Rev Liz Blair and the team from St Columba’s did a wonderful job to welcome Synod and we really appreciated their hard work.
Synod began with worship, welcoming new folk, and remembering those sadly no longer with us. We thanked Rev Colin Offor for his dedication to synod life, and wished him and Patti all the best as they move south. Our congratulations went to all who completed their TLS courses.
Our theme for the day was communication….communicating with each other, sharing our faith with where people are in ways that make sense and include them.
We were very grateful to Charlene for all her signing,
Gina, showed us how technology can reach out and touch people’s lives, young and old.
Gina joined us on-line from across the Pennines; she led our prayers via Face Time and showed synod how technology offers new opportunities to give pastoral care.
Lawrence Moore Director of the Windermere Centre led our Bible Study, explaining that through Jesus, God was communicating his message of love for the whole world with us. Lawrence encouraged us to start conversations with our communities. The synod’s new website was later launched by Lawrence and thanks were given to everyone involved particularly John Durell.
We welcomed Joanne Thorns the regional lead for North East Churches Acting Together.
Joanne explained why churches must engage, communicate and help others to communicate about May’s election.
There are resources to help with hustings‘#Think Pray Vote’ at http://ctbielections.org.uk
Business items concluded in the morning. James Breslin led the Trust’s and Synod’s appreciation for Danny Pigeon’s hard work and commitment as Synod Treasurer. We are seeking a new Treasurer to join shortly.
We discussed marriage of same sex couples.
People shared their thoughts, their dilemmas and differing opinions.
The ballot vote was 93% in support.
Hannah Middleton gave an inspiring presentation about her work with primary and middle school children. Hannah meets literally hundreds of children each week, and she talks with them about the God and the Bible.
Lis concluded the day sharing her thoughts about the challenges facing churches. She said church communities have life cycles, when a church thinks about closing, this is not a failure, it is the beginning of another stage. In her worship she reminded us we are like a family, who have to change and adapt as they go through their lives and it is the love of God, love for each other and for our neighbour that enables and strengthens us.
Synod was invited to Denewell Avenue on 17th October 2015 and we look forward to seeing everyone there.
PDF version for printing: NEWS FROM SYNOD