With many students away for their Easter holidays, I was half expecting a quiet weekend, but as per usual, Citygate blew my expectations out of the water.
John Groves began the morning, speaking from 1 Kings 16 and 17, and calling us to be an Elijah People. A healthy challenge to be a people who are different because they follow Jesus, and are willing to speak truth to our nation.
With fantastic teaching stored in head and more importantly heart, we chatted and mingled around the tea and coffee, before heading to Asda for food, and then out into the New Forest.
Living in Bournemouth means we're surrounded by some incredibly beautiful places, from our 7 miles of beach, to the Purbecks, Hengistbury Head or, the New Forest. With the weather improving we're hoping to visit these places a little more!
We drove into the heart of the forest, and through the village of Burley. We were aiming for Mill Lawn but ended up at Burley cricket pitch, a vast field with plenty of space for all of our rabble. Sprawled across the grass with the beating sun on our backs, everyone ate together, catching up after a busy week.
With frisbee, football and the forest to entertain, we whiled away the time in true English fashion. It was the perfect way to spend a beautiful afternoon, and with 40 or so people including lots of new international students (we loved having you by the way!)
What was great to see, was the willingness in which people filled their cars and made sure everyone could be together. Good work to all of you drivers - without you stuff like picnics couldn't happen...and then where would we be!??
As the afternoon slipped into evening, everyone drove back for Citygate's Baptism service. With the building packed with friends and family, it was an exciting evening seeing six people get baptised.
With Jess Laming and Sophie Poole, Nathan Watkins and Adeleine Dougan as well as Sarah Beer and Julie Gaitan the whole place was filled to the brim with people in support. A chance to hear the incredible stories of rescue, redemption and faithfulness before dunking them in the water.To Reef Encounter for the rest of the evening, to celebrate and chat, and generally enjoy the company of one another.
It's always a bit of a surprise how much you can fit into one day, but I headed home, knackered and ready for bed, but well aware I had enjoyed a fantastic day.
I heard on the grapevine that PPP last night was a great night of worship and enjoying the presence of God. We can always do with more evenings like that!
In other news....WE HAVE A NEW FACEBOOK GROUP!
Exciting I know, but it's only useful if you JOIN IT! I've added many of you, but it's up to you to make sure that you are in the know, and aware of what is going on. Click HERE to be sent to the new group to join.
Enjoy your week and I'll catch you Sunday. Keep your eyes peeled for lunch plans!