Archive of entries
Jane Robson, previously a member of our church, is currently training for the ministry at Regent's Park College, Oxford, and is working with Kingswood Baptist Church, Watford. Keep up with Jane's news here.
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Wednesday 30th May 2012
Hopefully, by now, most people will have heard my news but some of you, I’m sure, will be learning of this as you read my blog. Kingswood Baptist Church, my placement church, issued me with a call to continue as their minister when I finish my training, and I have accepted. This means that I will continue to serve here in Watford from September 2013 onwards and will not have to enter into the settlement process as will many of my colleagues. Thanks be to God! Terms and conditions have still to be agreed but we have time to do that. So, that decision has meant a few interesting days as I have made the news known!
Unbelievably, I have just finished my last teaching week of my second year at college. We are off next week because of the Jubilee and then the following Monday we relax, punting on and picnicking by the river after a morning with Pat Took and on the Tuesday we are led in a day’s retreat with Chris Ellis. One day a previous president of the Baptist Union, the next the future president! We are indeed blessed to have these folk come and spend time with us. So, my study of Greek has now, sadly, come to an end...just wish the same could be said for the essays!
This Sunday we are looking forward to 29 folk from the church and community gathering together for a BIG LUNCH after church where, I hope we will do all the same kind of things as many thousands of others will be up and down the country. Last Sunday we took part in a flame run around the churches of Watford. An impressive torch flame was taken around many of the churches either on foot or by car (time limits) to light a pillar candle in each church, symbolising the coming of the Holy Spirit. It was great. I hope there will be a picture to show you at some point.
Tuesday 22nd May 2012
Well, for those of you who read this and attend Rugby Baptist Church, you won’t need me to tell you what the high-light of last week was. It was such a privilege to be able to lead you all in worship last Sunday. Although I was rather nervous about returning to my sending church I really enjoyed being amongst you all again. Thank you for inviting me to come, and thank you to those who gave me feedback afterwards. Earlier in the week, we held our Annual Church Meeting (followed by an ordinary church meeting). And so, after looking back at an exciting and challenging year, we also discussed some new ideas for the next 12 months. We are going to try turning the church round through 90 degrees (no, not theologically!!) so that we have fewer, longer rows and sit with our backs to the entrance door. Rather like we did at Christmas, but with communion table and chairs also moved. We’ll see what we think after a couple of months!
In September I am going to follow a preaching series on “Baptist Basics” and we’re looking to broaden the focus of our Bible Study group as we also change the name to Fellowship Group.
So, with an application for Church Membership also having been made in the last couple of weeks, there’s a lot going on. However, on a less positive note, the unavoidable facts of life relating to a service and MOT on the car plus new glasses means that I am now also feeling an affinity with the saying, “as poor as a church mouse”, eek, eek. But tomorrow I’m looking forward to meeting up with Christiane and her friend and showing them round Oxford...actually, I’m booking us onto a walking tour for someone else to show us round Oxford. With the wonderful sun-shine we’re having, my only regret is that I haven’t got my shorts with me!!
Wednesday 16th May 2012
After the weekend at Assembly, it was back to more routine matters last week with that second doctrine essay being top of the “to do” list. It remains top of the “to do” list although I think I’ve done enough reading now to make a start on the writing stage. And I received some encouragement yesterday as we received back our “Baptist History and Heritage” essays. Another mid-sixties mark, hurrah.
We are continuing our study of Colossians at the mid-week Bible Study and last week looked at being clothed with compassion, patience, humility etc. The challenge was to draw the item of clothing which best represented one of the virtues (in the fashion of the armour of God illustration in Ephesians). My favourite was the bobble hat of humility! I continue to be greatly encouraged by our oldest member who is in her 99th year and whom I try and visit once a month in the nursing home where she is now confined to bed. A great inspiration.
And then the weekend brought a delightful walk around the Warwickshire country-side with friends from Rugby...in the sun-shine...and a lunch after church the following day. Perhaps we should have had a poverty lunch as we had just been thinking about the work of Christian Aid?! And then the high-light of the week for me as we met Paul and Sarah Brown, our link missionaries, who will be going out to work with “Nightlight” in Bangkok, a jewellery making business that provides a way out of prostitution for many. KBC hosted the afternoon meeting to which the local Baptist churches were invited. And now I have the Annual Church Meeting to prepare for.
Tuesday 8th May 2012
Another action packed week! Well, it feels that way anyhow. Although Baptist Assembly is fresh in my mind, if I think back to last week, I remember I had the pleasure of opening up the church building on Thursday morning at 06:15. Zzzz. The building was being used as a Polling Station and in a rash moment I had offered to open up and then go back at 10 o’ clock at night to lock up. That also meant putting all the chairs back out, returning the communion table and chairs to the front and hoovering the carpet! I slept well that night. Still, it was good for the building to be available for the community to use.
And so on Friday lunchtime, with a friend from college who would be staying all weekend, I headed off to Watford Junction for the first of many trips in and out of London. Vanessa and I negotiated the underground and arrived at the very impressive Methodist Central Hall in good time...first stop, the cafe! And we made good time back to Watford so Brenda, who had arrived while we were in London, was still up! We went to as much as we could over the 2 1/2 days – gave Dave Woods, minister at Dunchurch Baptist Church a big cheer on Saturday night as he received his fully-accredited “hand-shake” (one of those odd Baptist customs!) – met up with my university friend Alison for coffee on Saturday afternoon, caught a “replacement bus” into London on Sunday morning when the trains weren’t running, met up with a number of Baptist friends, enjoyed Louise and Pete’s enthusiasm for all things Assembly (Rugby’s delegates for whom this was their first time), and have already put Blackpool 2013 in our diaries.
And now it’s back to essay reading, Sunday service and Bible study planning and some outstanding Greek homework!