Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Personal Reflections from Catalyst Festival 2014

Reflections might be too glorious a term for some of these, but…
  1. It was wet.
  2. It rained.
  3. I managed not to have to go to the loo in the middle of the night! (Believe me, if you have never been camping, this is a major achievement esp. when the weather was a wet as it was - sound of running water etc.)
  4. My new gas-powered Trangia and Pocket Rocket burners worked a treat. Phew!
  5. There are many different types of camping. Elli and I exemplified the expedition variety where everything you take has to have at least two different uses or it justify being packed in the bag, compared with (all?) the rest who were into home from home camping - someone even had a microwave in their tent!!
  6. Elli and I took two tents, one for us and the other for our stuff, although some thought it might be one for me and one for Elli, as if we were going it Abraham and Sarah style…
  7. It was great to go to something like this again as I can't remember the last time I properly attended something like this - probably Word Alive in my student days back in the year 2000!!
  8. Great to catch up with friends and get to know others better on the RFC camping plot. It's always fun / interesting what you learn about people when you go camping together. No doubt they would say the same about observing me… :-S
  9. Me getting "foot in mouth disease" moments and being rescued by my wife…
  10. Elli and I went to a seminar on fostering and adoption. Provocative to say the least - there were moments when there wasn't a dry eye in the house, as stories of God's redeeming love in the day to day were shared by carers who have faithfully cared for vulnerable children for many years. I had a hard time holding it together at one point. Along with the beautiful stories, three thought provoking (over?)-statements that have stuck with me from that session are: 1. Adoption is the heartbeat of the Gospel, it is how we come into the family of God. 2. As an overflow of 1. Many see adoption and fostering as a Plan B when Plan A has failed - e.g. they cannot conceive or have had their desired quota of biological children and find they have space left over, but why not integrate it into your plan A family planning schedule? 3. If every church in the UK took in one one child who needed fostering or adopting, the finding placement crisis in the foster care / adoption system would be eradicated. And in case you're wondering, we are thinking about it as a part of our plan A family planning… that's why we went to the seminar. Watch this space.
  11. Dave Devenish on building multicultural churches was excellent too. He pointed out three different types of cultures: 1. Law/Guilt (traditional Western society) 2. Honour/Shame (Eastern and Postmodern Western societies) and 3. Security/Anxiety (Tribal/Animist societies) and how the Gospel is good news to all those different groupings - Simple, but outstanding in helping me to think through how to reach the increasingly ethnically diverse land we live in. I had a shower of pennies dropping all over my head!
  12. The main meetings were excellent. Great sung worship and some exquisite contributions - like manna from Heaven. I heard Mike Pilavachi for the first time - quite an experience! And it was good to put faces to names I have heard much about in this time of switching apostolic spheres (from Newfrontiers to Catalyst Newfrontiers).
  13. Was great to be on the prayer ministry team and have the privilege of praying for people.
Main personal take away was to repent of being so caught up in myself and to listen for and be more obedient to what the Holy Spirit is saying and doing. Simple to summarise, but hard to do, because I like control and running to my own agenda. Feel free to ask me if I have acted on this take away three months from now or if I have reverted to the same old habits… If I have reverted, please kick me up the bum.

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