I thought it was time to enter the world of blogging and with a 3 month period of study leave beginning on September 3rd could this be a way of letting my congregation, family and friends( and anyone else) keep track of what I am doing.
This will be the 4th period of study leave I have been able to enjoy since I started out as minister of Blackley and Elland Upper Edge Baptist Churches in West Yorkshire in 1978. Two periods were enjoyed while at Minehead in Somerset and now after just over 6 years in Harrogate, what will be my last entitlement to a full 3 month period.( I should be almost retired by the time the next one is due!).
Plans for the next 3 months -
1) a look at the theme of church membership and also talk with my colleagues in the Town Centre group of Churches here in Harrogate. How do the other churches of the town approach church membership? How are members accepted into the churches and do those churches recognise membership of another denomination? Certainly Harrogate Baptist Church has a diverse membership, many of whom have joined us from other denominations over the years.
2) study Eugene Peterson's writings on the theme of Spiritual Theology. So far he has written 3 books on the subject in what he has planned as a 5 book series.
3) spend a week with Annette on the '12000 mile service for ministers' at the Martha & Mary Community in Devon. I suppose at my stage of ministry it is a '70,000 mile service' that is needed.
3) have weekends free to visit family and friends both north and south of the border( and who knows, perhaps even a visit to Ibrox)