On the first Sunday in October I was preaching at my home church’s Harvest service in the evening, giving God thanks for all the good gifts around us and remembering the importance of the seed we sow in word and action. Proverbs 18 v.21 reminds us that the tongue has the power of life and death, and, in so doing, impresses upon us the importance of speaking only that which is good and wholesome. May the Lord Jesus give us His words to say and His love in overflowing measure, in order that we may plant wisely. May God place His guard over our lips that we may be kept from destructive talk (Psalm 141 v.3).
The regular Admin Meeting came round quickly and saw us up at the Resource Centre on Friday 9th October, not least planning for Connexional Committee. The next day I enjoyed sweet fellowship at our Lymm chapel’s annual Harvest Supper
Lymm Harvest Supper
Ken Irwin hosted the evening and I brought the Connexion’s greeting and a short message encouraging us to sow the love of God generously. Sunday was spent in the pulpit at Friars Green.
A busy week followed with much prayer focussed on the Connexional Committee meeting due to take place on Saturday 17th October. The venue was our Downall Green chapel in Ashton, Wigan. I arrived in good time and was surprised to see so many there, before Marilyn told me that the fellowship had decided to run their coffee morning as normal as times did not interfere. It was lovely to see the surprise on the face of regulars to the coffee morning as they were inundated by members of Connexional Committee! The meeting itself proved to be a blessing and business was conducted in an atmosphere of love and prayer. I thank all who prayed for this meeting and who took part but, most of all, I praise God for moving in a mighty yet gentle way by His Spirit. I pray that this sets the tone for future meetings.
The next day (18th October), I was filling the pulpit at Holy Trinity in Warrington, the local Anglican Church where I work, managing their Coffee Bar outreach, during the week. This service was designated "Coffee Bar Sunday” and it gave me an opportunity to update the congregation on the work that is done and thank them for their commitment in resourcing the outreach. There are many stories I could tell of how God has moved in people’s lives – starting with a simple cup of tea / coffee and a chat! Don’t underestimate what God can do with such as this
On Monday 19th October, Bill and Eileen Matthews met with a small group of us at the Resource Centre in recognition of the renaming of the I.M. Archive to the "John Dolan Archive” in memory of our dear friend John and his commitment to building this body of historic documents over many years (as well as writing several books!). Bill and Eileen (John’s sister and her husband) shared reminiscences that were echoed by Norman Prescott, Andrew Rigby and others of us – A pleasant and fitting afternoon was shared
John Dolan Archive
The weekend of the 24th saw a Warrington Circuit Ministers and Leaders event at the Northwood Centre, organised by Ken Irwin. Baptist Regional Minster, Phil Jump, led the reflections and an excellent time was had by all with representation from the majority of the circuit’s churches. My thanks to Ken for organising this time of refreshing.