What a great day our family had at church yesterday in two very different services but two really good services.
For the morning service we went to Essington Wood for their 'Sunday School Anniversary' which was quite interesting in itself as they don't have a Sunday school. I was sharing the service with 'Jigsaw' and I had been sent an order of service but that is really all I knew.
It was quite funny because I had been in the vestry talking to the steward for about five minutes when he asked if I was a Local Preacher to which of course I said yes. He then said that was a good job then because the bloke taking the service hadn't arrived yet. I pointed out I was the preacher and we had a good laugh about it.
The service was really good, there was a pretty full house with a wide age range - even a teenager and 'Jigsaw' were a bunch of 15 children from another church who sang exceptionally well given the fact most of them were probably under 10. I heard evry word an thoroughly enjoyed their contribution. The Reverend George Walsh (puppet) and Alex (teenage puppet with bright red hair) was also there and Alex assisted me with telling the story of David and Goliath much to the enjoyment of the children of all ages (grown ups as well). I think there were one or two people in the congregation who were surprised how much fun they had as we all know church is boring don't we?
The second service while being very different was no less enjoyable and this took place at Central Hall where I had the privilege of leading a service of recognition and thanksgiving for three of our local preachers who had attained long service as preachers. The church was full and we had hymns by Wesley (And can it be, and Give me the Faith which can remove) Fred Pratt Green (The Church of Christ) Isaac Watts (When I survey to the tune Morte Christo) And Frances Jane Van Alstyne or Fanny J Crosby (To God be the Glory). We also had Gwahoddiad sung by the Shelfield Male Voice Choir and when they sang Morte Christi one of the preachers we were recognising was invited to join with them.
Certificates were presented to Fran Harper (60 years) Gilbert Rowley (50 years) and the late Mike Jackson's wife Pam received a certificate to mark Mike's almost forty years.
There was a real air of celebration as a very full church sang the hymns ably assisted by the Shelfield Choir and I think it would be true to say a good time was had by all.
Who says Methodism is dead? Yesterday I experienced two examples of it being very much alive! Praise the Lord!!!!