Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Men Alive For God Special 2014

We needed to pep up this annual event, usually held in Spring.  We aimed to invite a special speaker, but Carl Beech wasn't available until late in the year.  That gave us more time to prepare, which improved the result.  We also invited Kings Church Chatham guys to jointly run the afternoon workshops.

I had a coffee with Carl at Sheffield Jesus Centre about a month ago.  He told me about the work of Christian Vision for Men (it's been running for about ten years), and I tracked down a local group that meets monthly at Network Church Philadelphia.  We got our publicity right for the Saturday event and three guys from the Lounge Drop-In travelled down to in our minibus to Northampton Jesus Centre.  Mick led the morning session and recounted the story of Alfred Nobel - the promoter of explosives - when he read a premature obituary, and changed his ways (and will). 

There was a good mix of afternoon workshops.  I stuck around with James and Jon, from Grimsby, for the first session on leadership.  We got interviewed by Mary, from Kings, which wasn't a usual experience for Jon.  After than I went to the session on serving God in daily work.  It's true, I haven't really given retirement a chance.  I chatted with Tim, JFLT Treasurer, over tea - there's sadly much to share about 2015 budgets.

We warmed up the evening session with video of a bunch of our guys climbing Cader Idris and ending up in an icy quarry pool.  Carl came across well, and has a strong message basis to his colourful presentation.  "Testosterone" proved something of overworn cry over the remainder of the weekend (our fault, not his - but check out the Gloucestershire cheese rolling video for a sample).  Carl is moving on to a church planting role with Elim in the New Year.  I diverted to Leicester for the night as Mary and I were due to spend a bit of time with the Springfield saints. 

On Sunday, I joined the leaders' breakfast time and then took the morning meeting at Netherhall.  Andy pointed out that I'd still got a bit of a cough (from our stay over a month ago), so I had a cosy afternoon doze in the armchair by the wood stove.   Andy led a thoughtful evening house-group meeting, and then Mary and I headed home to catch the end of our supper scene.  Caleb's and Karen's little boy safely arrived at 1 in the morning: a welcome new single brother resident at Springy!

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