What do you call a whole load of URCs gathering together for a day out? The answer is ”A Big Day Out” and a great day out it was, for over 600 people of all ages who spent the day at Flamingo Land in North Yorkshire this month. It was great to watch all the young people – and some old enough to know better – on all the wild fairground rides. There were amazing animals to see at the zoo and picnics to be eaten. The day was completed with worship, praising God and witnessing to the good news of Jesus Christ – the Truth declared and folk set free. Over 50 Gospels were given to those who responded to the message of Jesus Christ. It was just one of those special days, which we need occasionally, to remind ourselves that we are part of something much bigger than our own local church and community, and we have a God who is God of all people. As Ashley Evans, Yorkshire Synod Evangelist, described it: “A great day for all the family, with God at the centre.”
“Jesus is the way the truth and the life, and the truth will set you free.”
I was invited to one of our churches in Wales – Cwmbran – to join them in an elders’ meeting with their minister, Samantha Caton – no special meeting, no training session, just a standard elders’ meeting. And how we need those meetings week in and week out to remind ourselves that our God is with us in the everyday life of every church and community. I heard about the precious healing ministry of the Order of Jacob’s Well offering Christian counselling and support to all those suffering in mind, body and spirit, with a centre in this community. In the afternoon, we were then joined by friends from neighbouring churches for worship, a sign again of us, covenanted together, as the body of Christ.
At Flamingo Land we didn’t have sole rights over the theme park, but shared it with hundreds of other people, all drawn together to have a special treat of a family day out. At Cwmbran, my wife had time to do some shopping in the town centre, among thousands of others, going about their everyday lives. Read again the words of the hymn “Colours of Day” and wherever we are, “let’s give the message to the people we meet” (Rejoice and Sing 572, words by Sue McClellan, John Pac and Keith Rycroft, © Thankyou Music)