June 2018 Reflection

On Saturday 12th May, Nicky, Glynis, Andy, Natasha and myself travelled up to Peterborough to attend the Baptist Assembly. Doing such things is important as we a part of a much wider family not only in this country but throughout the world.

It is exciting to hear about what God is doing in His church both in this country and also the church worldwide.

At the Assembly we reflected on what it meant to be part of such a diverse church, worshipping in different languages, hearing stories from a wonderful lady called Ann Bothamley, who has been a Missionary for 50 years with the BMS World Mission in India, we prayed for Missionaries with young families going out to places like Afghanistan, and we heard some creative stories from churches here in the UK and creative ways of sharing the Gospel in this country.

There is an amazing work with churches together in the Midlands where a Fish and Chip Shop has been opened and all profits are reinvested back into the community, everyone knows that the churches are doing this.

There are two other things from the day that struck me: firstly, we welcomed the new Baptist President, who serves the churches for one year, giving vision, guidance and direction to the Baptist Family.

Dave Gregory brings something very different, with a background in science, he has encouraged us to be creative in the way we learn and think about God; science can deepen our understanding and wonder of God, just as our faith can help scientists as they explore and search for many different and wonderful aspects about life.

And the second challenge from Dave was our need as Christians to engage in how we care for the world environmentally and we were challenged about how much do we consider this within all our church discussions; God created the world and we are to look after it and care for it.

As I came home from this conference this verse has stuck in my mind: 1 Corinthians 12: 27 “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it”

I love that verse and when we think about the church family worldwide and all its diversity and the wonderful people who make up the church, we too are part of that diversity, we are the body of Christ, you and I are part of that.

I hope that excites us but also challenges us on how we care for one another, support one another, pray for one another and encourage one another in the faith. Let us celebrate the diversity of God’s family, the church, and let us always be open to God leading us and guiding us so that we are a church that the reflects the fullness of our Creator God, the one whose image we have been made in.

I pray that you are blessed by the church family and let me encourage us all to keep engaging with both the local church and also our worldwide church family. Keep reading the prayer information that the prayer team put into this magazine every month, talk with those involved in world mission and let us keep praying for our brothers and sisters around the world.

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is part of it…

With every blessing, Matt