Archive for October, 2011

October letter

Hi everyone,
Earlier this month I went on a two-day course organised by the National Association of Chaplains to the Police. Fifteen of us from various parts of the country met at Swanwick in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside. We came from cities, market towns and rural areas. We represented Anglican, Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostalist, House Church and Roman Catholic ministries, and we had two very able course leaders.
Those present included newly appointed chaplains to the police who were there for basic instruction. Others of us had been chaplains for many years.
The course covered a tremendous amount in a very short period, but this in no way detracted from its value.
At the beginning we were asked to ‘get to know’ the person next to us. We had to do two things.
First we had to say something about ourselves that was true, and then something that was false. The person next to myself claimed that prior to being a clergyman, he had been ‘a teacher of Latin and Greek,’ or a ‘semi-professional footballer’. Which was true? He taught Latin and Greek.
I said I thought he had been a semi-professional footballer! How deceptive the signals we give off to others can be!
The course, besides being informative on police matters and procedures, was also useful in other ways.
First there was a great sense of fellowship amongst us, simply because we shared a common aim, and in this particular group a common faith. Fellowship is always at its healthiest when it is turned outward, and not just concerned with itself.
Secondly, there was a sense that we were all learning together. I was by far the oldest person there, but I don’t think that mattered. As Christians for example if we have properly understood our faith, we never stop learning. I believe in ‘life-long-learning’ because all Christians are ‘disciples’ . The very meaning of the word is ‘learners.’
Summing up, it seems to me that the course was saying.
Don’t rush to conclusions about people.
Enjoy fellowship that is generated by a common aim or purpose, and finally.
May we always be open to learn something new.
Every blessing,

(Thanks again for your support in the last three months. I continue to make good progress.)

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