Forum 2018 Theme : Jesus-Shaped Church (mission and discipleship versus survivalism)
Dates : Saturday 18th August to Friday 24th August 2018
Theme Leader : Lawrence Moore
Worship Leaders : Rev Kay Alberg, Rev David Fraser, Rev David Legge, Rev Iain McLaren, Rev Jenny Mills, Rev John Steele
Music Leader : Cathryn Rogers
2018 is something of an anniversary year for Forum and the main people have been involved in Forum in previous years.
The Theme Leader is Lawrence Moore. Lawrence was born and brought up in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) during the independence war. After serving as Special Branch detective in political and military intelligence, he moved to South Africa to teach in a Baptist school, then to the UK in 1984 to read Theology in Durham, and then to Cambridge to pursue doctoral studies, where he became deeply involved in the anti-Apartheid struggle. In 1997 he was appointed as the Training and Development Officer for URC’s Eastern Synod, and in 2002 moved to the Windermere Centre, where he was the Director until September 2016. He is now working on a Pay What You Can basis as a church Mission and Discipleship consultant. He describes himself as passionate about following Jesus, all things Apple, and the music of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Bruce Springsteen.
Lawrence writes this about the theme: After 2100 years of Christian history, Jesus has lost none of his chic or credibility. The church that claims his name, by contrast, is viewed actively as Bad News. Churches would be overflowing and among the most widely respected and valued institutions in our society if they were recognisably like Jesus. Instead, we’re hovering on the edge of extinction, because people are aware of the contradiction and aren’t prepared to be part of the whole church project. When you stop and think about it, it’s strange that we don’t define churches as ‘communities of people that act like Jesus’, isn’t it? If people looked at Jesus and saw what God was like, it should surely be the case that people look at churches and individual Christians to see what Jesus is like? Something went badly wrong somewhere in Christian history. If we’re going to be faithful disciples of Jesus, making a Jesus-shaped difference to our communities and being part of the Good News we proclaim, we need to start following Jesus more closely and more faithfully. That means letting go of our obsession with survival and success, and rediscovering what discipleship and mission are all about instead. Jesus called it, ‘denying ourselves, taking up our cross, and following – losing our lives in order to find them!’ It’s risky and it’s scary, but it is also being where Jesus is, and there is no other way to find life in all its fullness! Are you up for the journey?
There are six Worship Leaders (as detailed above)who will share in leading worship throughout the week.
The Music Leader is Cathryn Rogers.
Each day there’s all-age worship, a theme talk and workshops (discussion, Bible study, needlework, films and others), and Children’s groups for the under 15s. There are other services of worship too – early morning prayers and evening meditations, communion, daily morning worship. Each afternoon there are optional activities. There are competitions in table tennis, Scrabble and boule throughout the week, and each evening there’s entertainment – also optional. There’s ample opportunity for free time, relaxed conversation, renewing of old friendships and making new… from around the country. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are generous meals. Morning coffee and afternoon tea are also included and there’s a well-stocked gift shop and bar.
If you wish to book for Holiday Forum 2018, please use the Booking Form on this website or email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for one to be sent to you. Alternatively you can download the booking form in two parts here and here and send them via post.