This was a greatly anticipated conference, not least because of the spiritual battles leading up to it, including a major health scare and the best efforts of Storm Doris to trhwart us (one effect of this actually featured on Sky News as Stella, our delegate from Cyprus arrived in a plane severely pommelled by the angry winds to an extent that its initial landing on the runway was aborted!).
The conference went swimmingly well (some even actually went swimming in the heated indoor pool!), helped by the excellent facilities and helpful staff at Abbot Hall hotel. The conference was kicked off by David Jones' poignant and clever presentation of the wide reach of anti-Semitism in the Church and politics, accompanied by a music video of a Song for Israel by his talented wife, Jo, our main worship leader. You can hear it here. The Saturday featured three talks, spread through the day, with the first two followed by a yeshiva, giving people a chance to 'grill the speakers'. The first and last presentation was by 'Bible man', David Serle, with a masterclass of Bible exposition, presenting a good case for re-examining the Gospel in the light of Israel and the Jews and giving us fresh ideas and much to think about. Wedged inside the 'Serle sandwich' was John Bidwell's excellent description of God's covenants. As usual 'Freedom in the Spirit' provided the structure for the day with crafts, prayer walks, dance, Bible readings and the quiet room all being well attended. During the day a dance team and a choir were recruited and trained.
On the Sunday, the dance team, led by Ginnie and Rosie, performed a short drama that had veryone in tears, with a visual re-enactment of the importance of aliyah for the Jewish people. The choir performed Jo's song and another one, followed by messianic worship led by David & Keila, finishing off with a time of testimonies and worship lead by Jo. It was a fantastic time of fellowship, with a very special bunch of people. One delegate remarked that the weekend was more of a Christian house party than a conference. Most were in agreement, as they all went on their way with smiles on their faces.