Sunday was interesting. For the morning I had had a request from a member of the congregation that we could mark his sixtieth birthday. (I know that in the 18th century Benjamin Beddome would preach funeral sermons in the regular meetings and was sometimes asked to preach on a certain text and willingly did). This man is especially pleased about reaching 60 because he has been quite unwell. He is Nigerian so he and his friends and family were expecting something a bit more Nigerian. There appears to be a particular fondness for taking the collection by the congregation going to the front instead of the stewads going to them (I know that to some good Reformed people both methods are anathema). Anyway, I felt I could stay within the regulative primciple and please the Nigerians. I think we managed it (though some still thought we were collecting for the man whose birthday it was!). I preached on Psalm 90:12, which you will find in due time on our church website and my Preached Sermons blog. There was a reception after but I could not attend as we had a guest at home (our German friend here again for the EMA) and the evening to prepare for. With all the Nigerian visitors (including one lady and her grandchildren who I don't think was part of the celebration crew) I nearly missed a Ghanaian lady I know not normally with us. I think she was there (as was the returning Portuguese lady) because a large charismatic church in Golders Green has recently moved on. We will see.
In the evening we had a baptism. We have known the lady being baptised, who is Turkish, for man years and it was great to see her coming to this point. We were a larger congregation than we might have been as we were visited by a large family we know en route home to West London. We had a nice little tea to follow. I preached on 2 Peter 3:21. Before the evening meeting I saw two people I know outside the church and invited them in. Both were keen but did not show up. It is easy to get discouraged. I fight it, of course. I failed yesterday but am doing better today.