Tuesday, November 11, 2008

And more Reflections on the Transit Pilgrimage

Here's Carla's reflections on her visit with us at the end of October;

"Personally I enjoyed going to Colchester, it was good to be back there and great meeting people I haven't seen in awhile.

It was great to get to know Richardand Katy and to hang out with them and everyone else in the Boiler Room Community. We were made to feel really welcome and it was great to be a apart of all they were doing. Everyone was very generous and kind.

I found it quite tough that week personally, my emotions were very up and down and was really anxious that week and things that wouldn't normally bother me, seemed to bother me. Which was a challenge and something I had to deal with during the week. Was hard not having my own space, a chance to be on my own.

On the other hand I really enjoyed everything we did,(well maybe not getting up for the 6am prayermeeting!!!!!!!lol). It was great to go along to the various prayer meetings and be a part of community life.

It really made me think during the week about prayer and how we pray, that prayer doesn't have to be something separate, and I know this and on a personal level it isn't something separate, I chat to God throughout the day, but as I'm going through the day with others, is prayer a part of it? not just the times where we meet to pray? Do we have to stop and say, ok, let's pray together or should prayer just be a natural part of our life with others that know Jesus?

There were times during the week where pray was a natural part of the conversation or came out of the conversation and this challenged me to think about this. Does prayer have to be be separate or is it and should it be apart of everything I do? I think this is something I'm really thinking about at the moment and will be sometime I'm trying to workout.

I really want to see the natural and spirtually things be one thing in my life, not two things that run side byside, but never mix. I want prayer, worship etc to be a part of my life all the time, not something separate. (don't know if i'd explained that well)

One of the moments that really stuck out for me was the community meal on Wednesday evening. I really enjoyed after the meal, chatting about journeys, itwas so natural and great to hear peoples stories. It didn't matter if the story was a spiritual one or not, it was good to share in that experience with others. Being creative and encouraging others was fun too. That evening was more than just sharing food together,it was about sharing our lives together.

Another cool thing was the tea and chat with the foreign students at the uni. We sat at the tables andas a student came, someone would direct the student toa table. It just amazes me how God works things out. The person who sat next to me was a Brazilian student,which was great, we were able to talk about Brazil. God's so good.

As a team it was really great Thursday when we put together the prayer room for Cre8, it was great to see us all working together and facing challenges together, where we weren't sure how to go about something we stopped and prayed about it and moved forward together. The prayer workshop went well too, all fitted together well. Was really great all the things we were doing and wouldn't have wanted to do any less coz don't feel we would have got a proper feel for what was going on in Colchester if we had.

It was hard to find time to do the reflection questions during the week, coz the time we did have free, we either spent with our host, or resting after earlystarts or having a bit of time in the town to do thetourist thing! Which meant we ended up doing the question when we got back. I don't know how i would change it, coz i wouldn'thave wanted to not do anything we did.

Was a good week all in all. Lots of praying, eating and laughing! Carla"

Reflections on Transit Pilgrimage to Colchester

BIG thanks to Tina for these reflections (and encouragements) on the Transit Pilgrimage week;

"Travelling to Colchester I didn’t expect to change or experience God in a new way. Carla asked us to spend the weekend before we went praying about God really using the week to stretch us and change us, but I mostly forgot to do that.

Getting to Colchester and being so warmly welcomed into a community of people was just amazing. I felt like I had come from home to my home. At that moment I realize that if I really wanted this week to be all that it could be I really needed to plug in and dig deep. I spend sometime praying and really just getting my mind wrapped around the idea of surrendering my all to God.

I really was challenged by the way the community of believes would just pray in normal conversation. If we were talking about a problem or an issue or a praise, they had this gentle flow of moving horizontal conversation and making it a vertical one without missing a beat. It showed me how easy it is to really put prayer into everything. Having a conversation with God is as easy as having a conversation with a group of friends over a bowl full of noodles.

I also really loved getting to create two prayer rooms. One was for a group of kids that would be going to a CR8 workshop and the other was for one of the outreach ministries the Colchester Boiler Room is involved with called Street Pastors. Both were amazing times of using my creativity in worship. It really sticks out to me because as a Transit team we were able to work together on a project and go through all the phases of putting it together as well as participate in the end result.

Lastly, coming from a Boiler Community that has an established Boiler Room hubbed around a building I was impressed to learn that mobile Boiler Rooms have a quite and unique strength about them. I learned the importance of being willing to go to the people and not always focus on bringing the people to a Boiler Room.

Overall this pilgrimage week gave me a chance to draw nearer to God and explore the ways he wants me to join him in the plans he has. Learning the ease in which I can intertwine God into the conversations and relationships I have will be a lessons I carry with me the rest of my life.

I’ve also been very encouraged to explore new ways of engaging with people in my community that are not focused around buildings but are free and movable.

Richard and Katy Smith were amazing role models for me to see how practical Christ center communities can exist in normal, funny, everyday life!"

Transits students inspiring Colchester Boiler Room Community... :)
And now some of Richard's reflections;

"I found it good to share what God is doing here with new people, but also challenging to be open about the difficult bits and disappointing bits.

I found it inspiring and life giving to share time with the Transit students, who have dedicated this time to praying and serving God.

As Community, it was a good stretching step for us to take together to host the Transit students, as it required sharing the hosting and meals between 4 homes. I realised these daring steps together are important for mobile Communities, because it can be difficult to have an identity as a body together when the parts are separate.

I found it gave me new vision and ideas to hear stories and vision from Corringham."

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Practises for a missional community

Pete sent me some thought provoking stuff on mission centred community, from Frontier Youth Trust...I think from some teaching from Mike Frost.

Here's an extract with some suggested practises for a mission centred community...

Post a comment if you have reflections on this.

(ps Colchester Boiler Room Community is not committed to these practises....yet?!)

"Once they’d started to be part of a community and had been around for a while they brought in some missional rhythms:
  • Bless three people every week (one member of the faith community, one non-Christian who was a part of the community, one other who is either). Blessing could be practical (financial or serving) or through affirmation (most common). Idea comes out of the idea of secret acts of kindness – if you’re found out, it doesn’t count. Christians will often ‘bless’ back. People who aren’t Christians find it really difficult and can be threatened by it.

  • Eat with three people a week with whom you don’t live (one member of the faith community, one non-Christian in the community and one either). When people eat together they talk – also eating is a real equalizer.

  • Spend one significant time each week listening to the Spirit of God. This is essential in terms of the other stuff you are doing. Prayer becomes really important in engaging missionally.

  • At least one significant period of the week learning the person of Jesus through reading the gospels, books about Jesus, films etc. Importance of soaking yourself in the person of Jesus. We want to inspire people to become like Jesus. Lots of people coming to Bible College don’t hardly know anything about Jesus at all apart from a few facts. If we want to become more like Jesus we need to immerse ourselves in him. Area of mission activating discipleship is awakened here – we don’t have to look like Jesus in church but if we are involved in Christ-centred mission we can’t afford not to.

  • Journal all the ways in which you have been sent into the world during the week.

What values do these practices release? – generous, hospitable, spirit led, Christ-like and Christ-centred, missionaries. Need to focus on practices rather than values, because engaging in practices will release the values."