Conference days 4 and 5

Yesterday morning we attended the Conference service at Westminster Central Hall.  It started with an interactive clapping thing where different parts of room had to do a different clap. There was also drama and a sermon and singing. During the service the ordinands (people training to be ministers)  were 'received into full Connexion'  which means that they enter into a relationship of service and support with the church. 
 
It was super hot so we went to St James' park and found some shade to eat our lunch in. Pretty soon I headed across the city because I was helping at one of the ordinations. It was a lovely service at Wesley Chapel with about 650 people. One of the OPPs, Sarah, and I distributed communion. Another OPP Matt valiantly tried to direct people from their seats to us in the right order - not much space, wonky pews, music so they couldn't hear his instructions = very confused people! Made me smile :) There were about 8 people being ordained including the first Welsh first language minister! The service was enjoyable but I was feeling much too tired. I hope it was a really meaningful moment for the ministers which they remember forever. I've heard or seen on social media a lot of ministers saying 'this day__ years ago I got ordained' which I've loved - a reminder every year of that special day and the calling from God to be a minister.  
 
Went out to a nice pizza place for dinner and then went to bed without blogging as I didn't have my laptop at the accommodation.
 
Today was a full on day of business. It included a long and well supported report about ministers with ill health. There are some really challenging points in this paper - I think it needs a change of culture in a lot of places, as there is a lot of pressure put on people. I hope the paper is taken seriously and we become better at looking after each other.
 
We also discussed the Faith and Order report (Faith and Order do theological thinking), heard a bible study, heard some great stories from world church friends and also I seconded a Notice of Motion which was about ensuring the work on a resource about the topic of Cohabitation asked for by 3Generate does not get overlooked and dropped unintentionally. You can find it here if you're interested:  http://www.methodistconference.org.uk/london-2013/2013-07-08/1700-pm/notice-of-motion-205 and the debate will be online soon.

Had some really interesting conversations with people today during the breaks. They are never long enough and I'm rushing back to my seat having not got a drink or gone to the toilet because I've got caught up in an interesting discussion!
 
In the evening we had dinner at Central Hall as usual and then got taken on a tour of the impressive building by some of the stewardy/tour guide people. They took us all the way up to the dome - a lot of stairs and up very high. The view was incredible. My phone battery had died from all the tweeting & emailing I'd been doing so I didn't take any pictures to put on here but Abby and Roxanne did. My day was finished off with lots of laughing with friends old and new - one had gone back to their room to find no bedding, another no towels and another had had his toiletries taken out of his toiletries bag! Luckily everything is where it should be in my room and I have now caught up on blogging so off to bed. Tom did a video blog but it hasn't uploaded properly so that should get put on tomorrow. Roxanne's (sideways) video blog today can be found here: http://twitter.yfrog.com/c9qsfzmwrzbfiehpzqkvuxiez

Looking forward to tomorrow as Sam (ex Youth President) & I are bringing what I hope is a 'challenging in a good way' Notice of Motion so we'll see how that goes. I'm really excited about it.

Good night!
 
 

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