Monthly Archives: September 2010

The rest of the Winning Weekend 2010

I’ve really left it far too long to give a good accounting of the bank holiday. I made no notes (more fool me) and having left it this long what I can remember is getting fuzzy. Nevertheless, I’ll put down what I can remember.

The weather was pretty typical for a bank holiday when I’m going to be outside – rain and sun combined. We were spared the hail and thunderstorms that I have previously experiences, but it wasn’t particularly warm or settled in the way I would have liked.

My strongest memory of the weekend is of meeting with friends. Some of the people I saw I haven’t seen in months, so these times are pretty special like that; bringing together people from all over the country and cementing friendships. One thing that made me a little sad was the knowledge that while I had missed one bank holiday weekend with these special people, this particular weekend was the only one my parents had been able to attend with the ill-health and subsequent passing away of my grandparents. I was glad they were there but a little sad at the reason for their missing two previous ones.

Once again, the prayer and worship and ministry was particularly moving. Due to a lack of notes I can’t actually tell you what was talked about, but I do recall it being right. Time and again something I’d been concerned about was addressed and discussed.

One truly amazing thing I noted was this: I’d arrived at the tent not being too sure what was coming and privately concluding that the experience I’d had at RAW couldn’t possibly be repeated – except that it was, and a small voice in my head was saying “not replicated? I was there and I am here, it’s the same Spirit, simply a greater range of ages” That told me!

23 hours of meetings and hours spent with people is exhausting, no matter how lovely those people are. Each night I got home and fell through my front door and into bed, knowing that I had to get what sleep I could since tomorrow would be just as tiring.

On Sunday I was received into membership once again. It was a little surprising since I only had literally a few seconds’ warning that it would be happening. More than one of my friends was baptised, which was great. Sometimes a friend getting their heart’s desire is a wonderful thing to watch.

It’s more than a year since Noel passed away, but the church isn’t losing it’s way. It’s not a monument to Noel Stanton, its a group of people who love and worship God and fellowship together. I love that. I miss Noel, no doubt about it; but I love that the focus is still God and not the man who led us for so many years.

God bless

Categories: Church Event, observations | Leave a comment

The bank holiday always starts on Friday

I said I’d post about the bank holiday weekend, and I’ve left it at least a week. That’s almost deliberate to be honest; I was very tired after it and while trying to sleep it off all kinds of things happened and I got a virus and on the story goes.

Let me tell you about Friday; all good bank holiday weekends begin on a Friday (some would say that the weekend begins on Friday). Having let the man from the electricity have his way with the meter in the cupboard, I ate lunch, sorted a packup and got on the bus. I took public transport to the Marquee site partly because I wasn’t sure if someone was going who could give me a lift and partly as a demonstration to myself that I could do it and had what it took to get myself to something I wanted to do without being carted around the countryside. This is in no way a slight on the people who kindly give me lifts, it was a challenge to myself not to be lazy and reliant on other people.

Anyhoo, a bus, train and another bus later, along with a short trip into the supermarket on the way, I arrived at the marquee in time to eat my tea along with the set-up crews and Karen; and then help out while various other people arrived at the marquee site and chatted in the way that is normal and expected on Friday night.

Friday night of a Jesus army bank holiday weekend starts with an informal meeting, lots of chat, lots of laughing, hot drinks, snacks and the like. After a good hour and a half of chat and catching up with friends the music group for the evening struck up and we sang together. It was an incredible time of worship and prayer.

Friday night of a bank holiday weekend is not an official or main event, it’s optional. A lot of people decide that since it’s an optional and informal event they’ll give it a miss and do their normal friday thing and not go until the Saturday afternoon event. I have personally always found the friday night events to be unmissable events. They are a very different style to the rest of the weekend, but that simply makes them more special. There was a lot of laughter over things like the choice between wellies and rigger boots and other footwear and who might have made the best choice.

Nothing quite beats laughing with a friend you haven’t been able to chat with properly for a couple of months and believe me, we all made up for it! Finally Beckie and her friends and I all loaded into Beckie’s car and did an errand before dropping me at the train station to make my way home again. I had checked the train times, and I knew that no matter what time things finished I would manage to get the train home. What I wasn’t so certain of was the busses. I knew what time the last one ran but didn’t know if the train would get me in on time… It didn’t. I missed the last bus out to my house by 10 minutes which meant a 45 minute walk back.

My feet were still reminding me about it when I woke up. I can tell you that retro linoleum flooring does have a purpose in this world – cooling off sore feet.

Categories: Beginning, Church Event, Food, Travel | 2 Comments

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