Synod today was the first in a series of five synods focussing on the five principles of the District mission statement (itself based on the Schnase book 'Five practises of fruitful congregations”)
Beginning with opening devotions (led by Dave Bilborough) he then went on to speak about authentic worship
“We worship God not for what we can get out of it but simply because of who He is “
Don't let's be prescriptive on style. Why not preach first and then sing in response to the message ? Why not be more reflective or more charismatic ? As Dave pointed out we all have a tendency to cling to that which is comforting to us, rather than that which is passionate, reaching down into the depths of our soul and led by the Holy Spirit.
The second breakout group was led by Adam Sanders on Jazz Church, quoting from John 4:23b
Spoke about improvisational worship John 3:8,
Hospitable, prepared to let folk 'have a go'
Creative. Genesis 1:1
An encouraging synod chaired by our soon-to-be President, Loraine Mellor involved challenges to our thinking and creative ways of 'doing'. All in all a good day
I'm been at Minehead for our annual trip to Spring Harvest, something we've done (largely) since 1995. Opening evening celebration tonight centred on the theme of “One for All” when Malcolm Duncan opened up the idea that in John chapter 17 verse 21 Jesus prayed his disciples might be “as one”.
Malcolm Duncan preached that too often we let our denominations define us and as such we argue and don't get on with each other: “I am a Methodist/Baptist/Anglican/Pentecostalist etc.” we say, and often close the door to any dialogue. Instead we should let our love of Jesus define us and define our attitudes towards others. After all if God has called them into his family, they are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Who are we to deny them a family ?
I found it a powerful, yet simple, sermon and then found it moving when a banner was unfurled for people to add their thumbprints to as a sign that we stood together against division.
It doesn't mean we agree on everything, but that we respect and tolerate each other AND that we take the time to listen and talk.
Excellent week, enhanced by Krish Kandiah teaching in John 17, the Great High Priests Prayer: teaching on unity borne out of Gods love for us, his expectancy that we love each other and finally our love for the world around us.
Booked in for next year already