Friday, January 29, 2010

Elim - North East Region

The Insight Conference is held annually and attended by ministers and spouses from Elim churches in the north-east of England and was chaired by Gordon Neale who is Regional leader for the area. The venue was a country house hotel on the Scarborough coast and the event was ably organised by the minister of the Scarborough Elimchurch - Graeme Parkins.

I spoke on six occasions during the three-day conference and enjoyed, as always, the times of interaction with my fellow leaders and between the sessions and during the evenings. This region has excellent leaders across a wide spectrum of age and experience. It was great for Marilyn and I to be with Gordon and Kay and all our colleagues in the area.

Weston Super Mare

Its always a pleasure to minister at Holy Trinity in Weston not least because it is led by my good friend Claude Ellerington and his two sons Richard and Steve. Elim in Weston is a warm, creative an innovative church and, apart from preaching on Sunday morning there was a slot in the service where Richard interviewed his father and myself - drawing on stories from when we met at Bible College in 1968 to some contemporary challenges that Church is called to deal with today.

During the service I prayed publicly with Steve and Natasha (pictured) as they prepare to leave the team at Weston and join the ministry team at Elim@Bristol which is led by Simon Foster. They both will be greatly missed at their current church but will also make a very positive contribution to the progress of the church in Bristol.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Kensignton Temple Vision Conference

Pastor Colin Dye,senior minister of Kensington Temple and apostolic leader of the 'London City Church' network pastors Elm's largest congregation in the UK. One however cannot measure the church only with a numerical benchmark - though it is several thousand strong - as the church under his leadership has grown commensurately in depth through its comprehensive discipleship structure. Every year KT holds a vision conference, and I was delighted to accept the invitation to speak at the celebration servive at the conclusion of the conference. Colin Dye is not only a colleague, in that he serves with me as a senior member of Elim's National Leadership Team, but aalso a close personal friend. My visit to KT was another opportunity for me to witness first hand what is being accomplished in this significant spiritual centre in the capital of our country and to enjoy ministering to the tremendous people who are part of the KT network.

Armed Forces Chaplaincy Conference

During the past ten years that I have occupied the role of General Superintendent I have had the opportunity in minister in a wide variety of contexts in this country and around the the world. It was however the first time I had been asked to speak to the United Board Conference of Chaplains who serve the Army, Navy and Royal Air force. Many will know the courageous work they they do - exposed to the most dangers theatres of world conflict such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Though often in the line of fire they never carry arms themselves but remain continually available to those around them that often face the extreme levels of battlefield stress and trauma and injury. Their conference was held at one of their bases in Hampshire and I had been invited to speak at two of their sessions as well as at the concluding joint communion service.

Smethwick leadership Forum

Pastor Joseph Chinnalyan, senior minister of the Elim Church in Smethwick holds monthly leadership seminars for ministers from a variety of Denominations in the Black Country area of the West Midlands. It was through this initiative that I was able to be with him and the leaders that had gathered to speak on the subject of 'Authority in the Church - its limits and its scope'. By thinking beyond his locality he has consistently provided a resource for other curchs in the area.