This weekend would normally see many of us trekking to the East of England showground to camp in a field. Each summer thousands of people from across the country come together to have a week with nothing else to do but worship Jesus, have fun together and learn more about God, at United, the summer conference of New Wine network of churches.
This year we will be camping at home, me in my bed, the boys possibly in the garden. But there is still a range of content that we can all access from wherever we are and take some dedicated time out, to pause, set our focus on God and refresh.
Below we’ve put together a few of our highlights. Have a dig around the programme for full details, they have stuff for kids each morning, for youth mornings and evenings. And for adults there are a series of sessions in the mornings and evenings with topical seminars through the afternoons. It starts this Thursday 30th 8pm and runs to Monday 3rd August lunchtime.
Look out for:
Jill Duff morning sessions in the Impact venue, Friday, Saturday and Monday 11am-12.15. She will be exploring the story of Nehemiah in the Bible and describes the series: ‘Our urban areas are often places of broken walls – not just physically but spiritually. When we try to rebuild, we usually face opposition – not just physically but spiritually. Let’s look together at the Book of Nehemiah – what lessons can we learn from how he faced six characteristic oppositions from the enemy?’
Ben Lindsay is a powerful and important voice for issues of race and founder of Power the Fight. A church leader himself, he will be speaking in the Impact venue in Friday night’s session 8-9.15pm on ‘No Justice, No Peace – Moving the Church to Action in the Fight for Racial Justice’. If you enjoy this he will take a deeper dive into it in a seminar on Saturday afternoon.
Nicola Neal is a woman who really knows what it is to live a life dependent on God, she will be looking at the reality of ‘God with us’ through the classic Psalm 23 in the Bible, ‘The Lord is my Shepherd…’. She is always worth listening to, she has a depth of personal experience and will be speaking in the Sunday celebration 11am-12.15.
Each afternoon there are a host of seminars to choose from, with everything you could imagine from parenting, who is the Holy Spirit, the world in light of Covid-19, caring for creation, grief and lament, praying. Jon Tyson has a seminar on prayer on Saturday afternoon, which I’m sure will be great, he’s planted a series of churches in New York City and prayer has been right at the heart of it.
Finally rounding of the highlights, our very own Paul Harcourt, vicar of All Saints Woodford Wells our supporting church and National Leader for New Wine is speaking with Archbishop Justin Welby on Sunday evening 8-9.15pm. Not to be missed.
We hope you enjoy connecting with this, let us know your highlights below or on social, we’d love to hear how God is speaking to you and how you are going to rest this summer.
The summer has crept up on us this year, with this blurry time of lockdown gradually easing, glimpses of normality but still very strange. Most people I know are really tired and it’s a strange feeling because for a lot of us we’ve not been out much. But whether we’ve been on the front line or juggling new routines at home it has been really draining. Finding ways to rest, reconnect and renew this August is something we want to make space for.
United Breaks Out is an opportunity for us to disrupt our normal or new normal routines and create space for God to speak into and refresh our souls at the start of this summer period.