22 Aug 2014

New Wine 2014 reflection

Posted by Jim

Where do I begin to tell the story of our week away at New Wine 2014? A truly memorable week; a whirl; a safe and friendly environment; a challenge; intense; relaxing; all of the above applied because New Wine is what you want to make of it. It was like a big family party with all that that entails; much happiness; sometimes frivolous; sometimes hilarious; on occasions serious, intense and informative.

It was noisy (very noisy in Urban Impact, Jill had to don ear plugs) and lively but there was also space for peace and reflection (in Hungry and in the Sanctuary).

There is much to choose from and yet you are free to choose as much or as little as you want.

As I think these thoughts and images come flooding in:

a great venue; I loved the way the site curled up at the edge and we were on the edge. We had a lovely overview of proceedings and it gave me the sense of being part of something significant. One morning as I walked down for a shower the mist created an illusion that the site was on an island. It was amazing;

Jesus changing lives – many people being ‘born-again’, many re-committing their lives to the Lord and many healings taking place;

events were scheduled from 07.15 – 23.00, though I stumbled across one venue that was open from 05.30 for families who had children who are early risers;

engaging speakers (catch Robbie Dawkins if you can); challenging topics; bible study streams and one-offs (one I went to was titled ‘Hope for Israel’ and was given by a Jewish tour guide who gave us some very interesting perspectives on the Jews hope through the first 5 books of the bible and the hope Jews have through prayer.);

a busy open air food hall; an indoor Christian market and several cafeterias run by the likes of Tearfund, the Bible Society and Compassion;

a pub quiz; a karaoke, a jazz night, a big band night and a hoe down & hog roast are just some of the later evening entertainments;

afternoon family films, like ‘Frozen’, shown daily and films such as ‘Noah’ shown in the evenings;

several groups of 600-800 children marching off to a special event in the main arena;

over 600 children sponsored through Compassion during the fortnight (sponsorship £25p.m.);

Rob Evans painting!

Don’t do tents or caravans? Well neither do we naturally. It really doesn’t seem to matter for a week because, as we discovered during the week, many others shared the same thought but still they came.

Can I encourage you to think about 2015, it will be a great time because God is definitely at the party and He will meet with you in a way you need!

JimMatthews

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