We thought the Connexion Community would enjoy sharing Michael Quicke’s reflections, from his Blogspot, following the 2019 Conference.
‘In the heady days of eighteenth century revival with John Wesley and George Whitefield, Lady Selina experienced dramatic Christian conversion which led to her extraordinarily fearless witness to all - peers and servants - as she established preaching centres using every ounce of influence and wealth for the gospel. Facing opposition from the established church, she reluctantly organised her connection of churches of over a hundred chapels as a group of separatists. She stands out as one of the most significant women in Christian history.
Knowing that I was going to speak, a US professor friend wrote to me: “The Countess of Huntingdon! Oh, wow! Dear Lady Selina. I had no idea her Connexion still existed. Where do these congregations exist?” I read this to the conference who with laughter, wanted to reassure him that they do still exist! I promised to write and let him know. True, numbers of churches have shrunk to 22 and some of these are small but The Connexion's spiritual life with its partner Connexion in Sierra Leone was evident from the very first.
My wife Carol and I loved sharing sessions and meeting friends from places ranging from Ely, to Middleton, to Eastbourne to St. Ives, Cornwall. Children and young people had very lively parallel activities. Interestingly, at a Mission Marketplace churches had been asked to bring details of their recent outreach. I went from table to table, picking up leaflets as members enthusiastically described their hospitality projects, schools' work, overseas' commitment, work with special groups etc. Wonderful.
In my three talks on the Connexion's values: Welcoming, Supporting and Networking, I introduced some of the challenges that come with being a missional church. Of living in the faith and vision that GOD IS AT WORK EVERYWHERE AS HE GATHERS AND SCATTERS HIS CHURCH AS MISSIONARIES. I warned them to be ready for OUCH moments when God would ping them with a fresh challenge and maybe rebuke! People told me they experienced several of these. Indeed one person said they were sitting near the door to escape too many more!
So, I am grateful I was well enough to undertake this. The Connexion had asked prayer for me earlier in the year and when I first arrived I was encouraged by the people who asked me about my health and said they had been praying. Thank you Lord for opening up to Carol and me another part of your great family.’
Dr Michael Quicke
Click here to read more articles from Michael’s Blogspot