LIVE blog: New Wine Ireland 2012
VOX magazine is delighted to part of the New Wine Ireland conference in Sligo this week. Here we bring you live updates, quotes and news from the event. Stop by when you have a spare minute and feel part of the action, even if you can't be here!
The vision of New Wine Ireland is to see Ireland changed through Christians experiencing the joy of worshipping God, the freedom of following Jesus and the power of being filled with the Spirit. This year's summer conference returns to Sligo IT for a week full of worship, teaching and family fun.
Day Two: Monday 9 July
08.30 The morning begins with a time of prayer for those who can make it. A good preparation for the day ahead.
09.25 Preparing for the morning Bible teaching session with Bishop Ken Clarke looking at "Lesser Known, Greater Things."
09.42 Worship time kicks off the morning. No chance of falling asleep... "Here the joyful sound.."
10.05 Bishop Ken Clarke begins the Bible Teaching session by introducing a song... “Bless the Lord oh my soul, oh my soul, worship His holy name, Sing like never before, oh my soul, I’ll worship your holy name”
10.17 "As you read through the Bible it is easy to become fixated with the big names, the celebrities of scripture. And yet as you read the Bible so much of what God did was through people who were “lesser known”. Today we've looking at Ananias who lived in Damascus." - Bishop Ken Clarke describes Ananias as one of the forgotten heroes of the Christian church.
10.20 Ananias was a disciple. Never, ever forget… we may be leaders, pastors, clergy, bishops… we are still disciples of Jesus Christ.
10.26 Ananias had a vision. God speaks to us and guides us is through the mind He has given us - through common sense. But sometimes God speaks in dreams and visions.
10.31 Ananias was available. "When we signed up to follow Jesus Christ we said, “From now on, it is your will not mine.”
10.37 Ananias was honest about his fears but he was obedient. At times the Lord has said, “go” and we have said, “no”. Who do we think we are? Imagine saying “no” to the creator of the cosmos. We need to learn from Ananias. Saying “yes” opens the door to all kinds of opportunities and blessings. Obedience is the key that unlocks waves of blessing.
10.50 Ananias was grace-filled. Here was a man who was persecuting the church. Was the arch enemy of the church to be welcomed? Yes!Ananias called him, "Brother Saul". How much of that grace do we see in our churches? How much of a welcome do we give to people whose social background is different, whose skin colour is different, who are from the “other side”? See a summary of the Bible Teaching here.
11.14 Coffee break at New Wine.
11.45 - 13.00 Seminars covering a range of topics. Leadership seminar on "Rising to the Challenge" is standing room only! Rev Chuck Owens discusses the crisis facing the institutional church and the reasons why the church (as we know it) might become extinct! According to Chuck, the average Episcopalian invites someone to church once every 17 years (in the US). And if they do come… heaven forbid they should sit in the wrong pew or park in the wrong spot! Does the same apply here in Ireland? Check out a summary of the session here.
13.58 Lunchtime and the Main Hall has gone very quiet. Everyone is tucking into sandwiches, enjoying a coffee at "MySpace" or heading back to their accommodation for a quick bite before the afternoon seminars.
14.30 Preparing for the afternoon seminars. We'll be checking out the session on "Church planting". With limited internet access in the seminar rooms we may be a little quiet for a while!
14.45 Lively discussion at the "Church Planting" session with contributions from Bishop Ken Good, Methodist minister Mark Forsythe and Andrew McNeale. Some of the questions included:
**Is church planting really do-able in a denominational setting?
**What is the relationship between near-death churches and renewal or church planting?
**What kind of people can effectively plant churches?
**What are the basic requirements needed to get a church plant off the ground?
**Is it possible where you have a traditional church in the town to start a fresh expressions church? How do you avoid conflict in this situation?
**How can we have a more united, cohesive approach to church planting rather than everyone for themselves? How can we see beyond our denominational or geographic boundaries?
16.00 Lots of conversations springing up after the Church Planting discussion. Food for thought!
16.40 Sound check in the Arena ready for this evening's celebration.
19.00 Judith Cairns speaking tonight on "Presence". Folks are starting to arrive at the Arena. According to the New Wine team there are 450 adults booked in for the full week and last night alone there were 100 visitors! Together with the conference team and the children and young people, there are well over 1,000 people taking part in the Summer Conference here in Sligo. Note: Some might dispute that it is a "Summer" conference - the weather is pretty wet and cold! But there is a warm atmosphere inside :)
19.25 There's a buzz of conversation and a sense of anticipation as the Arena fills up for this evening's celebration. Just a few minutes to go! Our speaker tonight, Judith Cairns is from Ballinderry, NI. She is the CEO of the charity ‘Love for Life NI’, which works towards the vision of communities in which young people have a healthy respect for themselves, relationships and sex.
19.36 The evening kicks off with some recommended books - sounds like the bookstall will be busy after the meeting tonight! And so to worship... "My chains fell off, my heart was free..."
20.17 Judith Cairns challenges us to be fully present in every situation and fully present with our friends and loved ones. In a culture where relationships are breaking down and becoming ever more superficial, we need to be present. Jesus was fully present. He knew there was power in that. When was the last time you allowed yourself to be fully present?
20.25 When did you last allow yourself to get drenched? When did you last intentionally put yourself in God’s presence? When did you last experience the refreshment of His spirit? When did you last allow yourself to sit in His presence - experiencing afresh how invigorating it can be to soak in His presence. Things change when they are soaked! Can we simply "be" in God's presence with no agenda? To take 15 minutes, 10 minutes, even five minutes to rest. I call this "tent time". (Exodus 33: 7 - 11)
20.29 Sometimes we rob ourselves if we don’t fully disconnect and connect with His presence now and again. Seize these moments and allow yourself to be fully present in them. God has promised that His presence will be with us. This is not all about a nice feeling. There is presence for a purpose and the purpose is power! As a result, we will be His witnesses. Acts 2: 1- 4
21.09 The evening celebration has just come to an end although many linger in the stillness to experience God' presence and to recieve prayer. See an extract from what Judith Cairns had to say here.
21.29 Headed off to the leaders reception in a few minutes. Others will be find out more about SAMS in the Clarion Hotel with Bishop Ken Clarke. After that there will be no Internet connection so for tonight... that's a wrap. Thanks for tuning in! Hope to see you tomorrow!