Queen's counsel XXXV

July 2004

Leaving anything behind is often difficult to do and leaving the West Midlands Ministerial Training Course at Queen's at the beginning of this month meant saying farewell to so many good friends, both students and tutors. There will be fond memories of the course as well as things we would rather forget but which have also taught us, helped us grow and shaped us. The disciples of Jesus said farewell to Jesus at his Ascension sad times perhaps, but at least it meant the work of the kingdom was clearly theirs now and they could be fully responsible for mission in the world, fired and supported by the Holy Spirit at work within them, just as we are.

Next month at Petertide brings a new beginning for my Anglican colleagues and me with our ordination on 4th July as deacons. There will be a lot going on that day, both here and at Lichfield so it will be a very special day of celebration for me, my family, my friends and any of you who join in. Apart from the Ordination itself in the Cathedral, there will be a shared lunch at the Parish Rooms and a service of welcome in the evening, so watch out for notices about all that and, come and enjoy.

Along with my fellow deacons, we have to wait a further year before being ordained as priest, so ministerial training goes on but with a difference. It will be parish-based, nourished by the diocese and by those we share life with. St.Paul often wrote of us all being in Christ but having gifts that enabled everyone to contribute in special ways. By God's good grace, with the example of Jesus and through the Holy Spirit's guidance, we can all grow in fellowship not just within the church but in the world as well.

I will also be exploring how to engage with the world of work as an associate chaplain with the BCUIM (the Black Country Urban Industrial Mission). I'll write more on that later but maybe the time has come now to close down the Queen's counsel. I rather fancy continuing under the heading "Faith at Work" and seeking connections between the Church and the World, insights of value to us all.

In the meantime, it will be good to work more closely amongst friends in Codsall thank you for all your past support. Maybe you can continue helping me to discover how best to support you now and yourselves to help each other. Reinhold Niebuhr prayed thus:

God grant me
the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

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This page was last updated on 2004-05-25

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