Hello & welcome
We arrived in our new home on 2nd August at 10:45pm. We was welcomed to the manse by circuit administrator and two church stewards. They even filled up our fridge.
Both Helen and I have had weeks of saying goodbye, so it was nice to finally say hello.
Since moving I have kept a journal of events/ encounters and would like to share key moments with you…
3rd August - a removal worker shared about his wife poorly back in Poland. I prayed with him around the bed. He came back a week after to pick up some boxes. It was good to see him again and I wanted to know how his wife was doing. He said that his wife felt better at 2pm and that was the time we prayed. Prayer works! We just need to be open to the Holy Spirit.
4th August - we was invited to a 70th birthday bbq. Lovely Caribbean food! It was nice to be welcomed to one of the church members and her family.
6th August - was invited to attend a neighbours bbq. Only arrived four days ago and we’ve already been invited to a church member for tea, a 70th birthday bbq, and a neighbours bbq. Food plays a big part in this circuit. We’ve enjoyed getting to know people.
12th August - went to worship at Salvation Army, Regent Hall. A strong theme on forgiveness. The preacher shared the story about Corrie ten Boom forgiving the Nazi. This made me reflect on how often I forgive people. As Elton John says ‘sorry seems to be the hardest word’. However, saying sorry allows us to be welcoming.
13th August - Rev Nigel Cowgill, district chair came to visit. He shared about the district and prayed with me. Missing friends from Harrogate, but enjoying life in North London.
17th August – Helen and I visited Tate Modern with Sally and Karl. We walked around Picasso 1932. I like some of his work and most of his work was done in 1932.
19th August - went to speakers corner. Speakers Corner symbolises the “right to speak”. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Atheist, remainers and leavers sharing their story. Freedom of speech allows doors to open and to be welcoming.
20th August - Probation secretary came to introduce herself. It was lovely to meet her and find out about my probation studies. I still feel overwhelmed, but I’ll be okay because God has called me.
26th August - today I worshipped at Hillsong’s. The worship was fantastic and modern!! The theatre had welcomer’s on every door and people interacting with newcomers. Good welcomes are something I want to do at my churches. Preacher preached on how society looks at you, but God see’s different.
28th August - welcome to new ministers in the London District. I really enjoyed today because it was good to meet fellow ministers and find out more about the London District. I didn’t know what to expect especially seeing Theological Reflection on the agenda. However, the theological reflection on London by Jonathan Mead was really helpful to explore the good and bad of the city.
Everything is beginning to feel real now.
30th August - welcome service at Muswell Hill.
Today Helen and I was welcomed to the circuit. Rev Nigel Cowgill (District Chair) preached on Ephesians 4. The place was packed and the worship was amazing. 95% of congregation was black. It’s great seeing people open up to God in love! The place was full of different traditions and culture. Tonight Helen and I feel uplifted and surrounded by God’s love.
Since arriving we’ve been made to feel welcomed. A warm and sincere welcome gives a sense of caring and makes people feel appreciated. We feel welcome to the New River Circuit. Jesus said ‘for I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in’ (Matthew 25:35). This shows that Jesus knew the importance of a strong welcome.