The first training event organised by the new Coast Mission Partnership has proved to be a runaway success.
St Andrew’s United Reformed Church, Monkseaton, and St Columba’s United Reformed Church, North Shields, made imaginative use of the lay training grants offered by the Synod to arrange a training day for worship leaders and worship teams. As both church buildings are heavily used on a Saturday, St John’s United Reformed Church, Wideopen, was chosen as a neutral venue.
In addition to most of the participants came from the two Coast churches, they were joined by others invited from other United Reformed Churches in the Synod, making 31 in total. As it had been intended to limit numbers to 30, it even proved necessary to turn further enquirers away!
The day for those seeking understanding of Christian worship was led by Revd Dr Susan Durber, currently Principal of Westminster College, Cambridge. The event had a good balance of teaching, discussion, and individual and group exercises. Sessions included discussion of what worship actually is, the distinctive elements of the Reformed tradition, the use of the Revised Common Lectionary as a discipline to explore parts of the Bible that might otherwise be neglected, what good preaching is like, and how to plan a sermon bearing in mind your own and the congregation’s likely response to a text as well as the background to the text itself. Susan managed to make the training both interesting and easy to follow, whilst challenging more experienced preachers in their craft.
The lunchtime buffet was excellent, even rivalling those served up for meetings at Synod Office!
Written feedback was overwhelmingly positive on the day, with most strongly agreeing that it had been helpful and well balanced. Feedback also produced a long list of requests for future training events.
The second in the series of training days for worship leaders and worship teams will be held on 30 November at Trinity Church, Gosforth, and it looks like it could well prove popular!