What a weekend I have just had. On Saturday I had the joy and privilege of inducting a Minister, on Sunday morning I preached at one of our churches and in the evening I joined in with a gathering of lots of Christians from Baptist churches in Southend.
An Induction is a bit like a wedding service. A Church and a Minister have gone through a ‘courtship’ process known as ‘settlement; got ‘engaged’ when they both felt that God was calling the Minister to the church and the church to the Minister; and then finally we had the induction where they exchanged promises and I was able to declare them ‘husband and wife’ or ‘Minister and Church’. It was a wonderfully joyful occasion and I pray God’s rich blessing on Rayleigh Baptist Church and Scott Williamson.
When I began my new regional role I was told that I would miss being involved in some of the life events in a local church – infant blessings; weddings; baptisms; funerals. And that is right, they are all a real blessing to be involved in. But I was also told that being involved in Inductions and Ordinations for Ministers would replace them. And from Saturday I believe that this is correct.
On Sunday morning I was at Upminster Baptist Church. What a lovely friendly bunch of people. It was a blessing to be with them. And as well as meeting some great people it was exciting to hear of their plans for a Family Fun Day in May. In order to get ready they are having some ‘workshop’ sessions to make banners, stalls etc between now and the Fun Day. It sounds like great fun leading up to a great event and I hope and pray that they will have an amazing time and be a real blessing to their community.
And in the evening yesterday I was at the Southend Area Baptist Network gathering in Hawkwell. It was brilliant to be with people from lots of different churches and hear of so many different ways in which God is using the churches to bless Southend – through a Christmas Flashmob, counselling services, winter night shelters, plans to clean up an area of the town, Foodbanks and so much more. I even got to perform a couple of my magic tricks (by invitation) but was almost overwhelmed by the excitement of all that had happened that weekend – seeing God at work through his people in so many different ways. That is one of the real privileges of this role I seek to fulfil! I was so blessed, and hope that you are too having read this.
Like the Baptist churches in Southend may you be blessed, be a blessing
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