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Deciphering '#Follow2016'

by Michael Ford last modified 25 Jul, 2016 06:39 PM

A number of our Licensed Lay Ministers (LLMs) and friends went to Leicester recently for ‘#Follow2016’, a Christian day festival sponsored by the Central Readers’ Council as part of the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Reader ministry this year.

Deciphering '#Follow2016'

Paula Gooder with Associate Warden of LLMs, Judy Anderson

Talks by a range of speakers were interspersed with worship led by Pete James and Luke Bacon, and there were various presentations and displays around the site.

Paula Gooder gave an inspirational talk on Discipleship, in which she looked at the Old Testament concept of following a particular Rabbi, Jesus’ twelve disciples, and then what it means to be a follower of Jesus in the 21st century. Like the twelve, she said, we need to 'spend time hanging out with Jesus and absorbing what the Christian life is all about.'

Mark Russell, from the Church Army, spoke about evangelism: “It’s not just about filling churches,” he said, “it’s about loving people.” Mark Greene, Executive Director of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, drew on a wide range of fascinating examples as he talked about being a Christian in the workplace.

Mo and John Cheesman, LLMs from Heytesbury Deanery

Other attractions included a description of the work of street pastors (Paul Blakey), reaching out to older people (Debbie Thrower) and several sessions exploring Messy Church. The ‘Departure Lounge’ featured chat show style conversations with a whole string of well-known Christian faces who divulged all sorts of previously unknown facts about themselves.

Paula Gooder chats in the Departure Lounge

In case anyone felt in need of some gentle exercise, Bishop Robert Patterson, Chair of the Central Readers’ Council, led by example on the bouncy castle.

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