Our morning service was conducted by Mr. Ian White last Sunday. Ian, from Cheshire, serves as Secretary of the Synod of our Methodist District. “Questions and more questions” was the theme for his service and each of his hymns reflected this theme. He was warmly welcomed by Sue Fox and after a short introduction to the theme we sang the hymn “God is love let heaven adore him” to the organ accompaniment of Rod Smith.

Our prayers of praise and adoration to the statement ‘Lord of past, present and future’ called for the response; ‘receive our praise’, which was most appropriate when from our country church windows we could see the majestic Maer Hills, associated with Charles Darwin and his courtship of Emma Wedgwood of Maer Hall in the 1830s, reminding us of the wonders of creation. We had three bible readings, read by Sue Fox and Ron Lucas.

The first from Psalm 124, which was a statement of King David about the strength felt by Israel because the Lord was on their side in ancient battles, Romans 12 speaks about Christian behaviour and in Matthew16 Jesus asks his disciples ‘who do men say that the Son of Man is?’ and he speaks to the replies he receives to the question.

In his sermon, Ian acknowledges that there are more questions than answers. He quoted some words from Johnny Nash, the American singer songwriter “The more I find out the less I know”. Asking questions can be beneficial and this generates fellowship and pastoral support as questions are about engagement and learning; there is always a place for questions in the church as we strive to seek the Kingdom of God. Our founder, John Wesley, said he was stirring people to God as he brought challenge and context to the people’s lives. Ian continued to stir us as he spoke under the headings of Challenge;

Context and Choice reminding us that Jesus is at the hearts of Justice and Grace. May our lives be a living testimony to the love of Jesus in all that we do.

In the quiet we listened to the music of John Rutter and his rendition of the lovely hymn ‘All things bright and beautiful’, followed by our prayers for others in the world, asking that in our questioning and search for answers we may be given humility.