New Word Alive
Are we too cynical? This was a question posed during one of the evening sessions at the recent New Word Alive conference. The speaker was Rev. Richard Coekin of Dundonald Church, and he was expounding the meaning of Psalm 103.
The great work of salvation has been done – our souls should sing to the Lord, as Psalm 103 exhorts us. ‘As we plan, dream, live our lives – will our lives be a song of praise to God for what he has done? Or are we too cynical, too proud, too foolish to accept what God has done?’ he said.
New Word Alive, held at Pwhelli, North Wales, over 13-18 April, saw thousands of Christians from all over the UK and even further abroad come together to worship God and hear amazing messages from his Word.
One international student who had attended in 2009 was so blown away by the teaching and fellowship that year that he flew all the way from Singapore for this year’s event – which coincided with two natural phenomena: the UK flight ban in the wake of the Icelandic volcano, and a week of glorious sunshine.
Many speakers and attendees were ‘grounded’ – both literally (thanks to the flight ban) and figuratively (in the Word of God). The theme of the evening sessions, which had to be split into student and adult sessions, was a look at the Psalms and how we can apply their teaching to our lives.
There were messages from men such as UCCF director Richard Cunningham, Graham Daniels and new FIEC director John Stevens, as well as a focus on mission from Lindsay Brown, and a wonderful interview with Rebecca Manley-Pippert, author of Out of the saltshaker.
She explained, humbly and with gentle humour born from years of learning from mistakes and leaning on God, that evangelism was not an option for some Christians, but a duty of all believers. Furthermore, she said that God will provide the opportunities and the right words to say – and bring about a blessing for us and others in the process.
The worship for the adult track was led by Stuart Townend and Lou Fellingham, and the student track by Sam Parker of the Soul Survivor worship band.
There was plenty for the children and young people to do, giving parents the opportunity to have a daily Bible exposition from 1 Thessalonians, given by Hugh Palmer, Rector of All Souls, Langham Place.
Readings and seminars were staggered before lunch, allowing attendees to hear other seminars, such as Wayne Grudem’s firm explanation of the authenticity, accuracy and importance of Scripture, or challenging talks on gospel-based holiness, given by Jerry Bridges.
As the theme of the week was, ‘Serving the church, reaching the world’, there were many afternoon talks aimed at encouraging church members to think more fully about mission; and sessions on how to relate to our world, work and society from a biblical perspective.
There were seminars to help equip attendees interested in youth work, marriage or relationship counselling, preaching and evangelism. There were additional sessions devoted to helping those working in the arts and media; struggling with singleness; and who just wanted to learn to sing the psalms in gospel-style!
All copies of the 2010 discourses and evening worship sessions were available in the Hub, along with many stands and stalls from organisations such as the Christian Institute and Release International; and thousands of books for sale at bargain basement prices.
No wonder, as one attendee put it, ‘I left NWA with my heart uplifted and my cases weighed down’. (More information: www.newwordalive.org).