Sunday, January 28, 2007
This was my first visit to this excellent church that is affiliated to Elim and was pioneered fifteen years ago from a home Bible Study group. There were no spare seats in the packed Sunday morning service. Stephen Thompson, one of our finest Bible teachers, (pictured with his wife Ruth and daughter Christel) has led the church since it was planted and is totally committed to its future. This warm and welcoming congregation is an excellent testimony in the small town that it serves.
This was my third visit in the past four years to the Assemblies of God Regional Day based outside Cambridge for the fifty churches that are covered by Regional Superintendent, David Puddle. David and his wife Jackie were young people in the Cheltenham Elim church when I pastored it twenty-five years ago. It was good, once again, to be with them and leaders of Elim's sister fellowship.
Monday, January 22, 2007
In a previous Blog I referred to my visit to Ealing Dunamis and the album that has recently been produced by the Dunamis Collective. The easy thing to do would have been to make a praise album. They decided instead, generously, to profile several of the different musical genres represented by artists that are part of this innovative Elim congregation - a number of which are professional musicians. The result is an album featuring styles through jazz, hip-hop and rap. To sample the music and to find out how to secure the album go to www.myspace.com/thedunamiscollective. I keep this CD permanently in my car. It is a prime example of the best in professionally produced contemporary Christian music.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
The Flame is a special church in more ways than one. Three years ago two churches, one Assemblies of God and the other Elim, embarked on an experiment. Both congregations were relatively small and they began the journey of working together to combine the two churches under the their two respective pastors. I was present of the launch of the courageous venture and was looking forward to seeing what had transpired since I was last there. The results were impressive and it was good to meet the pastors Dave Willets (Elim) and Alan Silver (AoG). Through good relationship and tenacity the Flames has grown both numerically and spiritually. I met with the leadership over lunch and listened as Alan and David, and the rest of the leadership, shared their vision for the future.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
I often refer to the increasingly high quality of musicians in the worship teams in our churches. Ealing Dunamis is pastored by Charles and Theresa Hammond (pictured). They have a church that has a high proportion of people who come from the London music and media scene - several of whom are professional artists. Charles, who before coming into the ministry was an architect, and Theresa who was a professional photographer - have sacrificed in many ways to get the church to where it is today. I was massively impressed by this warm, inviting and relevant church. For details of how to secure a CD showcasing the various styles reflected in the music coming out of Dunamis - see a later Blog.
Soke-Mun Ho is the pastor of Wembley Christian Centre - an Elim church planted fifteen years ago with just twenty people. The Saturday celebrations were held at the Quality Hotel situated next door to the new Wembley football stadium. In the morning I met with leaders of the church - which numbered more than the original congregation. In the afternoon the convention was opened to the entire church. The following day meetings were held at the church and the speaker was Wynne Lewis who was the pastor of Kensington Temple at the time WCC was birthed.