2015 June

June 2015

Dear Friends,

June will be a very special month for me this year. I know that many of you are coming to Liverpool Cathedral on 28th June for my ordination. This is the end of a long process that started back in 2009 when I candidated from the Wigan Circuit.

After three years of training at Queen’s Ecumenical Foundation, and two years probation in Crosby, last month we held a wonderful District Ordinands’ Testimony Service at Blundellsands Church. It was a most uplifting service with worship led extremely well by Bill Wolfenden on the organ and the worship band from Elm Hall Drive Church in Liverpool South. I am surprised the roof was still attached to the church!

We are greatly blessed that the Methodist Conference is being held in Southport this year meaning that the ordination services are more or less on our door step. Before the start of Conference, all ordinands go on retreat at Liverpool Hope Creative Campus. This is to give us time and space to reflect on the journey that we have been on and to prepare for ordination.

On Sunday 28th June, in the morning, we will be at Southport Conference Centre to be received into full connexion with the Methodist Conference. This, if you like, is the Methodist only part of ordination. The Methodist Conference is the main decision-making body of the Methodist Church. My journey from candidating to ordination has been overseen by the Conference, the members and delegates of which have approved my progression through my training.

In the evening, my ordination is intended to be into the presbyterate of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and the Methodist Church looks forward to the day when, in communion with the whole church, such ministries are recognised and exercised in common.

It is wrong to think of this as being the end of my training – in truth, it is just the beginning of my ministry. So ordination is a major mile stone in my spiritual journey, but it is only that – a mile stone. The journey continues.

Such has been my journey. It is not one I have made alone. I am so grateful for the support and love shown by Alison and Fiona in particular, and for everyone in Crosby with whom we have journeyed.

As I have reflected on my journey to where I am now, I want to affirm that we are all, as Christians, on a journey of discipleship.  That journey started before we were even aware of God, continuing through the struggles of coming to faith and asking Jesus to be Lord of our life. But the journey does not stop there. It is continually progressing as Jesus, in the words of Cecil Frances Alexander’s hymn, calls us saying, “Christian, love me more.”

When I gave my testimony in Blundellsands, I spoke of my conviction that it is only as we ourselves become disciples that we are able to fulfil Jesus’ command to make disciples.

It is only as we take seriously the call of Jesus to follow him so that we ourselves are changed, that the change in our lives becomes noticeable and attractive to people who do not yet follow Christ. It is as we are transformed in our attitudes, our behaviour, our priorities and our words that others will notice and follow.

This journey that we are on is life-long. As Keith Briddock reminds me, there is no retirement from discipleship. Just as the journey started before we were even aware of God, and continues through our offering ourselves to God, so our journey will continue beyond death. As Charles Wesley wrote: ‘Changed from glory into glory, till in heaven we take our place; till we cast our crowns before thee, lost in wonder, love and praise.’

Paul says, But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)

May God bless you as we follow him together.

 

David


Page last updated: 29th February 2016 5:40 PM