Newsletter 04 July 2020

“Wait for the Lord” retreat reborn

As most of you will know a group of us planned a spiritual retreat in March. COVID-19 put an end to all that! I am hoping to reorganise a similar event in the future. However, in a dream last night (no, I’m not joking I really did dream this), it came to me that we could do something online. Not a full-blown weekend retreat, but an experimental one-off spiritual devotional event. 

So I’m testing the waters by asking if you would be interested in joining me for a one hour spiritual devotional on a Saturday morning. I don’t have a format nailed down. I’m open to suggestions, but I would imagine it would be something like this: 

We each find a comfortable place where we can focus and concentrate for an hour without interruption.
We create an atmosphere conducive to focused devotion on God.
We include in this hour a mix of music, prayer, meditative contemplation on truths about God, perhaps spiritually inspired poetry, appropriate visuals, and Scripture and sharing.

If you would be at interested in attending, please let me know what would make it meaningful for you. In other words – imagine the end of the hour. You know in your spirit that this was helpful to you spiritually. What have you experienced, what has happened, how do you feel, and what helped you?

Depending on the responses I received, I will make a plan for an event later in July or early August.

A busy weekend!

I have the unusual privilege of preaching three times on Sunday (tomorrow). Mind you, one of those is pre-recorded. I shall be speaking for the East region of the London International Church of Christ in the morning via recording. Simultaneously, I shall be speaking live for the Thames Valley churches of Christ, and then in the afternoon speaking for the Uppsala group in Sweden.  

All three sermons are centred on the same topic and text – Acts 11:19-26. We will be as discussing how the Spirit moves the church into uncomfortable, unexpected and unprecedented experiences. We shall be celebrating the initiative of those unnamed men from Cyprus and Cyrene who spoke to the Greeks in Antioch. We will be considering the impact on not just Antioch, but the whole of Asia Minor and Europe. Finally, we shall be looking at Barnabas as a model of how to approach potentially controversial initiatives. His example will inspire many of us, I believe, to become a Barnabas or seek one out to help us accomplish what the Spirit has given us to do. Tune in on Sunday, to one of those services, or catch up with it online later if you prefer. I have to tell you that I’m as excited about this topic and this text as any I have spoken on for a long time. Please pray for me to teach and preach well to the glory of God and the edification of the church.

Message in the mayhem reflections

I had a thoroughly inspiring meeting this morning with the people who helped put on the “Message in the mayhem” series. We spent a good amount of time talking over the feedback we received. We’re going away to pray more and think about what we might put on in the future. Without any doubt there is a tremendous hunger for similar events.  

Please pray for us that by the end of this coming week we will have a clear idea about what to do next. We’ll be communicating some of our thoughts through various channels and on various platforms. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated. At the moment, our thinking is coalescing around the idea of how to think Biblically and Christianly about cultural issues that God brings to our attention.

God bless, Malcolm