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Currently our minister is Rev Anne Smith. If you want to contact Anne her telephone number is 01527-570437 or you can email her at email@example.com
It is a new beginning for us as we come to the Bromsgrove and Redditch Circuit and particularly to Catshill and Bournheath so I thought I would write a little about us. Although born in a Birmingham hospital I regard myself as a Black Country girl as I was brought up in Netherton, Dudley. I attended Dudley Girls’ High School before going off to Southlands Training College. It was on teaching practise that I met my first husband, Paul.?>
We married in 1975 and settled in Leatherhead, Surrey and I taught in Epsom and later Leatherhead. We had two boys, John, now working in the theatre and married to Gemma, and David resident in Grimsby with his wife Inga and son Paul born in January 2013.
It was in my mid thirties that the call to presbyteral ministry became acute and I candidated. We all went off to Wesley College, Bristol for 2 years after which we were sent to the Elland and Greetland Circuit in West Yorkshire. It was there that Paul died of a heart complaint just before I was ordained. My mother spent much time with us in Elland thus enabling me to continue my ministry.
I went to Worcester in 2000 and the friendship between Jim and I developed. We had known each other for many years as we were brought up in the same Methodist church. We married in April 2004. He is a great blessing to me, not just personally but in my role as minister. He is a Local Preacher looks forward to getting to know the churches in a new Circuit. Jim is retired having worked for Lucas in research into batteries and fuel cells for the automotive and aerospace industries. Not only did I gain a husband but another son, Richard, who now lives in Halesowen and works for the Probation Service.
I believe it is a great privilege to serve in ministry in the Methodist Church. As to hobbies we both enjoy music, reading, films and for myself I would add cooking and knitting. I’m hoping to get back to swimming regularly, which I have failed to do in recent years.
I also dabble with writing, from dialogues to be used in drama (with my son John then casting his dramatic eye over them), to the occasional hymn, to imaginary thoughts of Bible characters. Maybe one day I’ll gather some of them together.
We do look forward to our new Circuit. I hope that we can grow together, learn from one another and share our strengths in order that we may better serve the Kingdom.
At the moment I am reading a book called “Getting Involved with God: Rediscovering the Old Testament” by an American Biblical Professor, Ellen F. Davies. It is the book that James Knott has to read as he prepares his portfolio. It sounds very scholarly, which it is, but it is very easy to read.?>
It begins with a look at the Psalms as a way into prayer and challenging our false ideas of what prayer is and encouraging the reader into honesty in prayer which leads to a closer, deeper relationship with God. My question from that for myself, and perhaps you, is how can you build a relationship if one partner isn’t being honest with the other and the other knows that they are not. So when we are feeling angry about a situation it is no good being “nicey, nicey” in prayer when what we really want to do is scream and shout. In the Psalms you find plenty of passages that are screaming and shouting – giving the anger to God. And when we do that God can help in the healing process.
You will be pleased to know it is not all about anger! In complete contrast there is a chapter on the Song of Songs – a book that we don’t often use in public worship except for a few chosen verses in the wedding service. It is about love, fulfilled and unrequited, intimate and life enhancing, for God and for a partner. It is a love poem which affirms the value of a faithful, long lasting, intimate partnership and when referring to God asserts the importance of simply loving – when that love is an end in itself and not based on the expectation of any benefits of that love.
I haven’t finished the book, yet look forward to the sections on Job, another dip into Psalms and then Isaiah among other chapters. Books like this help us to look at the Bible with alert eyes and challenge us with fresh ideas. They encourage faith and develop commitment. Of course they are only a help and secondary to studying the book itself. However we do need the scholars to help us, yet they are secondary to the work of the Holy Spirit who brings the text to life.
How much time do we spend studying the Bible? A Bible reading (or 3) on a Sunday is not enough but it should be a daily occupation. It is something we should do on our own and in groups so that we can share our God given insights. We can be tempted to think that we haven’t got any, that God does not speak to us, but that is not true. It is not a question of being a scholar it is about being open to God speaking to us through the book that is known as His word.
May God bless you and may you hear his word to you.