This time last year, Confluence was in the middle of a name change. Previously, our family of churches had been known as Newfrontiers-USA, and in keeping with many other Newfrontiers churches, we wanted a name that better emphasised our shared mission and didn’t limit us geographically. Over the past year, as we’ve embraced our new name and a renewed sense of being on mission together, we have seen exciting growth in multiple areas. Locally, regionally, and internationally, Confluence is growing deeper and wider.
Each year, the Catalyst Social Action Fund resources churches and projects to work within their communities serving disadvantaged people and bringing support, hope and life to those most in need. In this blog, Chris Mason from the Oak Church shares about one such project:
Since The Oak Church began to meet together, we have been eating together. A shared table is a place where everyone is equal, all ages are welcome and friendships can begin. There are many people living and working in Leeds & Bradford who eat alone – they’re simply not connected to anyone. In order to make an opportunity for people in our local community to find a way out of loneliness we started Connect Lunch – our Monday lunch club. We provide a free hot meal for anyone who wants it. Typically around 30-40 people turn up each week from all sorts of backgrounds and all sorts of ages to eat and talk, do a puzzle or read the paper.
“Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshippers meeting together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship” – A.W. Tozer
Dave and Emily Williams are helping to pioneer a new initiative focusing on raising up and releasing 18-30s within the Catalyst movement, called “Influence”. In this blog, they share about their heart for this generation and for Influence as we begin to launch events across the country in the coming months:
As millennials, we are a generation with more influence than ever. Everyone has a voice and a means of sharing it. So much of what happens in our lives is built on the foundations that God builds in us in our 20s and 30s, where a lot of our life altering decisions are made. Jesus calls us all to make disciples and in doing so we are having an influence over someone – whether that’s our spouse, our colleagues, our children, or our postman! Whoever we come into contact with, we have the opportunity to influence.
We’re excited to be sending a team to Brazil to explore some of the growing relationships and connections with a handful of leaders and pastors. Here’s Steve and Dani letting you know more about the trip and inviting you to pray for the team.
Here’s a glimpse of Relational Mission in action: a report written by Karen Opitz, a South African lady who is part of our Frankfurt church plant who travelled to Spain to support our Malaga church plant!
Tim Chambers (Lead Pastor of Christ’s Church, Joplin, MO) and I [Ian Ashby] recently visited Nepal, where Christianity has been spreading rapidly. The number of Christians in this Hindu-majority nation has tripled in the last decade. It was this growth that led the government to implement an anti-conversion law recently.
It is not illegal to be a Christian in Nepal or for churches to gather for worship, but it is illegal to try and convert someone. Tim and I had no intention of putting the law to the test! Our purpose in visiting this beautiful country was not to convert but to learn. In his excellent book, Global Humility, Andy McCullough writes, “We need the humility to learn from all our brothers and sisters. It is arrogant to assume the Western world is only ever meant to be the teacher rather than also the student.” This was the attitude we took with us to Nepal.
At Ashburnham 2017, the New Ground Youth team coordinated a competition, “The MAD Ting”, which encouraged the young people of New Ground Churches to come up with ideas where they could Make A Difference (MAD) by doing something (Ting) for those in their sphere of influence. The team received many excellent entries and after quite some deliberation our judges decided on a winner. Want to know what they did with the prize money? Read on and learn how these young people are making a difference!
Serious youth violence is increasing, mental health issues are growing and sexual liberty is leaving more and more young people damaged – often dealing with the consequences online with exposure to the wider world.
Chicago has recently entered into what is considered a “typical” winter here, with all the frigid temps, snow, and ice that come along with it. While the time of year can be challenging for many, we’ve had many reasons to celebrate with our own season of change at Trinity Church. We’ve recently embraced both a new name and a new location, which are pretty big-ticket items!
Our previous name, Destination, has served us well for the past nine years, but we believe we’ve outgrown it. Over a two-year period, we talked and prayed about a new name that could help us better reach and relate to people in our context. Considering who we are, as well as Chicago’s religious influences, we strove for a name with a “new traditional” feel. We officially became Trinity Church at the end of October and hope the new name will project a sense of being established and rooted, as well as draw in more generations and walks of life.