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Sunday, May 20, 2007
FARMStrong in London this Week
Please noone take your calendar planning cues from me. After a grueling 11.5 hour drive back home from the beach, I proceeded to hop on an 8 hour plane ride to the U.K. I am here with Tory Baucum and some other friends from the seminary for the International Alpha Week. The Conference is being hosted by the Holy Trinity Brompton the church that launched Alpha some years ago. Alpha, for those of you who don't know, is a movement sweeping the world-- a ten week course designed to help Christians and pre-Christians alike explore the Christian faith in a non-threatening environment. It is presently being offered in 153 countries. I began to get to know Nicky Gumbel and Sandy Millar, the Vicar of HTB and the founders of Alpha a few years back when they came to Asbury to do an Alpha Conference. They have an apostolic appetite, vision and ministry scope.

I'm here primarily to connect with Tim Hughes, a worship leader I have been getting to know both through his music and now personally. Tim is working through HTB to establish Worship Central, a theological and practical training school for worship leaders. As some of you wil remember, one of the projects I worked on in my sabbatical last summer was "Worship Seminary," which is a project to provide theological training for worship leaders. Given teh excruciating year we've been through at Asbury it's not gotten off the runway yet, but I have fresh courage to begin trying to move it forward again. Anyway, Tim and I are going to spend some time this week talking about these things.

I'm also hoping to gain a better understanding of the seminary they are running out of HTB. It's called St. Paul's Theological Centre and is designed to provide serious theological training for lay people. Seminaries in this century are going to have to re-model themselves in order to remain servants of the Church of the 21st century. Though I know little about this model, it looks promising and I hope to learn more. I'm hoping to meet Graham Tomlin who leads that project.

Finally, I'm praying that this week can take on the character of pilgrimage and retreat. I really need it. As we head toward Pentecost Sunday, please remember me and Tiffani in your prayers for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit. We wait upon the Lord.

I'll hope to post some pictures of London in the next day or so.
posted by John David Walt | at 5/20/2007 05:15:00 PM



Anonymous john page said...

Wow, that's a big bite to chew on!
Sounds wonderful and exciting and promising - keep us up to date on the progress. If I can help you with any of the theological training part of it, let me know.

4:02 PM EDT  
Blogger Marcus G said...

And from the wilds of the west, a Welsh blessing be upon you. Hope you are having a good time with Tim. See you Friday!

5:32 PM EDT  
Blogger David Harrity said...

Sounds like you have a lot going on! Get back safe so we can talk poetry.

7:43 AM EDT  
Blogger Jamey said...

Alpha swept Oakdale, LA 3 years ago and it's never been the same. Thank Nicki and Sandy for me.

BTW, part of the emerging vision of Christ Church is to develop a "Christ College" involving theological training for our lay leaders. Hope you can offer some guidance based on HTB. Know that you and Tiff are in our prayers in Memphis this coming weekend.

11:10 PM EDT  
Blogger eli said...

take care of my friend while you are there! oh, and yourself too. check your email if you can. fasting and praying going on for my son Stefan anytime over the next 3 days...just pick what and when on your own and pray for his heart and mind.

2:01 PM EDT  

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