Yesterday I was at the York and Hull district Synod and was mainly good - the highlight being hearing Sally's testimony prior to her ordination. Before that though we split into groups and had a "conversation" about ministry, mission and money. The groups we were split into were too big, more than 20 in the group I was in and so people couldn't really hear what other people were saying... however (in our group anyway) it turned into almost a competition of which church gave away most money. The mission and ministry part of it was almost forgotten - what was discussed was the same things churches have talking about for years....
From that we went in Sally Testimony service - it was a great and needy reminder for me (thanks sally) that ministry is about people and their journeys, rather than debates about whether a church roof should be fixed or not. During the singing of Beauty for Brokenness - it hit home... surely our conversations should start there:
"God of the poor
Friend of the weak
Give us compassion we pray
Melt our cold hearts
Let tears fall like rain
Come, change our love
From a spark to a flame"
It was compassion I needed this morning, when I really struggled in worship this morning ... mainly because of the attitude of the Father of the child was was being baptised. He arrived about 15 minutes late, and we started without him. When he did arrive he sat right in front of me, and talked and laughed all the way through the service ... It was at the point I felt like smacking him, that I knew I needed a holiday!
Not that today has been all bad - we started a Youth Alpha today with 4 of our young people, and I hope that it will be a good time for them and those who lead them, and that together we learn lots...
It's how ministry goes, and I know that had this been anyother weekend, I wouldn't be feeling the same way ... but I am exhausted - physically, emotionally and spiritually ... fortunatley I am away from work for 9 days now - -- firstly on retreat then a weekend off a few days holiday. I fully expect to come back rejuvinated, inspired and excited about ministry.
And my prayer for this week reflects the prayer Kate and William wrote for their wedding ... help me lord to keep me eyes fixed on what is real and important in life" - for me that's Jesus and I look forward to some quality time with him in the coming days!!!
O Lord hear my prayer....