There comes a moment as a sailor when everything comes together, tide, weather, and most importantly wind, and the becalmed yacht surges forwards as the crew rush to haul sheets and sails, their smiling faces sprayed by the salty brine.
Westpoint 2015 had all these competing factors in the mix; becalming circumstances, wettest August for decades and Commission crew raising our main sail Westpoint. Dave Smith from Peterborough climbed the crow’s nest and urged us in Commission "to see beyond where you are," with lessons from Joseph and a time to dream again. The daily compass bearings (bible readings) were taken by Mick Taylor from Ephesians giving a warrior call (no one will forget his Aragon rallying call ) to strive for unity as believers and churches. We are but one small flotilla in God's great armada. I spoke on misplaced Kingdom keys to unlock the church to God's global mission, not least the baptism from Heaven of divine power.
By the Saturday the wind was in our sails; stories from youth, children's work and adults reported many saved and baptised in the Holy Spirit. Sam Allberry came on board and spoke tenderly on same sex attraction and reminded us of the unique make-up of the church crew, and that God is more committed to their long term joy than they are.
Saturday evening was our offering evening with a greater mission goal than last year with 10% less people!. Andrew Wilson spoke powerfully on 'Individualitis and the Dung Gate' - that our destiny is corporate! And the role of the ordinary in doing something magnificent for God. The offering blew us all away with 10% more than we asked. This meant that with the wind of God's favour whistling around our ears I preached on the final day on the "unbelievable church," a call to return home to build these local boats of all shapes and sizes. All hands on deck.
Reflecting on these few days I am so humbled and thankful to God for those who served, the talks, the Holy Spirit encounters and let’s not forget the weather. Good to fair!