I worry for the future with seemingly no youngstersf, or at least not enough.

For the first time today I felt like a preacher.  i had to come up with some quick intercessory prayers and whilst presentin them was able to offer some extemporary prayer.

A big plus for the church is the organist who provides real muscial leadership. 

Mhy nezt outing will be ast Swanscombe where I will be preaching the sermon

This morning I led the worship at Rainham Methodist Church..  

Learning points - the throat mike and my voice do not get on.  When i speak it sounds loud enough to me but the sound system appears to have difficulty picking up the frequency of my voice.  I intend to speak to Roger Barrett at GMC and do some practicing in the church with critical friends in the church to improve and solve this particular problem  Positive comments from one of my cohort on the Faith and worship course which is encouraging.  My mentor doesn't give immediate feedback.  The other comment that is made is the speed of my speaking voice.  I wonder if this is because I work in a fast paced environment, where most of my colleagues perceive me as a reflector and thoughtful and slower speaking.  It appears to be all in the perception.    Hopefully my practice will help that, i will also ask roger to provide me with a dvd copy with sound so that I can watch myself  as cringeworthy as that will be. i am sure it…
I have now given two sermons in different Churches.  I am awaiting feedback from my mentor, but I have so far received positive feedback from many people, which is encouraging.  I am out again this weekend at Rainham and have had the role of pre-service liaison.  I am creating the intercessory prayers slot.  Back soon
Hello, it has been a while since I have been here.  I have been given a mentor, and I gave my first Sermon on Sunday - 2 days ago.  It seems to have been received quite well.  I need to have finished my first assignment by next Tuesday 28th, this should not be a huge problem as part of the assignment I used in my sermon.  It has been an awful start to the year really for both Carol and myself healthwise but we push on and will try to meet every challenge that is given to us to cope with