Thursday, August 25, 2016

It was great to be together last Thursday!


Arriving early at the campus, which is quite large (40 major buildings/200+ acres), we took time to reconfigure the room and wipe down the chairs that had been out of use for some years.  As people started to arrive, I enjoyed hearing people’s first reactions to the campus.  Usually, something along the lines of “wow” or “I had no idea this was here" or "I had no idea it was this big”.  I pointed out Moody’s grave 150 feet away to someone and they were shocked—“Really?”  The view from our meeting room in Hibbard Hall, one of the highest points of the campus, was stunning. The property has not been in regular use since 2005 but does not appear old or worn down.  

I was pleased that we had about 60 folks show up, especially considering the distance and the fact that we had the gathering in mid-August.

We sat in a circle...just a bunch of kids in God's living room!

Worship and Prayer…then Sharing and Casting Vision

As we worshiped and prayed together, the presence of God was strong and it was accompanied by that sense of “family” that is I think one of the most precious characteristics of what God is doing here in New England. 

We were all just kids in God’s living room.

We had prepared to hear from several people, sharing about Northfield’s history, some key “words from the Lord” that had defined the journey, and just catching people up on the story that had been unfolding behind the scenes.  However, as I tried to transition us into this more formal time, there was an overflow from the heart as person after person shared moving testimonies of what that moment in prayer at that place meant to them. It was powerful seeing how significant the moment was for many who had gathered and sometimes traveled great distances to be there.

We wrapped up this time of sharing with 10 minutes of prayer and worship “Korean style”, consciously submitting and giving ourselves over to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.  Yes!

Roberto shared vision for this fall and several of the other planners shared some of the ways God had been explicitly guiding the journey thus-far through visions, dreams, and confirming signs.  There’s definitely that sense of being “on track” with something God is doing, even if we don’t see the full extent of it yet.  Our morning session finally wrapped up at about 1:30 and we shared a meal and ongoing fellowship together. 

Aaron Reeves of YWAM Boston leads worship

What’s Next?

I was blessed by the tangible sense of excitement over what God is doing this fall.  As was shared in the meeting, we’re doing this.  There’s no outside group putting this on—we’re doing this as the New England Church and for the New England Church. 

So, we’re open to your insights and ideas for the event.  

We’d also value your participation and help in spreading the word. 

I’ve attached the basic flyer here and will follow up in the next several days with other promotional materials that can be printed and distributed as you see fit or used as online images.  I'll be sending an email with info on how to help out early next week!

In conclusion, thanks to all of those who attended, the volunteer staff that prepared lunch and helped make the space inviting, and our friends at the National Christian Foundation and Moody Center for opening up the space for us to use.  It was a memorable day and an encouraging step forward to what God has for us this fall!

-Jonathan Friz

Roberto Miranda casting vision for RESTORE: A New England Convocation

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A New Thing: RESTORE New England Convocation on the Northfield Campus

10 Days is doing a new thing this year!

This fall we’re inviting everyone participating in 10 Days to come to a culminating gathering on Wednesday, October 12 called Restore: A New England Convocation. The gathering will be in Northfield, Massachusetts at the campus founded by DL Moody. We’ll also have 5 days of 24/7 prayer in Northfield for the last half of 10 Days starting Friday evening, October 7.

10 Days is a decentralized network.  We want to see you uniting the Church in your own city, bringing glory to Jesus Christ right where you live.  We know not everyone who participates in San Antonio, Chicago, or Washington State will be able to attend a gathering in Massachusetts.

However, we hope that many from the Northeast will be able to join us and realize that some of our friends around the nation and world will want to come as well, especially given the significant history of the location and timing of this Convocation.  Let me explain…

After this I will return,
and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen;
I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it,
that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord..
 (Acts 15)
An Historic Moment for an Historic Campus

Nestled into the idyllic New England country-side, among green mountains and the winding Connecticut river is the 200+ acre Northfield Campus with 40 major buildings.

Founded by famous evangelist D.L. Moody in 1879, the campus originally housed a secondary school for girls.  During the summers in the late 1800’s, 30 trains a day would come back and forth to this little town, bringing people to the Northfield Conferences where they spent time in prayer, bible-study, fellowship and hearing from some of the most-recognized Christian leaders of the day.

Northfield was renowned as a place of encounter, considered a “Mount of Transfiguration” by contemporaries where the summer gatherings were called “heaven on earth”.  In 1886, the young men’s conference launched the Student Volunteer Mission Movement.  In a generation, the Student Volunteers had sent 20,000 missionaries overseas.  To this day, busloads of Korean Christians come and visit the campus and the grave of DL Moody as a kind of pilgrimage.  Because the Student Volunteers were the ones who brought the gospel to Korea, they see Northfield as a kind of spiritual birthplace for the gospel in their nation.

Since 2005, this campus, amazing both for its beauty and its history has been sitting almost entirely empty.

In 2009, in answer to the prayers of many, the campus was bought by a Christian organization, Hobby Lobby. Originally listed in the tens of millions, the campus ended up selling for an incredible mere $100,000.  Since then there have been numerous efforts to bring in new owners, but nothing has been able to work up to now.  For years, the campus has just been sitting there, resting, waiting.  I’m convinced that God is reserving this spot for a special purpose and that this incredible location will once again be known as a light to the nations and a gathering and sending center for the global body of Christ!
Students from the ONE10 Intensive by the graves of D.L. and Emma Moody
Restore: A New England Convocation + 5 Days of 24/7

This summer, the New England Alliance, approached the current owners, the National Christian Foundation about renting the Moody Auditorium, a 2,500 person venue on the campus, for a special event.  We shared with them our conviction that having the New England Church and others from around the nation uniting in prayer on this property could be a key step towards bring fresh life to the campus. Amazingly, they agreed to have us come and do an event this fall.

As we’ve shared with some of our partners around the nation, it’s been incredible to see how God has confirmed this call and gathered others.  You might say there’s a fragrance around this place and this moment that is attracting people.  Michael Thorton and the “Jesus Tent” are coming up to Northfield with a group from North Carolina to sustain 24/7 prayer and worship for the second half of the 10 Days starting on Friday evening, October 7.  Other groups are also planning to come from out of town and invest in prayer and worship for all five days.  If you’re interested in coming out for all or part of that time, let us know!

In conclusion, we’re beyond thrilled to invite you to join us at Northfield for Restore on October 12.  We believe it has the potential to be a historic moment for a historic campus.  We hope you’ll mark the date on your calendar and plan to be with us.

-Jonathan Friz
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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

RESTORE: A New England Convocation

Invitation to Restore: A New England Convocation on October 12, 2016

Dear Friends,

I hope you're having a great summer and getting what I'm sure is much-needed rest.

Just wanted to invite you to reserve the date of October 12, 2016 for Restore: A New England Convocation in Northfield, Masachusetts to celebrate our unity as the Church in New England, and to seek God's greater anointing for ourselves and our communities. We will come together on that date to worship and pray, to lift the name of Jesus together, and to intercede for our nation in a time of extraordinary need.

We have chosen the Northfield location because it is central to many ministries and congregations, because it takes us away from the usual Boston locations of past meetings, and especially because of the huge historical significance of this place.

As many of you know, The Northfield/ Mount Hermon campuses were founded by the well-known evangelist and apostle Dwight L. Moody in the late 19th century. Northfield especially served to unleash the Student Volunteer Missions Movement and for many summers served as a gathering place for college students from campuses all over the United States and the world. The spiritual conferences that took place there brought together the most famous Christian leaders and speakers of their time, such as A.J. Gordon, John R. Mott, A.T. Pierson, and Andrew Murray.

For decades Northfield embodied the spirit and anointing of the great evangelist and incorporated the salient elements of his vision--his passionate love for souls, his acute sense of social justice, and his inclusive attitude toward women in ministry, children, minorities and the poor. In many ways, Moody was ahead of his time, establishing enduring institutions such as the YMCA, Moody Bible Institute and Moody Press. Moody was the quintessential spiritual entrepreneur, toiling incessantly to advance the interests of God's Kingdom, and seeking fresh, creative ways of communicating the Gospel to a rapidly changing world. I cannot think of a better model for the Church in our time.

As you can see, Northfield is pregnant with spiritual significance. It truly is a sacred place, inspiring profound reverence and even awe, especially to those who are familiar with its extraordinary spiritual history. Holding an event there highlighting unity, worship, prayer and revival would be a marvelous way for the New England Church to keep alive the sense of fellowship that has held us together through all these years, as we've done our part to hear God's voice in this spiritually challenging region. It would also be a way to celebrate Moody's spirit and legacy in a timely way, and to reinforce those values among ourselves.

The Restore gathering will take place in the middle of the week, on a Wednesday afternoon and evening.  We're aware that this represents a potential challenge for those coming from a distance, but for many different reasons this seems to be the only feasible date that we have available for this year. It also happens to coincide with the end of 10 Days of Prayer.

I do believe that the potential significance of this meeting justifies an extraordinary effort. Many things are happening regarding the Northfield campus.  The National Christian Foundation that presently owns the campus is initiating a major effort, called The Moody Center, to promote the ideals of D.L Moody.  The Moody Center is partnering with us for the October 12 event, and officers of it will attend. It's a great opportunity to start exploring opportunities for ministry around this intriguing project.

So, there you have it! Please forgive the long missive, but I wanted you to have a clear sense of the importance of this initiative. I strongly encourage us all to reserve the date, and to put forth that extra amount of energy and effort to attend. Please encourage your congregations and friends to attend as well. The Northfield auditorium, where the event will be held, has great prophetic significance, and so will the event itself.

I look forward to seeing you on October 12 as we gather as the New England church to Restore a key aspect of our collective inheritance!

Roberto Miranda

Date: October 12, 2016
Workshops: 11 - 3 P.M.
Gathering: 3- 6:30 P.M.
Location: Historic Auditorium on D.L. Moody's Northfield Campus
1 Moody St., Northfield, MA

Friday, August 12, 2016

Gatherings at Northfield!

  • August 18 for the New England Alliance Gathering and
  • October 12 for a New England Assembly on the historic Northfield campus.  
New England Alliance Gathering:
Thursday, August 18 in Northfield, MA at Hibbard Hall
You are invited to join us for the next gathering of a group of pastors and prayer leaders from around New England called the New England Alliance. This group meets a few times a year to share what God is doing throughout the 5 states of New England and pray together for revival in our region.

We have the unique opportunity to host the group out here in Western MA at the Northfield Campus. This is also a great opportunity to see this amazing property. This NE Alliance meeting will be a great opportunity to pray, fellowship, and prepare for the October 12 New England-wide gathering on the final day of the 10 Days of Prayer.
Time: August 18, 10:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.
Location: Hibbard Hall on the Northfield Campus

(use 1 Moody St. Northfield, MA for your GPS. Turn left at Winchester Rd. Hibbard hall is about 300 feet down Winchester on the left-hand side. There is a small parking lot that we will use.)
Objective: Worship and Prayer, Lunch, Tour the campus, and planning the October 12 gathering and other major developments.
*Please RSVP if you will be attending the lunch*

New England-wide Assembly: Wednesday, October 12, 2016

11:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M. - Workshops 
3:00-6:30 P.M. - Gathering

*There will also be a night & day worship and prayer tent leading up the Oct. 12 gathering from Oct. 7 - Oct 12 on the Northfield Campus!*

Location: D.L. Moody Auditorium on the Northfield campus.

This gathering will serve as the culminating gathering for 10 Days around New England this year.

The Auditorium was built in 1894 to hold the crowds that flocked to the campus for renewal and mission focused summer conferences. It holds about 2500 people. The Student Volunteer Missions Movement started during the Northfield Conferences in 1886.

Some of you have heard Jonathan Friz share about Northfield. This campus, founded by DL Moody in 1879, has been sitting empty since 2004. The property was purchased by Hobby Lobby in 2009. Currently, the property is owned by the National Christian Foundation. They are seeking to give the campus away to a qualified group.

The Northfield Campus is one of the hidden gems of our rich spiritual heritage here in New England and one that's waiting to be revived! Come check out this beautiful place and explore how God may be calling us, the Church in New England, to be a part of reviving this campus and the legacy of D.L. Moody.

Hope to see you August 18 and Oct. 12!