Today is a special day for many people in UK Methodism because the Stationing Committee has been meeting earlier this week and since then there has been a flurry of emails and phone calls betweeen presbyters and church stewards. The result is that today many presbyters will be visiting the stewards in the church(es) where they might possibly be stationed next September.
It is not always easy to match a presbyter's gifts, dreams and hopes with those of a congregation and so a great deal depends on these first encounters, and they all need our prayers that God's will may be done in the final decision-making. I am praying for my Minister as he goes with great expectancy to visit what may be his new 'Station', and I am hoping that he will not be disappointed there but find a real match of interests, aims and opportunities.
At the same time I am praying for the meeting today of our stewards here and a presbyter who is interested in becoming our next Minister next September. I don't think Caversham is an easy assignment but it has much potential, so I'm very much hoping that whoever becomes our next Minister will build on what has already been achieved and challenge us to move forward into fresh expressions of church that will attract many more people as we build the kingdom of God here.
As 2009 is our Centenary year, whoever comes to us as our Minister in September will find that an interesting programme has been arranged for the final quarter of the year, with several important guest preachers. The dificulty will come in the New Year 2010 when all the excitement of the Centenary Year is over and we return to 'normal'. This is when the new Minister will need all his/her reserves of strength and leadership.
Finally, let us all pray earnestly for all those presbyters on the move next year and for the churches eagerly awaiting their next Minister, that the Holy Spirit may breathe new life and health into our beloved UK Methodist Church - for Christ's sake.