I have just returned from an inspiring service by the Rev Keith Pratt and as always he gave me plenty to think about. The lectionary reading was Romans 12:1-13 which urges us to live our Christian faith, and employ the gifts God has provided; “to offer (our) bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God”.
When I first walked through the doors at Cleckheaton about 12 years ago, I was warmly greeted by several of the congregation and since then my church family have been an essential part of my life in the local community. They have supported me in good times and bad and provided the spiritual bedrock for me to train for a career in counselling and helping those struggling with addictions. In fact, Roger was kind enough to provide a reference which I believe was vital in securing my current job at Project 6 in Keighley.
In addition to my full-time job I also work as a counsellor one evening a week; write a regular column for a widely read recovery blog and am politically active in the Batley and Spen constituency. It’s a busy life, but one which I truly believe allows me to use my gifts in accordance with Romans 12; in a way which both serves God and bears witness to the teachings of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.
Since Carolyn and I moved to live in Batley 5 years ago and I had to retire as senior steward, I may not manage to get to church every week, but rest assured I will always be a member of Cleckheaton Methodist Church and consider myself blessed to count you all as my friends.
Yours in Him, Jem Tovey.