Congrats to Irfana and Dave (colleague at CMS) on the birth of their first child!
Last week I spent three days at the PWM World Mission Conference in Derbyshire UK. This turned out to be a bigger event than I had expected: we were joined by about 200 people from all continents except Antarctica, including many bishops. The theme was hospitality. The talks encouraged us to think of the way hospitality is offered and received in different cultures, and I was impressed by a demonstration of a Ugandan greeting, showing how the host is there to serve the guest. The Bible studies in particular let us to see Jesus as our host. Very moving.
Have spent some time preparing a presentation for last night's CMS and USPG Association meeting in Bristol. This looks ahead to 25th March 2007, the 200th anniversary of the day when William Wilberforce's attempts to abolish the slave trade through Act of Parliament finally came to fruition.
I have found it moving to start to engage with this issue. The many plans which are being laid, not only to celebrate an event, but to look at the issues of slavery then and now make me wonder what we shall see God do through all of this. CMS' Free For All youth drama programme seems particularly to have caught people's imagination, and I finished the presentation with a video trailer of that.
One of the speakers was Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, who said that he wonders about what seems to be one of life's mysteries: that people on the one hand look for lots of security (safe homes, drive a Volvo) and then go hang-gliding.
I've never done hang-gliding, but I do enjoy downhill skiing. Many people describe life with Jesus as an adventure; but perhaps many of us like to choose which bits of life are adventurous, and so control where the risk happens. I don't think life's like that!