The story of the weekend
Here are some brief highlights from the King's Church Edinburgh Students & 20s Weekend Away...
On arrival, everyone got a temporary tattoo. Because why not? "A temporary tattoo on every bed" was one of the many things that had to be done before the crowd arrived, and there was plenty more to be done over the rest of the time. At every point people served with enthusiasm and diligence. A rough count suggests that a third of those who attended were directly involved in leading or making something happen, and everyone was part of a serving team.
Not anticipating the moonlight, we'd asked the bonfire team to come up with a way of indicating the path from our venue to the bonfire pit, so that no-one would get lost, especially the people who were with us for the first time. They hung 200 glo-sticks from the trees. And then they lit fireworks. Our catering team arranged to set up a hot chocolate and cakes table too, along with planning and producing all the other meals for 109 people.
Here is where our meetings took place:
I invited Akhtar and Marta Shah from Everyday Church to be with us, having met Akhtar through King's and Everyday being part of the same family of churches, New Ground. We had excellent teaching from John 14:12, "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father." They brought a perspective and experience that we didn't have, as well as the kind of encouragement that you can only get from people who are outside of your own church. In God's economy, they felt blessed by us too.
Each of the four sessions was led in worship by a different band, supported by a PA team. It was often very loud, and always very joyful. So many people brought contributions - spiritual gifts and readings from the Bible that God was speaking to them through - that we didn't have time for them all. As we prayed for people with sicknesses, several of them experienced God's healing power.
This is Deb laughing so hard she had to sit down.
If the camera seems a little shaky, that's because I'm laughing too. Of course it's a "You had to be there" moment. As I've mentioned recently, it's been a very hard term, and this event involves a lot of work, but the excitement of all that God was doing and the fun that we have with these guys totally overrode all that.
As if all this wasn't enough, there was snow. Akhtar actually asked God for this and because He is who He is, He gave it to us. For a pair of siblings with us who grew up in Dubai this was the first time they'd seen real snow. It was just that kind of weekend.