Like many other folk ,we have recently returned from a Church “Conference”, I had been looking forward to it although I had never been to CLAN before.
I was ,however, quite surprised by my own reaction to it. Those old enough to remember the early 80’s, will recall much change happening within Churches as they became “charismatic”. New churches shot up, other churches split and much rejoicing went on as people discovered the Holy Spirit.I was one.
We all became older and I hope more mature in our faith, and moved on to “meat”, building on the things we had learnt and allowing God to be much “bigger” than in our past experiences. Now I am not knocking enthusiasm and drive, and it is for all of us to find new ways in which to pass on our faith to the next generation and to reach those in need of God’s saving grace. We need in an age of technology , to show that Christianity is still relevant . Infact the whole week was concerned with Mission. But I felt uncomfortable, although I never put my finger on why. It felt like holiday “candy floss” which as we all know tastes good at the time, but quickly melts in your mouth. Some of you may be quite cross with me by now if you also attended, but this is how it appeared to me.
I enjoyed listening to speakers, and some confirmed that the things that the Rev. and I had introduced since taking up ministry here, were taking us in the right direction. But, I just longed for some solid food.
However, I did spend a lot of luxurious time with my daughter and we sat on the sands, got tanned and shopped. I hadn’t realised how stressed I was, until I realised how UNstressed I’d become, so I felt less guilty about not enjoying the seminars and thankful for the rest.
On getting home, I am able to get into the swing, having collected my thoughts. All our usual commitments begin again soon and the teenagers go back to school.
So I am glad I went, I think my expectations were wrong. God used the week to refresh me in a different way, just by relaxing and “playing”. The Rev. went to a few more events than me and was able to concentrate without me. So a positive outcome after all, and our congregation will benefit, I hope.
He leads me beside still waters, He restores my soul!