“Bridget and I wish to place on record our sincere thanks to Steve, Monica and yourselves for what was another touch of Heaven as we worshipped together at Bungay. And of course to Yeshua Himself who made it all possible. As seasoned conference samplers, we rejoice in new pathways, new experiences, new insights and a new depth of relationship with Him and His Saints“ John & Bridget Birch
There are your usual conferences, with conveyor-belt teaching and predictable programmes … then there are Foundations conferences! This is not an idle boast, simply a declaration that there can be new ways of doing things that can benefit people in ways that they never even imagined. When you pull away the structures that have been there for centuries, you may be left with chaos and anarchy, or perhaps something else … ?
The signals were there for those among the 58 intrepid souls who met at the end of September at Belsey Bridge conference centre and were having their first encounter with a Jo Jones worship session. Having rearranged the seating into a random configuration she initiated an evening of congregation-led singing, readings, proclamations, prophecies etc. At one point a choir of angels could be heard by some.
The teaching, by Peter Sammons, on his 20:20 vision for the Church was well received. Yet we only gave him four short slots, connected by sessions that we call Freedom in the Spirit. The idea was to give freedom for folk to digest and consider his teaching, whether through small yeshiva study sessions, quiet times of prayer and repentance, testimony and proclamation, prayer walks, dance and worship, bible reading or crafts ‘n’ chat. In the evening Jo switched things around by allowing various members of the congregation to take turns leading, having being pre-prompted. Meanwhile Jean Fletcher had started the conference timeline on a wallpaper roll, giving the story of the weekend and stretching halfway round the room by the end of the conference! And Michael Oakley continued to amaze us with his talents, taking on the job of 3 or 4 people in running the sound desk, doing announcements etc.
In the final morning we had a Rosh Hashanah presentation by a dance team trained by Ginnie and Rosie, followed by a choir tutored by Jo, followed by messianic worship led by Dave and Keila, dragging most to their feet. We shared cholla bread and the traditional apples and honey. This was followed by testimonies, prayer and healings (at least three recorded).
No recordings or words can describe the indescribable, the love and fellowship between those 58 people, many experiencing freedoms in worship (not just music!) they have never encountered before in church. It was truly a touch of heaven that weekend … but you really had to be there! A few have already declared their intention to book for our next regional, in Devon in December, despite the long travelling distances. How about you?