New Word Alive, and wedding

It was a busy week last week! On Saturday we headed to Pwllheli, North Wales for the New Word Alive conference. We were going down a day early (the day before the rest of our group headed up) in order to buy food for the week. The journey itself went smoothly, we didn’t have any problems to speak of and got there in good time. On the way we stopped off at a place called Trawsfynydd, which is a small village not far away from where New Word Alive is held. It was the place my parents and I went for our last family holiday together (ten years ago now) – it was a pretty disastrous holiday to be honest! But it was quite funny to go back to the village and have a look round. I think we even managed to find the place where we stayed all those years ago. Strange to think what’s happened in those ten years – when we went there, it was the start of the summer holidays before I went to uni.

Anyway, trip down memory lane over! We had dinner at a pub we found on the sea front, and then had a good night’s sleep at the B&B we were staying in (Terfyn B&B, very nice by the way). Then we headed out to the local Asda to buy food. I won’t say much about this apart from the fact that it took three hours, which is far longer than anyone should ever have to spend in a supermarket!

After that we headed over to the Hafan Y Mor Haven site, registered, and started unloading the food into the three chalets we were staying in (we weren’t staying in all of them 😉 – 18 people split over three chalets). After a while AJ and the rest of the gang arrived, and we cooked dinner and headed out to the first meeting of the week.

I won’t go into too many details of what happened during the week, but I’ll provide a brief overview of some of the highlights for me:

  • The main meetings were great. We had a variety of speakers preaching through Hebrews 11, and I found them all very good. I particularly enjoyed Rico Tice on the Thursday.
  • Bob Kauflin leading worship at the main meetings. I wasn’t sure about his ‘commentary’ style, but overall I really enjoyed it – particularly after I began to relax and get into the week! I think it’s one of the major things I really miss at Fordham, although Sunday@6 is a step in the right direction it’s still not quite there really. Still.
  • Carl Trueman’s morning seminars on church history. He was speaking on Athanasius, Martin Luther, Blaise Pascale and John Gresham Machen. I really enjoyed the whole series – Carl Trueman is a very entertaining and engaging speaker who is obviously passionate about what he is talking about. I think my favourite seminar was on Martin Luther, and I’d love to learn a bit more about church history and these characters who made the church what it is today.
  • David Cook preaching on Acts in the mornings (the daily readings, as the sessions were called). Very inspiring in terms of evangelism, and I think he’s very much mission-focussed. I particularly enjoyed what he was preaching about “Jesus plus nothing”, i.e. we cannot add anything to the gospel in the way that the Jews were adding circumcision to the gospel as a requirement for being saved.
  • Socially we had some good times as well, going down on the beach was one! – but also playing charades together, having a nice glass of wine in the evening with the other leaders (not with the children, I hasten to add!), and Starbucks of course!

I think that’s pretty much it for the week. Now, much more briefly, the wedding on Saturday: Dan and Alison were getting married on Saturday at Wivenhoe parish Church. The service itself was really nice, despite one or two technical hitches with the sound system! And the Deep Space 9 theme tune does sound good on the organ 😉

Afterwards we headed out to a golf club in Maldon for the reception. It was a great reception – we had a really good meal with people (the carvery they head was delicious), and then a live band afterwards. We hadn’t had a good dance in ages so had a chance to work off some of the meal!

After that, Alex and Karen stayed with us overnight and we all had lunch together on Sunday. Apologies for the brief summary of the wedding, it’s just been a bit busy recently! Right, I’ve got to go and do something productive.

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