The turning of the year has taken on a new significance for us as we look to big changes in 2013. We had an incredible New Year Retreat at Bethanie, out of which came a deep conviction that these are the right changes at the right time. So 2013 will be Gerard’s last year as a member of the Spring Harvest Theme Group / Core Planning Team. Gerard will step down at the end of March, and we’ll be at the 2013 event in April, doing bible teaching and running an alternative celebration with Mark and Carrie Tedder. Having been involved with SH since 1986, including two stints of 9 years and 4 years on the leadership team and 5 rounds of overseeing and developing the theme material, it will be strange to be doing other things at Easter from 2014: but the time has come. This will free us up to focus on a new balance between the missional activities of Bless; the growing community at Bethanie and our new Beta church plant(s) in Normandy. We have a growing team, expanding ministry opportunities and significant funding challenges. In other words, plenty to be working on! We’re looking forward to all that the coming year promises.
Hopefully we’ll also be able to keep this blog humming as the year goes on…
Thanks for standing with us!
We at last have a name for the church-plant we are leading here in Normandy. It will be called ‘Beta’. The story of why is too long for this post, but suffice to say that it had to work in both French and English, and be easily memorable and repeatable in both languages. Technically, it will be the Association Bilingue d’Engagement, de Témoinage et d’Action - but really it just means we’re a sandbox church: a little bit experimental; open to change. We’ve described the church(es) (there will eventually be two - in Caen and in Livarot) as international, ecumenical and accessible. We were a gathering of about 40 at Bethanie on Sunday to talk about the name, the structure and the way forward: a great time. On Sunday 20th we will hold our first gathering in Caen…
BETA - it’s a work in progress…
‘David, Lisieux, 2012’
Illustrator Kate Alizadeh is raising money so she can come on the Caen summer mission trip with Bless. In order to do this she is doodling for cash. If you donate £5 she will do a personal doodle just for you and if you donate £10 it will be in colour.
She is great and we would love to have her on mission with us.
Please support her here.
go2bless trips are short-term, team based mission experiences serving local churches throughout mainland Europe.
go2bless trips begin with team training at Bethanie, our missional training centre in France, where we introduce the bless ethos and offer practical input. Participants undertake basic language skills, Bible teaching, creative workshops, prayer, team building activities and lots and lots of eating!
go2bless trips have a strong focus on spiritual formation. Each day we set apart time to pray, study the Bible in local cafes and worship together. We believe prayer and mission are inseparably intertwined.
Choose from the following placements:
Slavonski Brod, Croatia, 10th - 26th July, £600, 18+*
[Basketball camp. Kids Club. Youth drop-in]
Caen, France, 10th - 18th July, £325, 16+*
[Prayer Room. bless the city. Live Music]
Freiburg, Germany, 10th - 18th July, £400, 18+*
[English Kids Club. Prayer Room. bless the city]
Arrive at Bethanie, 4th July
Training at Bethanie, 5th - 9th July
email email@example.com for an application form or for more info.
*Suggested age limits act as a guideline. Please contact us with any queries.
Click here for more information.
Illustration by Kate Alizadeh.
We spent an excellent two hours this afternoon with a group of local believers praying for the City of Caen. We have long believed that God has plans for this great city - our nearest, and we sense that 2012 will be a year of newness here… It is incredible to us that a city we began praying for almost twenty years ago is now on our doorstep - and on the threshold of a new adventure.