Since being called to be the minister of our lovely chapel in beautiful surroundings, I have been trying to discern why I have been brought here and what we can offer to others around us, especially as the usual things such as coffee mornings, mother and toddler groups, youth club etc. are all going on at the village hall.
But one thought kept coming into my head and with the help of the pastoral minister at a church over the border, it was decided that we should have a healing service. Ironically it was a bug going the rounds that prevented me from writing about the forthcoming event last week!
My first experience of prayer for healing was at one of the first Alpha courses at Holy Trinity Brompton in the late eighties and I took my first healing service with a fellow student while still at college, then gained more experience at the healing services at the Baptist Assembly.
The last few weeks have been busy with the Assembly and my monthly visit to college for the course in 'Continuing Development in Ministry' including visits to my kiddies and grandboys. But my friend who accompanied me to Assembly agreed to help me with the morning service where we gave them a taste of what we had experienced at Assembly, including Bible readings and hymns and songs sung, along with photographs taken from the Assembly website. This made it a little easier to prepare for the healing service in the afternoon.
I have a huge aversion to the healing services I have seen from America, re-inforced by Darren Brown's recent TV programme.
Ours was to be a very quiet service of prayer for healing. Although we have a radio mike, loudspeakers and a loop system that is our usual extent of technology but I was able to link up my ipod into the system to have continuous soft quiet music playing while we were praying for others.
We are fortunate to be part of a Baptist Rural Church Cluster and folk came from the surrounding chapels as well as from the Anglican Church.
Before the service we thought it might be something that we would run twice a year but the response was so encouraging not only from those who came but also from others who were not able to attend this time, that we are planning our next in three months time!