The Methodist Conference for 2010 is over, I have not received any urgent phone calls telling me that the stations have been changed. therefore I can publish where I will be moving to.
On September 1st 2010 I will be joining the Leicester North Circuit with pastoral charge of three Churches at Queniborough, Rothley and Syston. We will be living in Syston. The Leicester North Circuit is relatively small with two full-time Presbyters (the Superintendent Rachel Parkinson. Plus me). Those who look at the comments here will noticed Rachel a number of times.
When you are approaching a move (with only 4 Sundays left in the Nene Valley Circuit) it is inevitable that there is some looking back and much looking forward (the latter being my preferred option at all times). You will have read posts about my looking back and celebrating the joy it has been to serve the Churches in this Circuit for 5 years (and there will be more to come).
However, I spent yesterday with the Leicester North Circuit Circuit Leadership team on a Vision Day.
It was really good to meet people I did not yet know as well as those who have been helping with preparations (such as Pete, the Senior Circuit Steward who has been wonderfully helpful with the manse). They were all very friendly and I soon felt at home.
Summary: What a helpful, exciting and encouraging day this was.
Naturally we began with devotions, led by Rachel which included some reflections on Mark 10 and recent experiences with a Circuit Prayer labyrinth (those who went to the last Northampton District Synod had an opportunity to experience the labyrinth themselves).
After a review of finances (after 9 months of the year the actual was within £19 of the budget – pretty good I think).
We spent several hours working through the "Healthy Circuit" evaluation the Northampton District has prepared. While not something I could contribute much to, it was an excellent way to learn about the Circuit. There were no nasty surprises discovered but instead there were many signs that this is a circuit that is going somewhere, they have a great vision (and are getting on with it in imaginative, creative ways). I love the Circuit Mission statement "Deepening Discipleship – Making More Disciples" (as well as the google position they have for Deepening Discipleship Making More Disciples even on the first Google page for "Deepening Discipleship". They were realistic about the challenges and the strengths as well as the weaknesses of the Circuit.
After a good carvery in a local pub we finished off the Healthy Circuit evaluation and then looked at the results of a recent Circuit Vision Day to reflect on how the Circuit Vision might be updated. There is clearly a growing sense of optimism about the future in this Circuit.
We also spent some time thinking about the change of ministers, some changes in the organisation of the Circuit and how to communicate them. Very encouraging to find that one Church Council had already been doing some work on this.
Finally I gave a short presentation suggesting some additions to the good work the Circuit is already to monitor their vision, it seemed to be accepted and will go to the next Circuit Meeting.
Very much looking forward to joining this new Circuit for 1st September.