Thursday, 7 May 2009

when in Rome....

My reflections on Rome?

Great ice-cream – especially if you don’t pay a fortune away from the main sights.

Great trees – seriously, the history, the monuments and everything else Rome has to offer are fantastic, but so are the trees.

Even the street cleaners are attractive! I have been much maligned for this comment, but it was something, which struck me – pray for me if you wish.

How on earth did I get to fifty before I’d visited such a magnificent place – it is a living museum. Ruins seem to litter the streets and pretty much every nook and cranny.

Basically, I’m waiting for the taxi back to the airport sitting in the foyer of the Centro Mondomigliore Spirituality Centre where I’ve been since Monday – attending the conference. I’ve tried to get to this for the last three years and so was glad to make it this year. The theme ‘Incarnate’ was built around two main speakers Gerard Kelly, currently Senior Pastor of Crossroads Amsterdam and Johannes Reimer who is the Professor of Missiology at UNISA. It’s been a really good experience – some creative and challenging input, some eye opening awareness (did you know there are 150 million Charismatic Catholics worldwide who would state they have been born again by the Spirit of God and not merely baptised as infants? – yes, 150 million is not one of my misprints on this occasion); some good conversations and networking. Food was naff, but Maggie and I did have three days in Rome prior to this, which balanced it out.

So why did I come and what do I hope to gain? Whilst I should wait till I get home to begin to answer this one, it’s this or read a book and with Paul Griffiths rambling in my ear, there’s no chance of that.

I need my horizons to be broadened and this has been able to that. We train local pastors, but need to equip global leaders – a throw away from Jeff Fountain, but worth thinking about. Thinking globally, but acting locally does make so many necessary connections.

I need to talk with people who can encourage the capacity of my heart for the lost to be enlarged. Well, I’ve met some of those who have challenged so many pre-suppositions.

I need to live within the tension between thinking and practice and this is network designed to attempt to do that and so it has, but the proof of the pudding will be in next week and the one after that … did it make a difference?

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