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Speer Road Church

(United Reformed Church)

Thames Ditton

The Last Word

Last word November 2019

At the October Synod I was invited to go forward and shake the Moderators hand as this year is my 40th anniversary since ordination, other ministers were also invited forward for 25, 30, 35, 50 and 60 year anniversary's. Some might have heard of the Revd. Michael Davies who was celebrating his 60 year anniversary, I first met Michael when I was 20 and attended the Fellowship of United Reformed Church Youth conference at Swanwick. I hadn't given much thought to the idea of a 40 year anniversary but when I was at Synod it took on a new significance and felt like a mile post on the journey. In a strange way it felt like I had arrived somewhere and maybe I could relax a bit now!

An anniversary causes you to look back on your ministry and think about things you have done and not done. Think about the hopes and expectations I had when I started and how nave I was. Some of that naivety may well have allowed me do things that I wouldn't do now, but I am also aware of how it meant I may have offended people and not been sensitive to their feelings. In fact as I look back I realise that there were many missed opportunities, many things I regret, I wonder how I had the nerve to be a minister, preach and work in churches. It has made me realise that anything that has been achieved is only through the grace of God working in the situation. God has taken my often feeble efforts and made something of them, used then for his purpose touched peoples lives with his Spirit, and I thank God for that. Paul's word in 2 Corinthians certainly ring true for me But his answer was: My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak. 2 Cor12:9

Forty years can seem a long time, but in the history of the church it is just a moment, I pray that somehow through my ministry God has touched some peoples lives and added to his Kingdom through my moment.

God Bless

Peter



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