There was a buzz in the little church in Writtle as about 40 people gathered for a day conference on Mission and Evangelism particularly with small churches in mind. We discovered that 19 United Reformed Churches were represented at the day (as well as 4 Methodist churches) and (just for those who like statistics!) that represented 509 members and 442 children, facts which I believe say something about the impact our smaller congregations have on their communities.
We thought about our own faith journeys, how we share them with others and what the bible has to say about God’s call to his people. We thought too about the 21st century context and what that required us to do in response. We celebrated those things which we already do, agreeing that whilst we can always do more we should nevertheless be confident about the message we have and already share with families, neighbours and others.
The day gave time for people to share thoughts in discussion groups and also to chat informally over coffee, tea and sandwiches. The setting of a church whose doors open out on to a village green complete with duck pond, and (on this April day) daffodils and sunshine all helped to make it a good, purposeful and positive day for all involved.
One of the stories which was told reminded us all how important and powerful prayer could be and that seemed as good a place as any to end our discussions and move to final worship.