My apologies for the lack of writing that has taken place over the last few months. For me things have been a little hectic, but I'm sure they have with you too. It's been a great summer, full of God's grace even if not full of sunshine and warmth.
June saw many of our new friends from 2011 leaving us to head back to their homes across the country for summer. We're looking forward to your return in the coming weeks, so please know you've been very missed and we can't wait to have you back.
A great group of us went to Mobilise in Brighton during the second week of July. It was an incredible time of meeting with God, and enjoying fellowship with one another. With talks from some of the great leaders of churches across the world, each of us was challenged and blessed by what we heard.
If you want to check out some of the things we heard, you can here! I really recommend Tom Shaw's talk, as well as PJ Smyth's from the main Leadership meetings.
Over the past weeks we've enjoyed picnics and trips to the forest, as well as our usual Sunday nights at the pub. We saw Andy and George married (congrats guys!!) and had a fantastic night watching a DVD called 'Furious Love' which turned into a spontaneous time of worship, praise and prayer.
Some people went to Newday which is Newfrontiers' youth week in Norfolk. It was a week like no other, with the presence of God falling in an incredibly tangible way, confirming that we are children of God and belong to Him, but also that we have a job to do. Check out Stuart Gibbs' message on the poor on the Newday website.
And the final big event of the summer was 'Together at Westpoint' which many of us have just returned from. As flood waters rose in Bournemouth, Citygate and the other Newfrontiers churches in the South and West were enjoying glorious sunshine at the Westpoint arena as we camped together. Over the weekend, God spoke to us about scaling walls and pushing into the promises of God and I encourage you to find out about lots of the other exciting things that we saw. A real highlight was seeing an incredible offering taken of £101,000. This money will go towards planting churches and spreading the Gospel. How great is it that as the church we are able to go against the tide and do the complete opposite of the rest of the nation?!! There may be a recession going on but we aren't taking part.
And so with September around the corner, a new season is ahead. For Citygate, and for me. As a church we're excited about what God has for us. Traditionally this time of year sees many new people looking into church (not just students although we're certainly excited about that!!) so please be praying for one another and our leaders as things kick up a gear again. We want to see many saved and added to our number.
For me, I'm going to be leaving Bournemouth and so for now, this is the last of the blog posts until new FPers take it over and have the joy of sharing the weekly news with you. Keep your eyes peeled and be as encouraging and supportive to Alex Holgate, James Grunnill and Ana Clara Cabral as you were to me.
There are lots of new members of the Students and Twenties team so look out for those giveaway red hoodies!!
Finally, remember those of us who aren't with us. Pray for those you know. And in particular, remember Charlotte Young who is currently in Kenya, Yolanda Studer who is in Germany, and Josh Martin who is in the USA. (I know there are countless others spread across the UK and abroad so support and remember them too!) Stef Wyper moves to Canada in about 10 days too!
Citygate Students and Twenties are an incredible community, and there are great and mighty things ahead.
With thanks for your love and support over the past year, and with prayers for many blessings ahead.
It's been a blast.