CWW National Gathering - 2008

CWW The National Gathering On 3 and 4 May 2008 I'm praying that at least 10,000 people will come and share in the CWW National Gathering at Ingleston. If not my head's for the chop. The General Assembly has backed the idea, now all we need is for all our parishes to climb on board. I hope you will have received the details in the mail and put the dates in your diary. Let's make history in 2008. Someone asked me recently, "What is the point of all this Church without Walls stuff? " Well you know, I think it is to re-focus the church on Jesus Christ. You see, central to the gospel is the mercy, justice and compassion of God. It is about focusing us on our first cause and our first love, Jesus Christ himself, and on his words of discipleship, "Follow Me!" Perhaps we ministers all need to hang more loose to the trappings of parish life. Be prepared to travel light; to leave behind buildings if no longer required, and even power bases, in order that we establish a church that is faithful and flexible. Such a church may become the church of the exile, the church of the stranger, the church of the sufferer, the refugee, the marginalized; the church of the seeker, the saint and the sinner. A church perhaps that is despised and rejected, a church acquainted with grief. Such a church will be less structured and more relational. It will be shaped by the gospel of grace, shaped around the gifts of the Holy Spirit, shaped out of friendship, and shaped to connect with the cultural environment; though not controlled by that culture; a church where the cause drives the vision. You know what, maybe there are a lot more churches like that than we think. Maybe too many others have got it all wrong. You know this continual searching after the perfect church. Perhaps, God is calling all the churches, both independent and mainline, to a place of humility and repentance; to a place of compassion and service. It is when we are in this place of obedience and service that we are able to attract others to encounter the living Christ. This is what we mean by breaking down walls and building up people. For me the great challenge facing the 21st century churches is this: "Are we willing to re-energise ourselves through acts of mercy and justice?" Somehow it seems to me that the Church in Scotland is getting ready to reach out to the broken people of the world in compassion and service. In doing so I believe we will touch the whole nation. I'm overwhelmed at the renewed passion of so many of my fellow ministers for overseas development work. I'm also encouraged to hear of the number of congregations developing partnerships with congregations in some of the poorest places in the world. It is our expectation in the CWW Planning Group, that we will engage with around 20,000 people at the CWW Gathering 2008. The cause of compassion, mercy and justice will be shared and explored through all forms of media. This will be a weekend to remember. What could happen in Scotland if 20,000 Christians were filled with compassion and sent out to live in their space as disciples? It is our prayer that we will all become more inclusive and less exclusive, we will begin to consider ourselves as disciples of Jesus rather than members of a denomination. We need a Christian churches that are willing to become interdependent, learning from each other in humility and grace. We want to gather all God's people together to celebrate our common faith in Christ. This is the vision that is driving the planning group forward to launch 'CWW 2008 - the National Gathering'. Id love you to make plans to take at least 20 of your congregation to the event on the 3 and 4 May. If your going let me know.
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