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Adventure Awaits - A Weekend in the Peak District3 months ago
In June Kevin Roberts came to lead a ReSource weekend for the United Benefice of Holy Trinity Matlock Bath and St Mary’s Cromford, at the invitation of our Vicar, Nick Grayshon, and the PCCs. At both churches we have been wondering what God has for us in the future so we were looking for some guidance as to what might be the way forward.
On the Friday evening both PCCs and a few others met with Kevin to Set the Scene. The message over the weekend was that our mission needs to flow out from the Holy Spirit working in us first and then out through us. We reflected during the evening on what is God doing in our churches and in our personal lives, and we spent some time in worship and receiving God’s Spirit afresh.
We were inspired by a children’s banner in the school hall in which we were meeting, which said simply ‘Adventure Awaits’, and we explored together something of the adventure into which we are invited by Jesus, and which can be the keynote of churches living in the power and provision of the Holy Spirit. Should these be the words we put over the entrance to our churches?
Kevin shared from his own experience and challenged us to think about the work of the Holy Spirit in us as individuals and then corporately. Many were challenged to look at their own experience in the light of Kevin’s input to see where we might need to rethink some beliefs and grow in our spiritual lives.
On the Sunday Kevin took as the title ‘Deeper in, further out’, based on Ezekiel’s vision of the river flowing out from the temple. He asked us to think about the new things that God is doing amongst us, and whether we “perceive them” and welcome them.
Kevin explained at one point how in his vision Ezekiel was taken back to the East Gate that he had previously visited in chapter 40, but how God met him on his second visit in an entirely new way, not now with visions of glory, but with the vision of an ever-deepening river that flowed from the temple. We were invited not to hark back to “the glory days”, but to welcome the new things that God is doing amongst us, and to enjoy the adventure that this brings. We were invited to step deeper into the “living water” of the Spirit. We were encouraged to become more of Christ’s Body here, aiming at a deeper unity and using the gifts which the Holy Spirit has given us.
The final communion service brought us all together at Holy Trinity and helped us to see and hear more of what the Lord was saying to us. We felt very blessed as a congregation to know that the Lord indeed has a plan and purpose for us here, however we might sometimes feel individually. It was an encouragement to know that, in the power of the Holy Spirit, we can make a difference in our communities. To stand together around the Lord’s Table and to hear the words and pictures and scriptures shared by members of the congregation was a heart-warming and joy-filled finale to the weekend.
All in all it was an extremely positive weekend for all those who were present. We look forward to seeing how this will work out in our churches in the weeks and years to come. Adventure Awaits!
And we look forward to continuing to work with ReSource as we venture into the future with the expectation that the Lord has a plan for renewal in both churches, and then to opening the gates and moving with renewed vison and enthusiasm.
Enabling little, local and ordinary churches to engage with the Holy Spirit for renewal, discipleship and mission.