The second regional Foundations conference took place on December 2-4th 2016 at Brunel Manor. Just over eighty souls arrived in Torquay on a very sad day for the town (the death of Manuel - Andrew Sachs - Fawlty Towers) but that didn't deter us. If they didn't know it already (and 75% of them were new to us) they soon found out that Foundations is not like other conferences - on the first evening we were sitting in a tiered circle arrangement (thanks to Jo) and worship, led by the congregation, allowed us all to be in full view of each other. It was clear that a higher than average number of delegates were from a 'messianic' background, from the number of Hebraic songs that were instigated by them during the worship time and the fact that the morning prayer on Saturday was kicked off with the Shema!
Teaching was by the wonderful and engaging Jose de Silva, who took us through many aspects of Hebraic teaching of the life of Jesus, taking the book of Zechariah as his starting point. He was given four teaching slots, spaced out with room for response between each session. One aspect of this was the yeshiva, immensely popular and very noisy and lively, as scriptures were thrown around and a lot of hot air generated. There were also two prayer walks and continous Bible reading in the reception area, from the book of Isaiah. The craft & chat area was well attended, with candles being decorated and scriptural bookmarks and our great friend Colin (after a short trip to hospital!) produced a continuous stream of Hebrew translations of people's names on greetings cards. As well as all of this Carol and David were running a drama workshop and a choir was being gathered together, singing a song that Jo had only written a few hours earlier!
On the final morning the dancers danced and the choir sang, followed by lively worship by Jeremy and Shani (and David and Keila), followed by testimonies, prayer and healing ministry. Has so much ever been packed into one weekend without people being rushed and over-packed with knowledge. The word bandied about, as usual, was FREEDOM. Here are some testimonies:
"thank you for a lovely welcome, a very peaceful, free weekend with plenty to choose from, no pressure at anytime" Stephanie
"a very relaxed, but organised and friendly conference. A lovely atmosphere" John
"dedication of the organisers and a sense of oneness of participants, freedom to express oneself with new and innovative ways to explore, genuine love for the Lord and a desire to please, worship and obey Him" Anita
"the friendliness. The Holy Spirit leading, the gathering together of like hearts and minds" Cheryl
"relaxed atmosphere, genuine fellowship, opportunity to express gifts, free worship, excellent teaching" Colin
"gaining a deeper understanding of God's word through the excellent teaching, meeting some extraordinary giants in the faith" Bev