Monday, January 26, 2009

Motherwell - Scotland

I have known the Pastor of the Motherwell church longer than most ministers in Elim. We met at the very first Fraisethorpe Youth camp when he was seventeen and I was fourteen.

For the past twenty years Ivan and Margaret Potts have been in Motherwell and it was great to spend the weekend with them. Saturday night took the form of a traditional Burns supper. I was invited to conclude the evening with an epilogue.

I have spoken at thischurch on several occasions in the past - especially during my years as Superintendent for Scotland- but on the Sunday morning I don't think I have found the church in a healthier state than at any point in Ivan's ministry.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Forty years in ministry

I, together with ten fellow students who first entered Bible college in 1968, met recently for a celebratory meal. The evening was hosted by Phil and Sue Parsons and all of those involved remain in the Elim ministry forty years later.

Left to right are Phil and Sally Thompsett, Phil Niblett, John Bristow, Gordon and Kay Neale, Phil and Sue Parsons, Geoff and Carole Feasey and Lionel and Ruth Currie. Two not able to be present were Paul Epton and Claude Ellerington.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fathers House - Lancaster

I enjoyed my visit to Lancaster on a variety of levels. Saturday night was an informal meeting with the wider leadership in the home of soon-to-be-ordained Sandra Jones (pictured here on the far left with her daughter Anna). It was an opportunity to share vision with around fifteen of the core team.

Fathers House was planted by Clive and Karen Corfield (pictured in the centre with their daughter Kate and son Josh) Clive and Karen have a rich teaching ministry and have travelled widely in this country and abroad prior to planting the church in Lancaster. Steve and Chris Hebden also had a very broad ministry experience prior to joining Clive in leadership. Steve carries a strong prophetic gift. Having spoken at the church on the Sunday I came away with the sense that I spent time with some fabulous people both in the church and in the home.


Ballymena is one of our finest churches in Northern Ireland and has been pastored for the past three years by senior minister, Jonny Law, pictured here with his wife Joanne.

The occasion of my visit was the celebration of the opening of the latest extension to the church - a balcony area and interior refurbishment that has added greatly to the capacity of this continually growing congregation. The church was packed for this service which included several visitors from local churches and the Irish Superintendent Eric McComb.

When I spoke at the service on the following Sunday morning the church was almost as full. In the evening service the speaker was pastor Don Sandford a respected former minister of the church. Jonny and Joanne are doing a fabulous job in Ballymena and have the advantage of a first-classt Eldership and Diaconate.