A few months ago, one of Penclawdd’s chapels – Bethel, a Welsh Independent church in the north part of the Gower peninsula – lost its minister. This left its congregation quite discouraged.
We go to the Calvinistic Methodist Tabernacle, in Penclawdd. Our youth group has been growing over the past year, in depth even if not greatly in numbers, and we have had a vision for an evangelistic outreach for some time.
Christian and I have both experienced blessing in our lives, especially in the past few months, so when we were invited to take a sisterhood meeting in Bethel we went along with enthusiasm to share what the Lord has done in our lives, and what he is capable of doing if we ask in the name of Jesus.
However, we felt Bethel’s sorrow at the loss of their minister; and all felt the low numbers in our two chapels and Trinity Baptist chapel as well (also in Penclawdd). All this moved us to pray for the village in a new way.
We then called a meeting of people from these chapels to share our concern and vision. The outcome is that we have all planned a two-day event for 3-4 July, in which Sunday will be a joint day of services for the three churches.
The theme throughout the weekend will be ‘The prodigal son’ and we are praying that God will really change hearts and lives.
The Tabernacle’s minister, Rev. Iain B. Hodges, will lead the morning family service and Jim Webber (Skewen) the evening service. There will be a community lunch between services.
We have a marquee, paid for by one of Tabernacle’s members. We have booked as main speaker Jason Beynon (Pontarddulais); and a team of children’s workers to do a club over the two days, led by Jon Norbury (Pontarddulais).
Hannah Franklin has agreed to come and sing after Saturday’s main worship event (which lasts between 6 and 8pm). There’s a BBQ until 8.45pm, then until 9.30pm Hannah will sing and give an evangelistic message. We also have a couple of others giving testimonies.
The other thing that is planned for any unsaved people is an outreach Q&A time, in which anyone who has a question about God can write it on a flyer and post it to the manse. A question panel will spend an hour between 4.30 and 5.30pm answering these questions.
The three objectives of the weekend are these (in order): to glorify God, thanking and magnifying him for Jesus’ death and resurrection, and his goodness to us; to show non-Christians that God is real – we wanted the event to be in a marquee, and not a church, so people will view it as neutral ground; and to encourage one another. Life can be difficult, spiritual life harder. So it’s always good to share fellowship with other Christians.
Please pray for this event. We are inspired for it by many Bible passages, especially Isaiah 40:29-31; Jude 20-25; and Psalm 147:1.
Tim Hodgins and Christian Williams