New Wine, this year, is turning out to be a week of surprises and encouragment.
Lovely surprises because we have bumped into a number of people we didn’t expect to – including the Vernons (who are camping with their friends from Guernsey) and Honesty. Honesty belonged to and was supported by Springfield some years ago but had disappeared off my radar. I bumped into him in a seminar this morning where he told me that he is now a pastor in Lewisham – hoping to see him later in the week.
It is also turning out to be a week of encouragements. It is a great encouragment to be camping out with the great members of Springfield sharing life together – with lots of laughter and chats. But other encouragments have been the new Hungry venue which I know has really spoken into Sue and Jean’s situation at Roundshaw – it is led by Andy Hawthorne who set up the Eden project in Manchester – groups of people living on deprived estates looking to transform their communities.
One of the people that I saw this week is one of the people looking to establish Eden projects in South London and I’m hoping to meet up with him later this week. Not necessarily in connection with what we are doing on Roundshaw but even more to do with other places around South London. It’s a real encouragement to meet others who are grappling to work out how we build God’s Kingdom in deprived areas of the country.
The other real encouragement was a seminar this morning on what matters to African Christians. This was led by a Nigerian Anglican/ Pentecostal pastor (he is ordained as both an Anglican and Pentecostal!). It was great to hear some of the ideas that we have been working towards in including people from Africa being verbalised and expanded on and challenged. It’s great to hear an overall narrative being expounded and to work out where we might do better – I have always loved the vision in Revelation where people from every tribe and nation and language worship the Lamb and this seminar was a real boost to the soul….. though none of this comes without cost.
Anyway, must run – all that sunshine and chilling out together to enjoy. A few photos to enjoy of our week – more to come!