Looking back over the past year, I am amazed at all that happened. I realise that I stressed about a lot of things that I really didn’t need to stress about. Had I not stressed, this would have been a much easier year. I guess hindsight is 20/20, and we wouldn’t have these opportunities at the end of the year to think through all this. I am reminded of the old proverb, ‘Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday and all is well.’ Ironically, some of those things have caused the most stressed (and ones I spent most of the first half of the year worrying about) also brought the most blessing. So, I take a break from blogging about Christmas and recount my high moments from this year.
Without a doubt, the biggest high was my son’s birth in July. Caedmon is absolutely beautiful. It may not last long, but he and Savannah get along so well. She loves him so much, and has from the first time they met. Caedmon already has a budding personality: he loves to smile and is very curious. We all love him dearly. This outshines all the other events in the year.
Just before Caedmon arrived, I attended Methodist Conference in Portsmouth. Not knowing what to expect (having only my memories of Annual Conferences in the United States), I was pleased to have a great time. I don’t necessarily mean the hot long business sessions, but getting to know other Methodists from around the country and the atmosphere around the events. I blogged each day, so you can read about it if you wish (first post).
Having Caedmon of course brings inquiries from family members across the seas and a unique opportunity arose that allowed for all those inquiries to be answered. Dane Morehead, the pastor of my home church in Florence, SC, wanted to do an exchange. So, the four of us left England to spend a month in South Carolina. We had a great time, and saw so many people! Everywhere Savannah went she met more cousins. The highlight for us was Caedmon’s baptism. Caedmon’s godparents from England (Tim and Natalie) flew in with a scripture reading from the members of Mellor Methodist Church. His American godparents, Jen and Mike, who we got to see later in Florida, also provided a scripture reading via recording. I preached the sermon, and my friend from seminary, Sarah McGiverin, drove down and assisted me with the baptism. It was a fantastic day. The folk at St. Paul were great, and we enjoyed meeting our godson for the first time (Jen and Mike’s son), whose story is amazing.
Finally, as I have been talking about on Facebook and on the blog, the Sorting Hat has spoken! We entered the stationing process this past May, wrote our profile and even had conversations with the chair of district (Stephen Poxon) while waiting in the airport in Florida. The week we returned from South Carolina, Stephen rang us to tell us we had been matched with the Medway Circuit. In mid-November, we trained down to Medway (in the County of Kent) to see if it was a good fit. Both sides felt it was, and, subject to Methodist Conference Southport, we will be moving there in August. We are very excited and looking forward to it, while at the same time it seems strange leaving Lancashire where we have loved living for the past 7 years (hard to believe it has been that long). We will miss the folk from Blackburn and South Ribble (neither circuit will exist when we leave as they will have both changed!), but we are looking to be a part of the work God is doing in the Medway Circuit.
So, this has been a great year and there’s lots to come. Here’s to a Happy New Year!