A FEW WORDS POST WESTPOINT

17/09/2019

Grace Church Family

It was such a good weekend to enjoy and see others spending time together. Eating, talking, playing and sharing the activities of life was such a joy. Well done to all who camped! To those of you who are ‘natural campers’ well done for investing the time together. For those ‘reluctant campers’ well done for going for it! I’m sure like me, many of us enjoyed being with others in an unrushed way. 

I think Westpoint is particularly good for our children. Playing around the camp, enjoying activities together, getting to know other adults as well as engaging in age-specific ministries where creativity and gifting can be released! Well done again to all who served in the children’s groups to help make it happen. 

Wider Connection 

What a blessing to have a real connection with a wider group of churches. This connection will mean different things to different people but I particularly appreciate the ministries of Andrew and Rachel Wilson and Mick Taylor. It is at times like this that we also get to hear from people like David Bennett. His story and faith as a former gay activist is a compelling and inspiring story of hope. 

If, at Grace Church, we have the Sunday Gathering, Community Groups, Formation Spaces and The Secret Space for discipleship, our partnership with Commission could perhaps be said to provide a ‘global space’. It certainly adds an international flavour. I enjoyed talking to the leader of a church in Portugal and love to hear stories from India and the Middle East which I find so challenging and inspiring. 

What is Commission? 

As Mick Taylor says, Commission is best understood as a ‘collection of tribes’ or ‘extended family.’ In this way, we recognise and rejoice in both our connection and our distinctiveness. Each tribe comes together with its own leadership and ways of doing life and faith to listen, learn and work together. The extended family picture helps us to understand the deep connection we feel and the commitment we have to one another through thick and thin. This is not a business relationship. At the same time, we also recognise that each family will develop its own culture and emphasis. 

I am always challenged and enjoy learning from other leaders and churches but also enjoy challenging others on their theology and practice. This is all part of our faith. Some aspects of Westpoint challenge us while other parts we would want to challenge. The important thing, from my perspective, is that we do so in a humble and honouring way with a shared pursuit of truth as our goal. 

A Catalyst for Faith 

As a Senior Leadership Team, we believe that our church benefits enormously from being relationally connected to something bigger than ourselves both in terms of events like Westpoint and also into ongoing church life. I was thrilled to hear of children praying for adults with faith as well as conversations of how they will respond to Christ from what He did at Westpoint. We also benefit ongoingly. This year, Mick Taylor is helping us with our teaching as well as preaching six times, Tim Blaber is due to visit a couple of times and Eireana Davis will be providing input as we think about leadership development into the future. 

We look forward to another year of mutual strengthening and anticipate another excellent festival in Summer 2020, this time at the Bath and West Showground. We will hope to see you all there. 

Stu

On behalf of the Senior Leadership Team