20 November 2018
A weekend in the North of England
On Saturday the President visited Chesterfield in the Sheffield District to spend the morning with Local Preachers and Worship Leaders, considering creative approaches to leading worship during Advent. It was a relaxing and creative time and people were very willing to share the fruits of their reflections in words and in images. Michaela left her comfort zone (of words) to pick up a paintbrush - just goes to prove anyone can have a go!
On Sunday Michaela visited Blackburn Cathedral - just a few miles from her first two Circuits as a minister - Burnley and Accrington. She was thrilled to be invited to preach by the Dean and Canon Andrew Horsfall - who is a friend from her days at Queens College. The Cathedral is the newest in the UK and manages to balance the modern with a feeling of agelessness. For the next few weeks it is hosting a new icon, of the Samaritan Woman meeting Jesus by Jacob’s Well (John 4) - one of the President’s favourite bible stories.
She preached on ‘Let us consider how to provoke one another to love’ - from the day’s lectionary reading from Hebrews.
Later on Sunday, the President was interviewed on Radio Bolton FM by presenters and Methodists Ian and Sue! This was followed by preaching at a District Service at Victoria Hall Bolton. Over 300 people attended and the singing was wonderful. A fabulous circuit choir and a wonderful band and organist led the music and we heard about the mission work of all the Circuits in the District through a presentation called ‘Faith in Action’. The offering was to support the work of Methodist Mission Partners in Haiti and the President was interviewed by District Chair, Paul Martin. She when on to preach, again on the theme ‘Provoke one another to love’ - but this time for a bit longer than in the morning as Methodist congregations expect a bit more than those in cathedrals!
On Monday Michaela continued her visit to the Bolton and Rochdale District, leading a day of reflection in the Bury Circuit. The focus of the quiet day was on the great O Antiphons traditionally used in worship in the last 7 days of Advent. The day concluded with Holy Communion, during which people shared the prayers, reflections and thoughts that they had worked on during the day.