(in no particular order, that would be too hard!)
- Hearing Rob Parsons talk with incredible passion about the people whose love and care saved him as a teenager and realising how important our relationships with young people are.
- Meeting lots of new people, including a new twitter friend Lisa and YFC worker Bethan who were both lovely and stayed at our house. Also met up with many others I know already, to a lesser or greater extent. I really get my energy from this stuff!
- Prayer room: praying for church. Very simple and yet very engaging.
- Encouraging Leadership seminar and a really interesting Sexuality seminar.
- Lovely lunch with a very old friend and a chance to catch up on the past 6 months or so.
- Beautiful sunshine and a brief walk along the seafront. I do love living by the sea!
- Hearing from Zach Hunter and Scott Todd about huge plans to end slavery and extreme poverty within our own lifetime. Zach used a clip from Amazing Grace (which is about to go on my LoveFilm list as I, ashamedly, haven’t seen it yet!) which totally summed his vision up for me: “We’re too young to know that anything is impossible, so we do it anyway”. Brilliant.
- Worshipping with Vicky Beeching. Reading her blog makes me feel like I know her a little and that’s a powerful thing when it comes to being led in worship.
- Inspiring keynote speech from Jason Gardner and the chance to follow it up with him in conversation later on. I could listen to Jason for a long time; he has a very accessible blend of well thought through theology and cultural references. Our points of view on many things are convergent in a way I may not have recognised so clearly even a year ago!
- Bumping into a former pupil and the opportunity to chat to him about life and stuff. He was one of the ‘naughtiest’ boys I had in my tutor group, always in trouble and often seemed to go looking for it! Now working and looking like a respectable 20 year old (!) it was good to see him and hear more from him.
As usual I could only really do the Fri & Sat; the downside of the conference being on our doorstep is that ‘normal life’ continues around you and I had commitments at church this morning. Which was good! I was kicking off a new season of using creative prayer more regularly in our services and it went well. It was also good to be able to sleep in my own bed and see my lovely boys this morning. It did mean though that I missed the end of the conference today and it sounds like it was more great stuff! I’ll be catching up through others though.
Well done to everyone involved in the planning/organising/speaking/worshipping/praying/sound and lighting etc. You all deserve a round of applause and the week off!