The main addresses in this year’s Evangelical Movement of Wales conference (August 14-18), at Aberystwyth, were given by Joel Beeke, pastor of Heritage Netherlands Reformed Church, Michigan. They were on – Jesus’ cross-bearing and ours, Jesus’ office-bearing and ours, Jesus’ tears and ours, and Jesus’ endurance and ours. His ministry led to much discussion; and many young people especially seemed to benefit from it.
On Tuesday and Thursday evenings Liam Goligher (Duke Street, Richmond) preached richly blessed gospel sermons. Wednesday night’s missionary focus was excellently shared between Maged Drotta and Keith Hoare.
There were separate meetings for different age groups – from 5 to 45. Elev8 was for 11-14 year olds, ably led by Ross and Maggie Mackenzie. They learnt about pairs of Bible characters who chose opposite paths, starting with Cain and Abel.
Xtra time was for the 15-25-ish. They met at Penbryn Hall in cramped conditions. As one definitely outside the age-range, I sat behind a screen to hear the debate between Stuart Olyott and Joel Beeke, entitled ‘When Christians disagree’. I was amazed to see many older people crammed in, and young people leaving what was meant to be their meeting due to lack of space. It seemed as though older folk were there to follow the Big Names!
The Great Hall was packed as always. The writer knows of many who arrived 45 minutes early every morning to find a seat. The Movement will need to address the problems of growth in the future.
On Friday evening Geoff Thomas spoke from 1 Peter 1 on the privileges of being a Christian. This brought the conference to a close in warm appreciation of the blessings of the gospel.
We had been challenged at the start by Gwynn Williams of Cardiff to obey the Word and not just be sermon tasters (James1:22-25). We trust this will be so; and look forward to August 2007, when the EMW will celebrate its 50th conference.