If you’re setting off on a journey, and are not quite sure about your destination or how to get there, you’ll probably find yourself relying on a sat nav. If your minister happens to be in the driving seat, and you’re not sure these days where they’re taking you, then just hope that they attended the synod ministers’ day held at West Denton on November 3rd, when sat navs were called on to show us the way ahead.
Nearly thirty ministers, both active and retired, heard Peter Rand speak on behalf of synod executive about the journey that led to the Way Forward proposals that were welcomed by the October synod meeting. These call on churches to reflect on the gifts they enjoy as they try to discern God’s purpose for them within their community. Churches are then encouraged to form themselves into groups and to develop teams around those groups to help each individual congregation to achieve their full potential.
Leading his first ministers’ day as synod moderator, David Herbert then took up the sat nav image, challenging ministers to think about the destination we need to key in, the obstacles that might be encountered depending on the route, and also consider the guiding voice to be listened to. Ministers may not have needed sat navs to find their way back home, but they certainly had plenty to take with them to share within their churches.
Earlier in the day, they had shared with Canon David Peel of Newcastle Diocese in a session that focused on money, and the way in which the Bible governs out approach to issues of poverty and debt today. There was also time for some in-house discussion on next year’s ministers’ summer school – and of course for welcome conversation over lunch, which included a wonderful selection of home-made soups.