Minister's Summer School this year is held at the imposing High Leigh Conference Centre
This is a smaller centre than the one we usually use - The Hayes, Derbyshire - but run by the same organisation. It meant that those who live on the northern part of Synod were the ones who had to travel the farthest - for a change.
Here Ministers gather in the impressive Oak Room,
which doubles as our lounge and our book-stall room.
After lunch, opening devotion was led by our chaplain, Carolyn Smythe
leading throigh the inevitable announcements to our first session of Bible Study led by Janet Tollointon- here she is pondering her response to a question from the floor.
Looking at the idea in the OT of being Called we studied the making of the covenants by God with the people of israel, and some of our assumptions about that were challenged
A little more bible study (in the morning after coffee) led by Janet,
exploring why the hebrews were a chosen people.
Chosen because God loved them,
they were chosen to be a blessing for every other nation on earth.
The Bible Study was bracketed by two sessions from John Hall
on the Mission of the Church.
In the morning we considered the 'theology' of mission. Looking at how God's people in the Bible shared God as they journeyed through the bible lands, we dicovered that we can expect to find that God is already there. Our job is almost only to help people recognise what they already see.
In the evening we explored the idea of Cultural Relevance. In taking out the Gospel into the world, Missionaries used also to try to change their converts into westerners, to impose our culture on them. This can not work either abroad or in this country. The really successful missionaries related the gospel to what they learned of the people they were working and living with. This must be our approach too.
It was dull, but warm enough to take Coffee breaks outside.
After lunch we were able to attend a second workshop - Relevant Faith in a relatve world; Angels singing (hymns); Creative Writing. (which were repeated sessions from Monday evening), or watch a film chosen for its message.
Evening worship included an interactive intercession.
From the collection of items we were each invited to take
one object that reminded us of something or someone 'back home'.
Some of us were able to share aloud what we were reminded of,
so all could join in the prayer.