So that might be a slightly strange title for a post, but it’s true. Now that isn’t to say that I agree with everything that the church does, nor does it mean I agree with everything it says, but I am rather fond of it. And the reason I am writing this now is because my love for it has just been rekindled after a slightly rocky few months, where, had it continued we might have been considering separation… Ok perhaps that’s a bit melodramatic, but it has been a difficult few months, I wrote a bit about it here and I don’t really want to dwell on it but basically I was struggling a bit with my calling, being in the CofE, and other things. I have been coming out of that and I have confirmed my place at college for September so it wasn’t all bad!
Anyway, I digress, so this week I went to the HTB Leadership Conference which was ace, and you can say what you like about HTB, (and don’t bother to do it here please) but they are doing a fantastic thing in this church that I love so much. The teaching and the speakers were just fantastic. One guy who I had not heard of before, Steven Furtick, was particularly inspiring.
So on the second day I met up with a Vicar friend of mine at lunchtime, who asked about my progress, and I was having a bit of a moan and they sympathised and seemed to imply some similar moans. So there we were having a bit of moan about this diocese when Steven Furtick comes on to speak. His talk was called ‘Your Calling is Calling’ – I hadn’t know this in advance, and he proceeded to tell us all to stop moaning about where we are and get on with what God has called us to. My friend and I shared a few knowing glances during his session! I mean, talk about divine timing… His talk was amazing with some really insightful stuff and very stirring.
Couple that with the Archbishop of Canterbury’s interview the day before, which gave me such amazing hope for this wonderful church of ours. That man is a legend and I’m truly excited to see how he shapes the CofE of the future…
And then add into the mix the fact that this whole thing was put on by an Anglican church, yes it has become a bit of a machine but I’m not sure how many other Anglican churches are so successful and reaching so many people with the Gospel…
and so I came away from this conference renewed with love for my church, filled up with hope for the future and so proud to be part of it. Can’t wait to get to college now!
UKViewerMay 16, 2013 at 2:02 pm
It's great to hear you so positive after what has gone on in the last year. And you're now going to college, so Yay.
I have to admit being a bit fed up with things at the moment. Although I love the Church, my Parish and all to to do with it. The issue effecting the wider church have been put on hold as far as I'm concerned because the immediate frustration is that of being in Limbo.
Since NOT at BAP last year I had to take a few months of reflective rest and prayer to recover. Imposed by my Vicar and supported by my SD. But that ended last November and I with my Vicar started down a new path, than, he announced that he was moving virtually immediately and off he went. Since then, nothing has happened. The new path is on hold until we get a new Vicar and realistically, nothing is going to happen until about Sep 2014.
Opportunities to do anything are hampered by the decision by diocese not to provide any laity training this year due to resource limitations. And, no incumbent means no movement. Perseverance and patience are at a premium at the moment 🙁
So, while I love the Church, I find it a discouraging one when it comes to supporting and discerning a call to some form of ministry (affirmed strongly by BAP) and I wonder how much longer I will persevere?
But your good news has brightened my day, it shows me that the Church can be flexible – ish, and allow you to do things differently.
Prayers as you move forward.
nicolahulksMay 16, 2013 at 10:21 pm
Nice one Red! Excited to hear about your journey at college! We need passionate, inspired people that is for sure so I'm SO excited for your call! 🙂
AnonymousMay 17, 2013 at 7:12 pm
I hate the C of E – the home of hypocrisy.
JulesMay 21, 2013 at 6:29 pm
Thanks for all the comments.
Ernie, so sorry things are so up in the air, must be really tough. I've got a friend who was turned down at BAP who also has had limited support – sounds like this is something the CofE need to work on. Is there anything you can do off your own back in terms of training? If you found something worthwhile attending might they pay expenses maybe? – just missed HTB leadership conference but something along those lines might be an idea?
In response to your comment I'm not convinced the church will allow me to 'do things differently' but here's hoping! Prayers for you x
Hey Nicola, thanks! not so sure about all the essays I keep seeing on your tweets though! x
Anon – really sorry you feel that way, I am the first to admit it's not perfect, after all it's made up of people and we're all human and well able to make mistakes. But whatever your situation I pray for some hope and light. x
SuemMay 27, 2013 at 6:38 pm
I feel really disaffected with the wider Church of England. But the steady love and strong faith I find in the church I attend, the vicar and congregation gives Christianity a very good name and warms my heart and soul.
JulesMay 28, 2013 at 4:40 pm
yes, it isn't always easy to be so positive about it! But I am encouraged by the pockets and the few that you describe. Praying for more of those and less of the other…