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Stepping Up with the Holy Spirit2 weeks ago
Step Aside, Step Into, Step Towards, Step Out and Step Up
Thornleigh Christian Hotel in Grange over Sands, with its panoramic views over Morecambe Bay, was the setting for St Michael and St Mark’s first weekend away for many years, and it felt to be a great success. Around 50 members of the two churches travelled down from Carlisle to the south of the county for a weekend in this incomparable setting, and on what felt like the last weekend of summer, with the weather on the Saturday being perfect for a seaside location.
For Kevin and Anne Roberts, who led the weekend, this was a reunion with friends made during Kevin’s time as Archdeacon of Carlisle and Anne’s work as Chaplain of the Cumberland Infirmary. It was a pleasure to be able to support Nigel Beer in the great work that he is doing as incumbent of the two churches. There are a number of challenges ahead for both churches, and especially as St. Michael’s re-visits the possibility of a major reordering of the church interior, so this was an opportune time to step-aside to meet God and to listen to Him.
In fact, the main sessions were all about the need to be intentional in putting one foot ahead of the other in our discipleship. We thought about the need to Step Aside to Meet God; to Step Into Life in the Spirit; to Step Towards one another in the life of the Church; to Step Out into God’s Call; and to Step Up to the challenges ahead, all with an emphasis on the work of the Holy Spirit in these different aspects of our discipleship. There were response times in each of the sessions, and there was ample time around the main programme for informal conversations, and a chance to put questions to a Question Time panel on the Saturday afternoon. A great time was had on the Saturday evening with fun sketches, a quiz and time to chill in the comfort of the hotel lounge.
This weekend highlighted again just how beneficial it can be to spend time away from the routine of church life in this kind of all-age church family Weekend Away, so do think and pray about whether this is something that ReSource could lead for you and your churches.
In a recent conversation with ReSource Director Kevin Roberts, one diocesan bishop, looking across the landscape of the many churches in his diocese, made the significant point that the churches that were growing were all those which on occasions ‘took people away’, for just this kind of event.
Food for thought there!