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Wigan South Hub Weekend, at Lambert Manor, Cumbria1 year ago
It was with great excitement, on the afternoon of Friday 3rd May, that 93 of us (from Florence, the very youngest member of our church family, to some of our most senior and respected members) headed North for our Hub weekend away.
On that morning whilst packing I had a feeling that something amazing was going to happen and that the time together was going to be a great blessing. And I was right!!
The overarching theme of the weekend was based on Ezekiel 47. ‘The river flows from the temple, through the desert and into the sea’. In the first session Kevin Roberts from Resource set the scene for the three main talks – Life in the Spirit, Life in the Church and Life in the Community. He told us that although God is wonderfully predictable in His love, he is unpredictable in His plans for us and we should always be on the lookout for the new things He is doing.
Everyone was keen to get started and the sense of expectation in the hall was tangible. Kevin quoted from Isaiah 43 ‘Behold I am doing a new thing’. He gave us a picture of the river of God as a carpet of blue running through the room. He urged us to consider our place in that river. Are we ankle deep – knee deep – waist deep – or totally immersed and swimming in that river? Are we ready to take a leap of faith and do something radical?
Kevin asked those who wanted to make a deeper commitment to stand up and take a step into the river. The atmosphere in the room was electric and we could all feel the power of the Holy Spirit moving amongst us. Suddenly all the issues about the Hub seemed to fall away and there was such a feeling of love amongst us and at that moment we were all of one mind. It felt like a real taste of what the Kingdom of Heaven would be like. It was amazing.
A group of ReSource supporters from all over the world had been praying for our weekend and Kevin had received a message from a lady in Switzerland who had a vision that the Communion Service was going to be a real blessing. She was certainly correct!
Kevin talked about the main purpose of the church, to bring others to know Jesus. He said so many profound things that will stay with me forever. ‘If a church ceases to be missionary, it ceases to be church’. ‘The church is a school for sinners, not a society for saints’. ‘We cannot live a full life in the spirit without a full life in a church family’. ‘Independence is not a virtue’. ‘The Holy Spirit will always draw us alongside others, never away from them’. ‘When we enjoy fellowship, we get a taste of tomorrow’s bread today’.
Kevin challenged us to be God’s hands and feet in our community and share the blessings that we have been given with our neighbours and challenged us all to jump into the river and immerse ourselves totally in doing God’s work – not just in our Hub but all over the world.
It was great to make friends with the people from the other Hub churches and I am sure everyone felt like the Hub project became so much more real and viable. Particular thanks to Kevin who reminded us that we are God’s chosen instruments for the transformation of the world. I pray that He will give us the grace and strength to fulfil our calling.
ReSource for Anglican Renewal Ministries
Enabling little, local and ordinary churches to engage with the Holy Spirit for renewal, discipleship and mission.