Sunday, 27 May 2007


On Thursday Sarah experienced the particularly English custom of a Testimony service. It may well be a Methodist idea as I have not heard of it in in the Church of England. The idea is that ordinands who are shortly to be ordained tell a group of people including family and friends about their reasons for entering the ministry. The service was to honour two people Derek and Sarah and while you and I know that Sarah is not being ordained yet it was seen as a "Thank you for all the hard work" idea.

The idea is that each person get seven minutes to speak during the service. Derek went first and was an amusing speaker. He highlighted key people and events in his life that had led to this key decision. Sarah was next and while her testimony was less amusing it focused much more clearly on what Methodism meant to her and why she wanted to be a minister, not just a Christian in general. I felt that she was nervous but she received a round of applause at the end.

We then had a sermon from the President Elect of the Methodist Conference who suggested the following three points
1. God has a plan but we might not know it
2. There may be more than 1 plan for each person
3. The specific plan may not be clear but everyone should be aware of the general direction of travel.

I was thought it was a good sermon with a fair sprinkling of humour although the major criticism was that it was an example of eisegesis with the verse in the Bible chosen to back up the point that the speaker wishes to make
and lets face it if you know any religious text well enough you can mould a verse to your own meaning.

Overall it was a positive experience but I have to remember that a lot of the tunes to the hymns are unfamiliar and this reduces the fun in the singing. This should not take away from the singing power of the Methodists which is greater than the Chuirch of England. The spirit of Charles Wesley lives on!!

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