An Odd and Encouraging weekend

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I've had one of the oddest and most encouraging weekends in a long time. Friday morning saw us meet as a church planting committee for presbytery. It was a pretty humbling meeting. One of our church plants in central London has had to close and it's been painful all round. Pete Harris, who's the church planter, is an outstanding man and preacher and there's a sense in which we don't understand why this has happened. It's reminded us how fragile all our churches are.

Friday afternoon saw presbytery begin proper with James Torrens from Inverness preaching from Matthew 11. There then followed our first debate!! IPC is a tiny, barely existing, insignificant denomination which God is growing slowly. On Friday afternoon the Candidates and Credentials Committee presented changes to the procedure in how we examine candidates for eldership and the pastorate. We've had an influx of people applying recently and our processes were beginning to creak. David Gibson of Aberdeen presented a minority report regarding dropping examining teaching elders from the floor of presbytery. Matthew Roberts, Trinity, York presented the majority and won out. It was great to see the cut and thrust as elders chipped in back and forth.

Saturday morning it was back to presbytery for a paper on 'Is it ever legitimate to rebaptise?'. Simon Arscott from Trinity York did an excellent job and is going to write up his paper. I was amazed to find out that the PCA is ok with the rebaptism of Roman Catholics. Paul Wells, who until recently taught at Faculte Jean Calvin, and has retired to the South Coast of England, finished off the meeting by giving us a helpful paper on union with Christ in Calvin's thought and it's pastoral implications.

One of my congregation is an Arsenal season ticket holder and he very kindly took me to see Arsenal versus the Swans on Saturday afternoon. For Swansea to be in the premiership is still pretty unthinkable but for them to not only beat Arsenal but totally outplay them made for a great afternoon. I've been preparing Psalm 126 all week and being at the Emirates 'I was like one who dreamed'. It was in the realms of fantasy but then to hear somewhat disastrously that Wales had lost to Australia in the last minute and England demolishing the All Blacks brought me back to reality. From the sublime of watching the Swans on Saturday afternoon I found myself at my neighbours ridiculous fancy dress (costume) party. Never ever go to one of these parties dressed as a monk because every nun in the place wants a photograph with you. It was good to be there to build relationships with neighbours and have countless conversations about me working for a church.

Sunday was a great day. James Torrens from Inverness in the morning blowing the doors off John 1 on the Incarnation. If you're looking for a doctrinal sermon on the wonder of Christmas, email my administrator and she can send it on. I absolutely love it when you listen to preaching and completely forget you're a minister; where you remember you're just a normal Christian who needs to be fed. Sunday afternoon spent in one of our member's homes with good friends and then Sunday night I managed to be vaguely coherent on Psalm 126.
Posted December 3, 2012 @ 6:50 AM by Paul Levy

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