So for anyone who wants to know what I've been up to - here is a thumbnail sketch of the Summer of 2009
Early July - Methodist Conference. I helped with the organising of worship - The Sunday service went particularly well and I am thrilled with the feedback. The Thursday Communion would have been fine if business had not over-run and a number of people had to leave for trains - this needs looking at for next year. As I'm now both on the Ministerial Business Committee and also going to co-ordinate all the worship at next year's Conference, it might be possible to smooth things a little.
Late July - Methodist School of Fellowship.
What a great thing to be part of! I was privileged to lead the morning prayers each day (had to get up early but it does me good from time to time!). Sandy was able to come for part of the week long event and the kids came for all of it. The highlights for me where Inderjit Bhogal leading the week, a great poet, Michael Symmons Roberts, and the Psalm Drummers. The drummers had all 170 of us, from a few months old to people in their 90s, drumming in time. The sound was amazing and the laughter and unity in the room was very special.
August - Holiday in North Devon.
Sun, sand, wind, sea, rain, sea-views, great cottage in Appledore overlooking the estuary, kite boarding, body boarding, folk jam nights in local pubs, food, Sky TV, West Wing series 2 and 3, Hockings ice cream, walks, sleep....
- Quick trip to Greenbelt.
Rob was dropped off on our way back from Devon and stayed for the weekend with friends he met at the School of Fellowship. Sandy, Tamsin and I went back to London, I preached on the Sunday - then we drove to Tewkesbury, stayed in a Premier Inn, went to Greenbelt for the day, stayed in the Inn again, back to work Tuesday.
Highlight of Greenbelt for me was seeing Applecart. If you get the chance to see them DO DO DO!
Spent time with Jennifer, new colleague. Circuit Policy, Conference Business Committee, Meal out with lovely people at the Loch Fyne, Pastoral visits, trip to Chesterfield to scatter Sandy's Mum's ashes, Church 50th Anniversary evening, 3 services and a training session on Sunday 6th - lost voice and exhausted Monday 7th!
Jen's welcome service was wonderful, local ecumenical and civic guests, a variety of music including the choir and musicians from King's Hall Urdu speaking congregation, good preacher and very welcoming.
So now, it's September with a vengeance and I'm ready for a holiday!