Blog 3 November 2016

Faith to move a mountain

I will be honest, just like that first day of school, I did have some fears about coming to council and my fears were based on a bit of a nightmare. In this particular nightmare I would wake screaming having just been crushed by a mountain of paper. Now when I say mountain, I am not talking about something like Scafell Pike, or even Ben Nevis, I am talking about a mountain of paper that makes Mt Everest look like a mole hill. As this mountain comes toppling down on me I can see the tell-tale council reference in the corner of every page (MC/YR/then a document number) and the cold sweats start as I realise that this mountain is not necessarily a thing of my dreams.

You see, my nightmare is fed by reality four months ago. Half way through our week at Conference back in June, I started to get a little jumpy about the number of times that Conference resolved to send something to the Council. When the Council agenda arrived, I looked at the list of all of those items Conference handed down and remembered this unease, for there were 51 separate headings from far more than 51 resolutions, memorials and notices of motion. Conference (and I hold my hand up to being a member of Conference) seemed to spectacularly pass the buck this year and so the Council agenda over the next 12 months will be … mountainous. In honesty, this nightmare is more of an illustration than a real cause of nightly sweats, yet it's still born in a very scary reality.

As I blog about this, the question rings in my ear as to what that has to do with you, the reader back in the District. Everything and nothing is the answer. Nothing in that there's very little you can do about it (unless you get voted on to Conference next year). Everything in the sense that it's all about you and the life of your church. The work of the Council is about trying to release funds for your mission project or ensuring that your property is handled more creatively. It's about securing a uniquely Methodist input in to education and mission and also about the protection of those who come through our doors and so it has everything to do with the local church. And that means you can pray – three times a year a group of people gather to seek to make the best decisions for your church and its mission and we need your prayers. In between Council sessions the connexional team attempts an almost impossible task to prepare papers and do much of the practical work required by these reports and so they too need your prayers.

Over the coming year, and at the next Conference, keep an eye on the agenda of the Council and please keep us in your prayers. 

Phil Jackson : Cumbria District Council Representative