Day 14 – Wed 14th Sept – The morning started with meeting Natalie our new intern, who was full of questions and eagerness for the year ahead. I was tired all day and so it wasn’t as productive as it should have been. In fact today is one of those days where I’m not really sure I’ve accomplished anything. I did manage to finish off Sunday morning and begin to get going on Sunday night. I’m also trying to work through how we can do elders training.
With Presbytery Fri and Sat I need to finish everything by Thursday. House-Group met at ours just 5 of us and we read through 1 Peter, it was a good time and it finished early which is always a relief.
‘The epistle is really the chief part of the New Testament and the very purest gospel, and is worthy not only that every Christian should know it word for word, by heart, but occupy himself with it every day as the daily bread of the soul. It can never be read or pondered too much, and the more it is dealt with, the more precious it becomes and the better it tastes’
Day 12 – Mon 12th Sept – Ellie started Reception today but only for an hour so I had to go into the school with her. She starts half days from Wed and then full days from next week. I spent the rest of the morning working from church on Romans for ELT and the Shorter Catechism. I was speaking at lunchtime for the Christian group that meets at Ealing Council – I gave them an overview of Romans and we had a great discussion afterwards.
In the afternoon I managed to do some reading for Presbytery later in the week, some work in Isaiah 29 for Sunday morning and write a couple of letters. This evening was our deacons meeting and we did good work. We were done by 9.05 and they are a great group who work hard serving the church.
Day 11 – Sun 11th Sept – A good but exhausting day, Sunday School seemed to go off well. People were very encouraging about the Adult Sunday school and big numbers attending. I’d really enjoyed preparing Isaiah 25 – The preparations for the feast/ The Feast itself/ The Guest list/ The cost, it linked in so well with communion. We rejoiced and feasted at the table but I didn’t feel freedom in preaching it. I needed to thin out the content more.
There was a picnic lunch afterwards and lots of folks came, to see the church enjoying being together and mucking about in the park is an encouraging thing. Tonight I spoke on the atonement in the Old Testament- re-working the talk I’d done to men from the Mosque. It was a little bit heavy at times and 10 minutes too long. However it reaffirmed to me that Islam has got nothing to offer, I hope it’s given us confidence to engage Muslims. Had a Pastoral visit after the evening service which went on far, far too late.
Day 10 – Sat 10th Sept – A Day off. Lidl, Tesco’s and then a two hour drive for a house-warming party outside Cheltenham for a couple who’ve recently moved from our congregation. The kids did well though Noah was terrified of the dog. Claire and I watched the last night of the Proms when we got back I fear I’m turning into my dad.
Day 9 – Fri 9th Sept – The day started with our team meeting where we talked about the last week and tried to plan a bit ahead. I spent sometime on admin and prep for Sunday. At lunch I visited my good friend Jonathan Fletcher who was the minister of Emmanuel, Wimbledon for over 30 years. I love the bones of the man, he’s so wonderfully opinionated and though he is the most passionate Anglican I know you just can’t help enjoying his company. We bemoaned lots of things but he’s a very kind man and thriving in retirement. Ecclesiologically we would line up in a different place, he’s got such good judgement on people and helpful in thinking about ministry. He feels the two big attacks the devil will make on evangelicals are on Marriages of Ministers and our unity. Seeing him always does me good, Jonathan is a kind of John Newton figure.
In the evening Matt and Rach Childs came over for Fish and Chips. Rach used to be our women’s worker and they’ve returned to the church after a year much to our delight.