If you went to Word Alive this year, either Week 1 or Week 2 it would be really interesting to hear your thoughts about it. Comments could be what you learned, what challenged you, what encouraged you or even just your feelings about the standard of catering!

Do feel free to get involved. Below are a few of my reflections.

Going with a church family is fabulous

Our church was so blessed this year that an anonymous donor funded as many people as were interested to go to this conference. What a great experience. There were over 30 adults from our church, plus a real motley crew of children (I include our own in that description) and it was such a joy to see so many familiar faces. Things like the Easter Egg Hunt, watching the sport together and attending seminars with one another were really memorable, as was just wandering up and down “Grace Church Alley” and bobbing in and out of each other’s apartments. That’s what Community should be about.

God’s Word, through his Spirit, is transformational

I knew this in my head already but it was brought home to me through both the Romans Bible Readings and the Relationships tract we attended. It was really spelled out to me just how incredible God’s grace is to us and how our faith is not about doing things to please God but it’s all about what he has already done for us. Romans 3:21-22 was already a favourite verse, but how the speaker David Cook unpacked it showed just how remarkable and awesome God is.
“But now a righteousness from God has been revealed…this righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.”

Conflict and forgiveness make relationships stronger
Conflict in a relationship is horrible…and yet inevitable. It’s actually how you deal with those issues which define the direction of the relationship. Being able to confront your own sin and problems before exploring how the other person has wronged you is vital and then exercising forgiveness and love, borne out of knowing just how much you yourself have been forgiven, will lead to a much deeper friendship. It’s going to be hard and costly, but worth it.

Football at Word Alive remains frustrating!
We had an array of choice for our team this year – excellent! – and were well set up for a good campaign. An amazing start against the eventual finalists Christchurch Liverpool (we won 4-0) only seemed to confirm that. We followed up with a 3-0 win before a typically frustrating match against Tekkerslovakia finished 0-0 – we hit the woodwork twice, had two shots cleared off the line…etc. Needing to win the final group game to finish top, (against the team our minister had agreed to help out!), we took a late lead but then threw it away in the final minute in slightly acrimonious circumstances to lose 2-1. Third place seeding for the next days quarters.
Overnight, we lost three players (!) and drew 1-1 with the other groups 2nd placers. Penalties ensued and, in fitting English style, we exited 4-2. No trophy for GCM this year!

Pubs aren’t just for adults!

As this picture reveals!