‘Wonderful, very inspiring and encouraging’. Just some of the words used to describe the Fresh Expressions vision day in Wolverhampton. The packed venue was buzzing with stories, dream and questions. Participants came from as far away as Barnsley and Lincoln, representing five different denominations and streams.
Having been welcomed with fruit juices, coffee and croissants, fresh expressions pioneers, practioners and enquirers shared a day full of presentations, discussions, reflections and worship. Local stories featured included the Vine youth congregation led by, and for, young people in Stafford and the Good Shepherd, a virtual church for the housebound in Shropshire.
The rich and varied worship included a meditation based on the journeying of St Brendan led by Mark Berry leader of the Sacred Space emerging church in Telford.
In the closing act of worship everyone was invited to plant seeds to symbolise their hopes and dreams for new ways of being church that can sow the seeds of the gospel in the lives of those who are not yet part of any church. Jayne Corns who leads a youth outreach initiative in Dudley said:
'The Fresh Expressions team has planted lots of seeds today – if only one grows to maturity it will all have been worthwhile'.
Revd Andrew Roberts who led the organising team was thrilled with how the day went:
'We were delighted with the day. The level of engagement was very high and the feedback forms are full of requests for follow up input and training. There is a real sense of a developing journey'.