THE first Methodist Church in Crediton was on Bowden Hill and is what is now called the Moose Hall.

It soon became evident that bigger premises were needed and on April 28, 1892 the current church was opened.

On Sunday, April 28, 2024 – our 132nd Anniversary, the service was taken by Rev Paul Collings.  This is also known as Vocation Sunday.

Paul said that if you take away the first three letters of the name Jesus you are left with “us” -  God has no hands but our hands to do His work on earth.

Our Mission Statement states that as people of God we should share the good news to all people. 

Paul asked “Who are we?, Who are you?, Who are we as a Church?, Who are we as disciples?”

Another way to ask is “What is our calling as a Church and what is your place in the whole ministry of the people of God?”  So, what is your calling and what is your God-given vocation?

How are we to frame our calling this morning? There are obvious vocational paths.

Take a nurse. A nurse once said “We can heal the body and mind of a patient. They will forget your name but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

What about the rest of us – what is our calling, our vocation? It is how we reach out to people. The Church exists to win people.

Paul told a story about someone using modern music to encourage people to come to church. He said we often have focused on “come on in”  rather than Jesus’ words “go out into the world”. 

As followers of Jesus Christ we each have a vocation. I think we can break it down to:

1. A Monday to Friday vocation

2. A Saturday vocation

3. A Sunday vocation.

In 2 Thessalonians we read “Pray that God will fill your ideas and acts of faith with His own energy so that it mounts to something”.

There are two flaws in this – Paul said some people ascribe to what he calls “the Sinatra creed” – I’ll do it my way.

Others say “Lord I have an idea – will you bless it” – instead of the other way “God what is it you want me to do?”

Yes, we are to use our minds, but they are to be sanctified and inspired by God’s Holy Spirit. 

St Paul wrote “without love you are like noisy percussionists destroying the beauty of God’s creation”.

So, our Monday to Friday vocation is nothing more than loving our neighbours.

Yes, reflecting the ever present love of God to others.  Do not leave it at the door when you go out of church today and pick it up again next Sunday when you come in again.

Our Saturday vocation - it is said “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”.

Jesus often said to His disciples – let’s go off and take a break somewhere quiet by ourselves and have a rest.

There is so much coming and going in our world that we all need to take a break and have some quietness. In our reading it said “I pray that God will make you fit for what He has called you to be.”

Our Saturday vocation is intentional recreation or, should it be, re-creation.  All too often we are subject to being present. It is more about being in the presence rather than being present.  Be still and know that I am God.

Finally, our Sunday vocation –  if your name honours the name of Jesus, God will honour you.   Why have you come to worship today?  If you remember nothing of today’s service, remember that you have been in the presence of the healing Christ.

Our worship of God helps us to slow down and find that inner happiness in the small gifts that God gives to us. 

What is your vocation for Monday to Friday, Saturday and Sunday?  John Wesley said “Do all the good you can; by all the means you can; in all the ways you can; at all the times you can; in all the places you can; to all the people you can; as long as ever you can.”                                                                                                              

Bronwyn Nott