Sunday, November 27, 2005

church stuff

Coventry Vineyard has been encouraging recently. After what seems a long time of being around 20 people and wondering if we will ever be more than 20 people (not that there is anything wrong with being a church of 20 people), this term we have regularly had upwards of 60 people at our Sunday gatherings, with new people every week. It is getting difficult to keep up with all the new people who have been coming along. We have 3 growing housegroups, none of which are led by us, having recently handed over our group to Pete and Hayley. The church is getting involved in lots of outreach projects, spending the first Sunday of each month doing church on the streets, picking litter, raking leaves, doing peoples gardens as well as our recent housegroup decorating project and a winter sunshine children’s party. Coventry Vineyard has recently teamed up with St. John’s Westwood church for a combined 24/7 prayer initiative in the month of November. People have been praying around the clock, 24/7 (well, almost), for four weeks. Awesome stuff, and very exciting to see what God is doing. So, the question is, why are we moving on?

For some time now, probably since I began studying for my theology degree (and reading Tom Wright) I have had - what I call - ‘strange yearnings’ for aspects of the Anglican church. To some people this might seem like a strange move, but to me it feels like it has been growing inside for a while and it makes a lot of sense. Combine this with an increasing sense of being called into full-time, vocational ministry, and I have decided to explore and pursue ordination within the Church of England. Yes, I want to be a vicar! To this end, we have been attending Holy Trinity in Coventry and I have started the ball rolling in the long process of applying for ordination. Obviously such a huge decision is not to be rushed and, the church of England being what it is, there is no chance of that. I have been meeting with a ‘vocations advisor’, the Rev’d John Burrell a vicar in Lighthorne. He is a wonderful man, and has been very receptive of where I’m coming from. Yesterday, Su and I were confirmed at Coventry Cathedral with 200 other people between the ages of 8 and 80. It was an awesome service which is worthy of a blog of its own. This evening we helped out with a ‘darkness to light’ service for the start of Advent at Holy Trinity, a truly EPIC service which is also worthy of it’s own explanation blog. In short, big changes are afoot which are both exciting and a bit daunting. Next, a little piece I had to write for my vocations advisor about my journey so far.


Michael Pahl said...

Jon, I'm glad the confirmation service was such a great experience. Thanks for the update!

Jon said...

Thanks Michael. It's nice to be a proper Christian at last. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jon, hey- Father still has need of christians in the Anglian church! Seriously though they have much to teach us 'free' people about sacredness; its encouraging to read your story.