Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jolly Ole England

A few months ago, Mommy and Daddy put in an application to attend the John and Charles Wesley Study Tour of England for 2011. This trip happens in the summer, usually every other year, and allows four Florida Conference clergy and their spouses to attend (a total of eight participants). Preference is given to those clergy who have never been to England before and who have at least five years of active ministry left in the conference before retirement. When we saw the dates for the trip (June 21-30) we thought it couldn't be more perfect timing - Mommy's 35th birthday falls during the trip and it sure would be a better present than the surgery she had last year!

The cost for those attending is a $300 deposit per person - the rest of the money for the travel, food, hotels and seminars is covered by Mr. and Mrs. B. W. Simpkins of Cocoa, Florida. They created this retreat several years ago so that United Methodist ministers in Florida might recapture the spirit that formed the great Methodist movement. The deadline for turning in your application was December 15, 2010. We heard after the deadline had passed that there were an unusually large number of applications received - 29 in all - and so we tried to readjust our expectations of making the cut down to four couples.

Last Thursday Mommy received a phone call from the Director of the Center for Clergy Excellence that we needed to break out the passports. We had been chosen to attend! We are so excited about this incredible opportunity. The retreat will be led by Bishop Bob Fannin and his wife. Bishop Fannin is retired now and living in Lakeland. Before becoming a bishop he was a pastor in the Florida Conference. He has arranged for the retreat to be based at Oxford University in Oxford, England (we will actually be staying on campus there for part of the retreat!). From Oxford we will travel out to visit the Wesley sites of Epworth, Bristol and City Road as well as many others. We will get to hear presentations by local Wesley scholars. There will also be several days in London where we will worship at Wesley Chapel and visit Wesley's home. And the icing on the cake? One of Mommy's very good clergywomen friends has also been chosen to go along with her husband. Our plan is to create another travel blog where we can keep folks updated with all of our trip experiences - we'll let you know when we get everything all set up. So look out we come!

The parsonage in Epworth where Charles and John Wesley grew up

Part of the Oxford University Campus

The Chapel in Bristol where Wesley preached against slavery

The Site of John Wesley's grave at City Road in London

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!!! That is wonderful.
I am so very happy for the 2 of you.
Aunt Jani