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.
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.
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!