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Some things I noticed from attending Baptist Assembly this week… May 5, 2010

Posted by Andy in Family.

Most pleasant surprise: being told we had overpaid our Innkeeper’s Lodge accommodation charge and were therefore entitled to a nice refund.

Most overused saying: “Baptist family”.

Most welcome change from last year: different styles of music in main sessions, the opportunity for folk to contribute as part of the communal discernment (e.g., writing comments on the white display boards, the 4 appointed ‘listeners’ who summed up conversations they’d had with people on the Monday morning).

Most stressful situation: either the evening meal at the incompetent Wetherspoon’s restaurant, or Esther’s refusal to go to sleep during David Coffey’s evening address.

Most heavenly moment: Hearing from two long-term missionaries who have just come to the end of their time serving with BMS World Mission, having completed about 30 year’s service (having only set out to do about 2!)

Most hellish moment: Shona’s realisation that she had to revisit said Wetherspoon’s to retrieve her (already lost) new prescription sunglasses.

Most random moment: Meeting two very likeable, friendly, older gentlemen (from Eastbourne) at breakfast and subsequently giving them lifts to and from Assembly.

Most humorous incident: Seeing Shona and Emilia stuck in a lift (temporarily!)

Most admired main platform speaker: Anne Wilkinson-Hayes. Her message about mission being more about plunging ourselves into the river of God rather than all about strategies and techniques was refreshing.

Most amazing bargain: the new BU booklet ‘Gathering Around the Table: Children & Communion’. What a bargain at £3!

Most theologically-erudite occasion: Ruth Gouldbourne’s ‘George Beasley-Murray Lecture’ which highlighted the ontological nature of ministry (being) rather than the functional/task orientated approach. The temptation and cultural norm is to be a pragmatist doing ‘things’. But pastors are also called to ‘be’.