This week the Moderators are meeting at Westminster College a day earlier, attending a conference organised by the College to explore what we think Ministers of Word and Sacraments are for. Each Synod is represented by their Moderator and a Pastoral Committee Convener, with the Principals from all the RCLs together with conveners of national committees represented as well. The Principal of Westminster College chaired (although in the picture Neil Thoroughgood is holding the flip chart paper), and the picture shows one small group leader reporting back on behalf of group A (you may spot the familiar face of my predecessor). It has been an encouraging conversation so far – and brilliant that lots of issues are being openly discussed. Some of the discussions will be reported back to the Synod in different ways over the coming months.
I would also like to remind you of the opportunities mentioned at Synod for Ministers and Elders to gather together to explore the issues surrounding the deployment concern. These sessions will be important in helping to understand what is involved and to help us together to formulate ways forward over the next 5 years. We are very much in an interim period and need to support and encourage one another during this time and hopefully you will feel these are opportunities that do this. There will be more information sent out so that we can try and gauge how many will be attending each session, but the important thing is for Minister and Elders to get the date(s) in the diary at this stage. So, the events we are offering around the Synod are:
Day for those who are serving Ministers, CRCWs, SCMs, Local Church Leaders:
- Ministers’ Day – this is on Tuesday 10th May with coffee available from 10am for 10:30am start, finishing at 4pm with a lunch provided. We are in the process of finalising the booking of the venue – so will let you know once this is confirmed. We hope that the environment will be conducive to having a reflective day with deep thinking.
Synod Area Roadshows (2 opportunities in each Area) for serving Elders, Local Church Leaders, CRCWs, SCMs, and serving Ministers:
- South Synod Area - Wednesday 29th June: 2 – 4pm at Altrincham (Hale) URC 7 – 9pm at t.b.c
- Central Synod Area – Tuesday 12th July: 2 – 4pm at St Andrew’s & St George’s 7 – 9pm at Hurst Nook, Ashton
- Lancashire Synod Area – Friday 1st July: 2-4pm at Poulton-le-Fylde URC 7 – 9pm at Fulwood URC
- Cumbria Synod Area – Thursday 21st July: 2 – 4pm at Cockermouth URC 7 – 9pm at Grange-over-Sands
Of course Synod Area boundaries should not prevent you attending an event “across” the border if you are unable to attend in your own Synod Area.
Please watch out for more information nearer the time. Many thanks.