So I was looking at Richard Bransons information on wikipedia - mostly because I just don't have that many contemporaries and so I need to search for people who are in my social and economic strata......yah right!....

At any rate I came across this and it intrigued me.

"In the late 1990s, Branson and musician and activist Peter Gabriel discussed with Nelson Mandela their idea of a small, dedicated group of leaders, working objectively and without any vested personal interest to solve difficult global conflicts.
On July 18, 2007, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Nelson Mandela announced the formation of a new group, The Elders, in a speech he delivered on the occasion of his 89th birthday. The founding members of this group are Desmond Tutu, Gra?a Machel, Kofi Annan, Ela Bhatt, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Jimmy Carter, Li Zhaoxing, Mary Robinson, and Muhammad Yunus."

I was intrigued firstly because that is a pretty impressive list of elders - and then I was intrigued because it got me thinking about elders in our church, our communities, in my life. After leaving a decade of work in an Anglican church one of the things that I have missed the most is the interaction with an older generation. We had some fantastic older people who loved the Lord. Sometimes they didn't get me, but I came to really appreciate and respect them, their lives and their story and to realise that I needed them as much as they needed me. I used to sing in the choir on special occasions and they would love it when I got all robed up to preach at a special service. I miss that. So to Naomi and Wayne, Kathy, Fred and Joy, Keith and Jen, and all the other 'elders' who might comprise my influential group - much love!

I wonder who the elders are in my life now - and how they influence me.

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