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January 7th, 2018

Dandy

Covenant service

This morning on the first Sunday of the new year we celebrated a service of renewal of our covenant with God, usually just called "the Covenant service". In Methodism it goes back to the time of John Wesley when he freely adopted a form of service used by Puritan Anglicans, and he decreed it should be used annually by his societies (religious sub groupings that worshipped within the Church Of England) and the practice was to do this at the beginning of a calendar year. More recently      some Methodist Churches have started to hold their Covenant services at the start of the Church year, when newly appointed ministers are in place for the first time in their churches at the start of September.

For me, and for many others the covenant service is special, though sadly for some it is a service to be avoided...it was in attending a Covenant service that I first had to admit that God was calling me to full time ministry and needed to do something about it. I visited my then minister that afternoon and due process followed..... at the other end of my ministry a Covenant service was the last service I conducted before retiring somewhat unexpectedly at least on my part the next day. I was in the habit of finding a phrase from the service  that I had used to base my sermon on and that year the only   phrase that stood out was "laid aside" but I had nothing to put with it...

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