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Bala

August 2011 | by Mark Pickett

Bala

God’s men, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, gathered at the Bryn-y-groes conference centre, at Bala in North Wales, for the Evangelical Movement of Wales’ (EMW) annual conference.
    I had set my alarm clock for a leisurely 7.00am rising, but two hours before that my sleep was brought to an abrupt end by two room-mates engaged in agitated theological whispers. I was there with 90 others for the EMW ministers’ conference.
    The Bible was opened up for us by Don Carson, who led us carefully and engagingly through three passages of the NT, focusing on the priority, pattern and passion of the gospel.
    We were reminded that we have this gospel in clay pots, as Professor Carson was so weakened with illness that he had to stop in his second session to pick it up again later in the day. We were grateful for his perseverance.
    In other sessions Andrew Davies taught us on the battle with the flesh, the world and the devil, interacting with Calvin, Perkins, Newton and Guinness (Os that is, not the brown, alcoholic stuff).
    Steve Levy told us how he was getting people reading the Bible and Alan Davey, who had toyed with speaking on ‘The trombone as missional paradigm’, told us of how, seven years ago, the Lord had laid it on his heart to leave a pastoral ministry in Wales to engage in pioneer ministry in Bordeaux, and some of the challenges that has brought.
    Stephen Clark chaired a lively discussion on our response to a hot social issue, where one brother shared how that issue was a very personal one, painfully affecting his family.
Mark Pickett

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