This week I'm attending the funeral of a dear friend - Peter Grange. Sadly, Peter died last weekend after a lengthy illness which had meant he had to retire early. When I was appointed an Area Superintendent Peter was already on what was referred to as 'the board' (Superintendent's Board). I'm attending its' successor - the National Settlement Team today, which will be poignant. It was a scary place to enter - especially without a tie! Peter, however, was one who made me feel both welcome and comfortable to be who I am rather than try to be anyone else. I later discovered this was a gift he didn't just reserve for me, but made it a habit he shared with and for others. I'd rather not be thinking about it for this reason, but it really is more about who we are than what we do. He will be missed greatly for all kinds of reasons, by many different people, but I'm especially mindful this week of his wife, Janet, and daughters Rachel & Suzanne.
I kept meeting people last week who said ‘this week has gone quickly’. Unusually I couldn't agree – probably because, unusually I’d spent three days all in one place – Wells. Wells is, however, a delightful place to be, although holed up in the Old Deanery, I didn’t see a great deal outside. We met with Pat Keifert, who’s an American Italian Lutheran Professor and the main guy behind Partnership for Missional Church – cf. www.churchinnovations.orgWithin WEBA we’ve been moving towards piloting this process (designed to enable a Church to make the transition into being missional) for what seems like ages (because frankly, it is ages). At last we’ll launch it in 2009. I admit to be really excited about the potential PMC offers.