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04/13/2003 Entry: "In training -- help required"

I need your help.

The Methodist Church in Swansea & Gower has 11 churches with about 30 miles seperating them as the crow flies. I have the privilege (!!) of being the Superintendent Minister.This year, along with the rest of Methodism, we'll be celebrating John Wesley's 300th birthday with a number of events, and if you're in Swansea do feel free to join us for any of them. I was thinking about Wesley, wandering about the place on his horse, and feeling very gratified that I live in age that doesn't require me to spend any time on horseback. Dangerous animals, horses. I do, however, think of my bicycle as the trusty steed, and it has the great advantage over a horse of being possesed of neither teeth nor hooves. And it isn't so far to fall. So I'm glad Wesley had his horse, but he's welcome to it. I'll stick to my bike.Get to the point Richard!I've been challenged to ride my bike across the Circuit in a day, visiting every chapel and preaching a sermon in each. It started as a joke, but the idea grew and now it looks like it'll be happening this August. Although it is obviously a bit of a stunt, I hope it will be more than that. I've started serious training and a strict dietary regimine (I run to the car instead of walking, and have swapped one of my 20 daily cups of coffee for a glass of water), but it isn't the ride that concerns me, despite the hills in these parts. I'm much more anxious about the preaching, which I'll be taking every bit as seriously as my normal Sunday duties. I shan't be doing 11 different sermons (there are limits!), but I couldn't stand to listen to myself say the same thing 11 times either. So I've got some praying to do.

That's where you can help me. Suggestions for sermon ideas would be gratefully received of course, but it's your prayers I'm really after. For the ride, my ideal weather would be overcast (but not raining), cool and still. Everyone else will want it to be hot and sunny. So let's get a head start on those prayers -- it might make all the difference! And seriously, I would value your prayers that I'll have the strength I need and that the event will be a good witness to the gospel.

Replies:

Thanks for the prayers.

Alice - my colleagues are talking about making it a sponsored event for NCH, so we'll see. As long as I don't have to organise that bit of it, I don't mind. But it's principally an awareness-raising evangelistic event I had in mind.

Not a bad idea BD, though I don't know much about it. I think I'll be preparing some straight-forward gospel messages. Mr Wesley would have approved of that I think.

I'm anxious that although wesley's birthday is the hook the event is being hung on, it isn't seen as a celebration of Wesley. We'll give thanks for Wesley, but it's Jesus we'll be celebrating. And I don't want to give the impression that our church is stuck in the past. I'm trying to persuade people to look forward, not back.

Posted by Richard @ 04/14/2003 12:01 AM CST

Gosh, that's a challenge! Good luck - I'll add my prayers to the pot. (are you being sponsored or something for the bike ride too?)

Posted by alice @ 04/13/2003 10:57 PM CST

What about telling the story of Methodist circuit riders in different countries?

I'll be praying.

Posted by Bene Diction @ 04/13/2003 09:01 PM CST

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