Saturday, 17 May 2008

Growing Strong

This week we had the Growing Strong conference looking at Family Ministry. It was a great time. Glenn Davies (Anglican Bishop for Northern Region) a good friend of John Davies and of PTC explained the place of family in biblical theology so well. His talks tracing the theme of 'the seeds' through the Bible were gold and it will be great to get them out on DVD in the next few months. He made the case for a covenant view of children very well. The text that he used to capture his view was Ps 128:3 
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; 
your children will be like olive shoots around your table. 
Glenn pointed out that the image is not of children who are bramble bushes waiting to be grafted in, but as olive shoots which should grow. He also talked about the passage which seems to me to be most compelling, Eph 6:1-3, in which Paul addresses children as members of the saints in Ephesus and tells them to obey their parents in the Lord. That is, the children are in the Lord and so in his church.

The other sessions of the conference presented some excellent material on how churches can reach and care for families as well as great insights into families and parenting. The Lord has given people great gifts of wisdom and it was generous of them to share with us.

Another highlight of the conference was the wide range of people who attended. Some were ministers and church staff, some were involved in church ministries, some were chaplains and counsellors. The mix was enriching. One of the students who went along said that in each of the four workshops he'd gone to people were really engaged and keen to get all they could from it.

All in all a good couple of days. The Presbyterian Counselling Service will produce DVD resources from it over the next few months and we will let you know when they are available.

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