This week on Sunday I started my Gap year at Fulwood FMC.
We started the week off with a commisioning service where Nathan and I shared our testimonies and our hearts’ as to why we wanted to take this year at FFMC. It was nerve-racking and it felt odd to be nervous about speaking in church. However it being my first Sunday up in front of people I don’t know out of my comfort zone that makes sense. After the service my parents and the boys left for the long journey back to Cornwall and left me at church. They had a group lunch for the young home groups and leaders that will be beginning with term and it was nice to get to know some of the church more! The only downside was that in comparison with Cornwall it is surprisingly cold and I wished I was in a snowsuit or something to that effect!
That evening they had an evening service which is another thing uncommon at home. Although the blessing of their own building allows that more than if you need to rent one. The services are very different too. For example here they have a host, a bible reader, someone to read the notices or ‘Church Life’ as I need to learn to remember to call it, somebody who prays, the pastor and obviously the worship band with a signer in the morning services!
I liked the fact that it involved more people in the service and then more people can have a part to play, something I personally feel is very important within churches!
They asked me to read the bible verses which again was nerve- racking but at least there were less people.
In the evening, post church, I was invited to come back and chill out with some of the young people with a bit of X Factor which was great as well a good distraction from thinking about my family!
Monday began with Induction involving what will be a weekly team meeting, lots of chatting and a few tours and then some work in the afternoon. The office environment is light-hearted and every one seems to get on really well with a lot of great banter! It makes it really easy to spend time and work!
Tuesday we had an away day at a place called ELLE Grange which I have to say is ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES that I have ever been. The Photos do not do it credit!
We spent the day doing the Network Course which I would fully recommend. It looks at spiritual gifts, what yours are, How you work best and where you should work depending on your orientation -task, people, unstructured, structured – and your passions where your heart is what is the desire of your heart within the kingdom of God etc. Those put together gives you a profile of where you will succeed most. I love the fact that it confirmed how I felt and my heart!
On Wednesday, we got back to work talking about some more induction things, organising our diaries and I wrote my first talk! I love it how God can take a topic and just inspire you. I’d rather it work that way than it to be mine. In the evening I went to home group after getting dreadfully lost and ending up at a Christian Family’s house who knew me and who knew exactly where I needed to go! What A GodInicidence! (Cheesy but true). Home group was great – really relaxed and some proper good chats. Yesterday I had my day off so I ventured into the city…. on my own….. It’s safe to say that embarrassingly enough I was so lost i used a SatNav OUTSIDE the car! It was a really culture shock from Cornwall which let’s face it its not at all diverse to a city. It was a huge thing and I realised how out of my comfort zone I am. But I believe it’s God’s will so this is probably a good thing! In the evening we went to a Pub Quiz which was fun despite only knowing two answers…. clearly I’m going to have to brush up on my general knowledge if I’m going to go to these. It was a really cute family pub with a great atmosphere and smiling northern faces (Because anything north of the tamer is ‘UP NORTH’)!
And…. then there’s homesickness. Now I am not going to pretend that I am all ok. I miss my family and my friends and my little Cornish bubble and homesickness is an odd thing. For me it comes in the night as I go to bed and there’s ‘nout to do but go to bed but I am getting there and I know that God’ll bring me through.
So that’s my time so far at FFMC! Busy but good! Looking forward to more to come. May God bless you!