Sarah and I attended Graham Harrison's funeral at Emmanuel Evangelical Church, Newport where he had ministered for 47 years. Seeing his coffin arranged in front of the pulpit from which he used to preach was a sobering sight for any Minister. In his sermon Stephen Clark referred to Harrison's use of the words of Richard Baxter, "I preached as never sure to preach again, as a dying man to dying men." But, like Abel being dead, he still speaks, calling us to herald the good news of salvation from sin and death through Christ crucified and risen.
The simple service was a fitting tribute to Harrison's memory and a powerful witness to the gospel he lived to preach. One of the elders, Trevor MacMillen spoke warmly of Mr. Harrison the man and the Minister. Stephen Clark's message was based on 1 Corinthians 2:2. In Harrisonesque fashion Clark called upon any non-Christians present in the service to come to Christ without delay. He offered gospel consolation to those who mourned Mr. Harrison's passing. Preachers were urged to proclaim Jesus Christ and him crucified, seeking empowering presence of the Spirit.
At the graveside Hywel Jones prayed one of the most amazing prayers I've ever been privileged to hear. It was theology on fire, directed to God on behalf of his grateful, hopeful, yet sorrowing people.
Before heading for home we called in on my mum in nearby Bassaleg, which was nice.
Took an assembly at a local Primary School in the morning on 'Friendship and Trust', with special reference to Matthew 14:22-33. Jesus is a friend in whom we can trust. He will never let us down.
In the afternoon I went along to a Governor's Training Session, where we were encouraged to evaluate our performance using twenty questions suggested by an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Education Governance & Leadership, see here. It was a useful exercise that will hopefully help us be a more effective governing body.
Prepared for the evening's Bible Study on Hosea 6:4-6. Visited a couple of church members. Led the Prayer Meeting/Bible Study. On the first Wednesday of the month we pray for other churches in our FIEC Cluster Group, using a Prayer Diary.
Emails ping back and forth all day. Church stuff, Fraternal stuff, Governor stuff, Grace Baptist Mission weekend stuff etc. One day I'm going to get confused, send a deacon on a Teachers' Pay training session and book the Clerk to the Governors into a theology seminar. That'd be a shock for 'em both.
Prepared Sunday morning's sermon on Matthew 5:17-20. Pastoral visit. Managed to get a bit of reading done - Imagine Church by Neil Hudson and On Christian Doctrine by Augustine.
Hasn't happened yet, Proverbs 27:1.